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Carbon election director leaving

Carbon County’s election director is leaving for another position in Pennsylvania.

On Thursday, the board of commissioners accepted the resignation of Lisa R. Dart of Jim Thorpe, effective Feb. 3. Dart has accepted another position as chief deputy clerk/deputy chief registrar in Lancaster County.

Dart said Thursday afternoon that she is happy to be moving on and is looking forward to working with the new staff.

“I am grateful for the opportunity,” she said, noting that this decision was made with the full support of her family.

When asked why she decided to make the move, Dart said it came down to recent decisions within the county.

“After the salary study was complete, I felt I wasn’t a valued employee anymore,” she said. “I was just a number. It was very disheartening. I am looking forward to working in my new position and starting fresh in 2023.”

Dart said that she will miss her staff in the elections department and the friendships she has made along her journey, but it was time to move on.

Dart has been employed with the county since February 2007 and was appointed as interim election director in 2010 before being named election director a few months later.

Since then, she has worked to streamline how Carbon County operates leading up to and during elections and has been an example for running a smooth process.

Following the commissioners’ meeting, the board said that Dart’s departure will affect the county “big time.”

Commissioners’ Chairman Wayne Nothstein said that the county is looking to advertise the position as soon as possible.

Commissioner Chris Lukasevich pointed out that 22 months ago, the county hired an assistant election director to be able to handle the director’s duties in the director’s absence.

“I’m fully confident that until a permanent director is hired, once Lisa departs, that they will be able to manage the office and run an effective and efficient, transparent election just like we always have,” Lukasevich said.

In other election matters, Lorraine Wertman, the minority inspector for the west ward in Palmerton, approached the election board to ask if they can look into changing the precinct location because the current building is not set up to allow for election operations. The precinct is currently located in the borough garage with another precinct, but “it is not a safe place for us to be,” she said.

She cited a grate running through the center of the building that the borough places a mat over, which is a tripping hazard; the doorway is not wide enough to easily allow people with wheelchairs to enter; and another door has no handle so it can’t be used. In addition, there is no heat so a portable heater has to be used; as well as lighting isn’t the best.

The precinct had been moved during the height of the pandemic into the new fire company and was sufficient for elections.

The election board said that they will have the election department look into other facilities for the two precincts during upcoming elections.