After serving four years as the minority commissioner, Frank Staudenmeier was back as the majority commissioner and was elected chairman of the board at the reorganization meeting of the Schuylkill County commissioners, held Tuesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.
Control of the county government shifted back to the Republican party this year as Staudenmeier regained the chairmanship he lost four years ago. Two new commissioners were seated, George Halcovage, Republican, and Gary Hess, Democrat. They replace Mantura Gallagher and Francis McAndrew, both Democrats, who did not seek re-election.
There were three terminations and one resignation announced.
Lisa Reber, Orwigsburg, who served as the first deputy to former Controller Melinda Kantner; attorney David Rattigan, Schuylkill Haven, solicitor for former Register of Wills Michael McCord; and attorney Jeffrey Markosky, Ringtown, solicitor for former Prothonotary P.J. Symons, were terminated. Attorney Sudhir Patel, Orwigsburg, who served as solicitor for former Controller Melinda Kantner, resigned.
The commissioners were informed of new appointments.
Attorney Hank J. Clarke, Pottsville, was appointed by newly-elected Register of Wills Theresa Santai-Gaffney as her solicitor at $2,448 per year, which reflects the 3 percent pay increase voted by the former salary board at its last meeting held last week.
Attorney Gretchen Sterns, Orwigsburg, wife of former county Republican Chairman Joseph Sterns, was appointed solicitor for newly-elected Prothonotary David J. Dutcavich at a salary of $2,448.
Ronald Zimmerman, Pottsville, was appointed first deputy in the officer of newly-elected Controller Christy Joy at a salary of $38,262 per year and attorney Paul Datte, Pottsville, who was the county solicitor four years ago, was appointed solicitor for the controller's office at a salary of $6,120 per year.
James Nettles, Pottsville, was transferred from chief deputy coroner at a per diem pay rate, and Dr. Joseph Weber, Ashland, was appointed chief deputy coroner by newly-elected Dr. David J. Moylan at a salary of $21,418 per year.
The board adopted a schedule for the work session and public meetings for the coming year.
The commissioners will hold work session meetings on the first and third Wednesday of each month, except for the month of July when the meeting will be held Thursday, July 5, and in November the meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 8. The meetings will start at 10 a. m.
The public meetings will be held the second and fourth Wednesday of each month except for the month of April, when it will be held Thursday, April 26, and in August when it will be held Thursday, Aug. 9. The meetings will start at 10 a.m.
The Employees Retirement Board will meet on the second Wednesday of each month, immediately following a commissioners' meeting, except in August.
The salary board will meet when it will be necessary to act on salaries. The public is invited to attend all meetings.
The board also renewed the Affirmative Action plan for the county which outlines county's policy to eliminate and avoid discrimination.