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New elections director resigns

Published March 12. 2010 05:00PM

For the second time this year, Carbon County is in need of a new elections director.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board approved the resignation of Jacqueline S. Berger, the current director of elections. Her resignation is effective March 19.

Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, said the reason for Berger's resignation was because "she decided the changes she made professionally were not in her best interest."

Berger was named the county's new director of elections on Feb. 4 and began the new position on Feb. 8. She filled the vacancy created after former elections director Timothy Benyo resigned from the post on Jan. 29. The reason for his resignation was to take the director position in the Lehigh County elections bureau.

O'Gurek pointed out that the county contracted former director Kenneth Leffler, who retired from the position on April 3, 2009, to help train Berger; as well as program the machines for the upcoming primary election.

"Despite the resignation (of Berger), the commissioners are confident that the election will be held flawlessly so we can do our part to contribute to the important races," O'Gurek said. "We'll make sure we do our best to have that election go on uninterrupted as best it can. Thank God for Ken Leffler."

O'Gurek praised Leffler for his dedication to the election bureau and the county.

"It goes without saying there isn't a better person to help with elections than Ken Leffler," O'Gurek said. "He has a full-time job now but he said he would be willing to take vacation to help us. That speaks volumes to the heart and soul that he has for this election office and that's why we had what we thought was the best election office in the state."

O'Gurek added that the commissioners will now decide what will be in the best interest of the county hire someone new and train them quickly before the primary or wait until after May to hire someone.

The board will weigh their options; as well as discuss with Leffler what can be done.

In other personnel matters, the board of commissioners approved the retirement of Carbon County Warden James Youngkin, who served as warden at the correctional facility since March 1, 2007.

O'Gurek said the request will now go to the county prison board, which meets later this month, so the inspectors can officially act on it.

The board will then decide what process they will use to determine the hiring process for the new warden, whether it be through advertising or through an in-house promotion.

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