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Emergency management head resigns

Published December 03. 2009 05:00PM

Arthur Kaplan, the coordinator of Schuylkill County's emergency management bureau, resigned Wednesday at the commissioners' work session in the Schuylkill County courthouse.

He announced he would be leaving his post and plans to open a private consulting business dealing with emergency issues. Kaplan has been the coordinator for 20 years. He terminates his employment at the end of this year.

The work session business dealt chiefly with contracts to provide services for patients at Rest Haven Home and people served by the Children and Youth Service Agency and Mental Health and Mental Retardation Program.

Mike Mica, of Schuylkill Transportation System, which operates the county bus line, received permission to seek competitive bids to provide tires for the bus fleet.

Tim Hale, of Schuylkill County Housing Authority, submitted a five-year plan, which he is seeking to be approved by the county commissioners. The authority oversees 610 housing units it has provided for rents based on income, and has more than 500 people on the waiting list. It receives its major funding from HUD. Responding to a concern of Commissioner Francis McAndrew, Hale said the authority gives preference to service people and families and people from Schuylkill County.

Lisa Mahall, county engineer, presented a design contract from Ceco Associates, Scranton, for repairs to two county bridges in Union Township.

John Richmond, head of the adult probation department, asked for a review of purchase through a state contract a vehicle for use by probation officers.

The commissioners will hold their final road meeting of the year Wednesday at the Schuylkill Campus of Penn State University in North Manheim Township.

Salary board

The meeting of the salary board, which followed the commissioners' meeting, was short but still controversial.

Controller Melinda Kantner disagreed with the interpretation by assistant county solicitor Edward Brennan in classifying the job changes for Paul Straka, whose new title is assistant county administrator in charge of fiscal operation; and Martina Chwastiak, who replaced Tom White as the human resource director along with her duties as risk manager. Brennan asked the salary board for ratification purposes only.

Kantner disagreed, claiming the commissioners were creating two new positions. The vote taken was on Brennan's recommendation and Kantner cast the lone "no" vote.

The three commissioners, Mantura Gallagher, McAndrew and Frank Staudenmeier, who make up the salary board with Kantner, approved the recommendation. The salaries set were $52,745 annually for each one.

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