Commissioners wrap up 2013
Carbon County officials were in the Christmas spirit as they wrapped up business for the end of the year.
Commissioner William O'Gurek thanked his colleagues for a good year in working together on a lot of issues.
"It's been a challenge as we all know, putting our heads together and looking for ways to save money, cut costs and reduce expenses," he said. "It's been a pleasure."
He also thanked all staff and row office officials for working together to work within their means this past year.
Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard agreed, also thanking O'Gurek and Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, for working together for the betterment of the county and not letting political lines cloud progress.
"The first year was a challenge," he admitted. "It's good to be able to go and talk with Bill about things. I learned a lot from Wayne and Bill, as well as Ellie (Ahner, county administrator)."
Nothstein echoed his colleagues' thoughts, saying that the working relationship the county commissioners have is stronger than last year, following a rocky election.
"We had some big challenges," he said. "Everyone worked together."
Robert Crampsie, county controller and secretary to the county retirement board, added that he appreciated the support the commissioners gave his office this year.
The board also approved the following items:
• Reappointed Rick Grant and Dr. Rennie Shoop, both of Jim Thorpe; as well as Carol Getz of Albrightsville and Marigrace Heyer of Summit Hill to the Environmental Education Center Commission. The terms shall end Dec. 31, 2015.
• Approve the 2014-2015 certification for authorized use of 911 funds under Chapter 55, Emergency Telephone Service, of Title 35 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.
• Cancel the Dec. 26 county commissioners meeting. The next meeting will be immediately following the annual salary board meeting at 1:30 p.m., Jan. 6, in the courthouse annex.
• Accept the sole proposal for design of a new Carbon County website and award the project to PTeKS (Personal TeKnology Solutions), at their total quoted price of $9,350.
• Approve the plan document, effective Jan. 1, 2014, for the Carbon County Health Plan to provide medical health benefits to full-time employees, spouses and dependents through the Pennsylvania County Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperation Intergovernmental Cooperative.
• Adopt the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Plan for 2013-2018 as recommended by the Northeastern Pennsylvania CEDS committee.
• Approve a number of agreements for personal care and home support services from various providers for the Office of Area Agency on Aging.
• Approve the agreement with Oasis Management Systems Inc. of Georgia, for the exclusive right to operate all commissary services at the Carbon County Correctional Facility. The agreement term is until Jan. 3, 2019.
• Approve the retirement of William J. Zimmerman of Lehighton, effective Dec. 31. Zimmerman served as a tipstaff in the court administration.
• Approve the employment separation of Hadyn A. Charles of Schnecksville and Darlene Lamb-Howard of Effort, as part-time corrections officers. Charles' separation effective date is Dec. 9; while Lamb-Howard's was Dec. 18.
• Hire Rachel Singelsether of Kunkletown as a county caseworker I for Children and Youth Services, effective Dec. 30.
• Change the status of Ricky J. Velez of Lehighton and Angelo M. Rodriguez III of Port Carbon from part-time corrections officers/Teamsters to corrections officers, effective Jan. 6 for Velez, and Jan. 7, for Rodriguez.
• Approve an internship for David J. Paul of Summit Hill, a student of Bloomsburg University, in the court administration office. The internship term shall be from Dec. 16 through Jan. 21.