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Commissioners busy in final session of 2011

Published December 29. 2011 05:01PM

Although it lasted only 13 minutes, Schuylkill County commissioners made a number of transactions at their final public meeting Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

In one landmark personnel move, attorney Karen Byrnes Noon, Ashland, was promoted by outgoing District Attorney James P. Goodman to serve the balance of his term which expires in 2014 as district attorney at a salary of $168,541 per year. Attorney Noon was the first deputy assistant district attorney. Commissioner Gallagher noted the salary is mandated by the state which contributes.

Another important agenda item, before the new board takes over next Tuesday, was the granting of a three-percent salary increase for 2012 for non-union county workers and some union employees. A total of 498 county employees will be receiving the pay increase, including 184 non-union and 314 union employees.

There are seven unions representing county employees, four court related unions, AFSCME Locals 1512 and 1721 and Teamsters Local 429. People paid per diem are not included, nor are members of the AFSCME unions.

Since the Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville terminated its contract with the county for performance of autopsies and pathology services, a contract was entered with Reading Hospital in Berks County for a six-month period, with payment of $1,500 per autopsy, plus toxicology and ancillary services as needed. The insurance policy with Midwest Employer's Casualty Company, for excess workers compensation costs, was renewed for one year at a cost of $92,264.

An agreement was entered with the Schuylkill County Housing Authority to provide environmental review services for the housing authority's high rise and low income homes.

The firm of Mullin and Lonergan was hired to perform the services at a cost of $3,000.

An agreement was entered with the Pottsville Parking Authority to lease 90 reserved parking spaces at the Capital Parking Garage for Human Services Complex employees at a rate of $28.50 per month per space, and also for 10 on-street permit parking spaces on the 200 block of Laurel Boulevard at a rate of $18.50 for space per month. The agreement ends December 31, 2012.

Five contracts were entered on behalf of Rest Haven Home and Hospital, Victor E. Muncy, Inc., Pottsville, for provision of the installation and hardware for the dining room automatic door to correct a life safety deficiency at a cost of $13,700; Yost Mechanical Inc., Schuylkill Haven, for provision of a carrier roof top air conditioner at a cost of $11,120; Symphony Diagnostic Inc., for provision of mobile diagnostic services, X-ray, and EKG for $10,000; GTS-Welco, Reading, for provision of weekly deliveries of medical oxygen for $15,000; and McKesson Medical Company, Golden Valley Minnesota, for provision of 24 electric beds and 24 assistant bars for $30,110.16.

Purchase of service agreements on behalf of Children and Youth Services Agency were entered with Cornell Abraxas Group, Pittsburgh, for community based intensive care at $146.69 per day, leadership development program at $151.65 per day, and placement in Abraxas Academy of habitual offenders and sex offenders at $309.41 per day.

Personnel matters

The board approved hiring Jacqueline Pellish, Pottsville, as assistant planner in the Planning and Zoning Department at $29,944 per year and Kathleen Kimmel, Coatesville, as parttime switchboard operator at Rest Haven Home at $9 per hour; the transfer of Ronald Halupa, Shenandoah, from office support position in Humane Resources Department to telecommunicator in the 9-1-1 Department at $11.5082 per hour; and Vincent Bindie, Shenandoah, from interim part time to part time office support in the Humane Resources Department at $11.0905 per hour.

The board was informed of promotions, resignations and wage adjustments in various departments and gave approval.

Rest Haven Home announced four resignations - Amanda McKee, Schuylkill Haven, fulltime social services caseworker; Christine Hunter, Saint Clair, fulltime assistant director of nursing; Roberta Sherman-Rosa, Mahanoy City, parttime nurse's aide; and Cheryl Kurilla, New Philadelphia, fulltime nurse's aide.

Also announced were wage adjustments for seven parttime nurse's aides who completed their training program and now will be paid $11.72 per hour. They are, Amanda Sterner, New Ringgold; Kelsie Blankenhorn and Michael Zimmerman, Schuylkill Haven; Chad Bowen, Pottsville; Bridget Dougherty, Llewellyn Village, Branch Township; Ktjleen Ryan, Cressona and Monica Wolfgang, Lavelle.

Attorney Rick Thornburg, Pottsville, resigned as an assistant county solicitor with the change in administration.

The Planning Commission announced the resignation of Marie Lesusky, Mahanoy City as per diem secretary; the Court Administration Office announced the resignation of Attorney Roberta Domiesky, Minersville, as a law clerk, and the county prison announced the resignation of Frank Hanis, Nesquehoning, who held the position as a correctional officer.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Mantura Gallagher, the first woman to serve as chairman of the board of commissioners, bid farewell as she is retiring as a commissioner after serving eight years, her first four year's as a minority commissioner and the last four as head of the board. She referred to the commissioners' staff of workers as the heart beat of the county and wished the new commissioners success.

In her final action, commissioner Gallagher announced the courthouse will be closed Monday, Jan. 2. The re-organization of the new board of commissioners will be held Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 10 a.m. in the commissioners board room and the prison board will also meet Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. for its re-organizational meeting.

The next regular meeting of the new board of commissioners will be a work session on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 10 a. m. in the Hoffman Room which adjoins the board room.

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