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Schuylkill controller-commissioners dispute continues

Published August 05. 2010 05:00PM

Controller Melinda Kantner again raised the issue about two positions in the juvenile probation office claiming they need action by the Schuylkill County Salary Board.

At Wednesday's work session of the salary board Kantner made the motion to create the new positions but received no second from the three other members on the salary board, Commissioners Mantura Gallagher, Francis McAndrew and Frank Staudenmeier.

Assistant County Solicitor Edward Brennan reiterated a legal opinion he had previously given the commissioners and that the action taken on the positions was not creating new positions but was a realignment of the department..

Gallagher requested from Kantner the name of the person she spoke to in the state attorney general's office as Kantner had announced she was asking the state attorney general investigate the action taken by the commissioners pertaining to the two positions.Kantner claims their action was illegal. Kantner's response to Gallagher was she made the request by letter and is awaiting a response.

Kantner then raised questions on new matters.

She claimed when the commissioners ratifiy the contract with county employees who are members of AFSCME union that if there is a pay increase that it should come for a vote before the salary board. Again Brennan said this was not needed because it is action taken on existing jobs.

Kantner also sent emails to all three county state representatives and State Senator David Argall asking them to review the action of the county commissioners on changing auditors for the controller's office. She claims they hired an auditor who does not have any professional staff or experience in audting any of the specialized county agencies. "He runs a mom and pop operation," she claimed. Kantner claims it will cost the county moe than was paid the previous auditing firm.

Kantner also has a civil suit pending in the county court over removal of an auditor from her office who had prepared the yearly audit report and the suit is scheduled for trial in November. The auditor was moved to the commissioners office and given a new title as fiscal officer.

The commissioners recently announced that the yearly audit report by her office was overdue and is hampering them from preparing the budget for next year.

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