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Schuylkill County has new grant manager

Published May 03. 2019 12:18PM

First Deputy Controller Ron Zimmerman, Port Carbon, is transferring from the County Controller’s Office to a county post as grant manager.

The Schuylkill County Commissioners announced the change during a workshop meeting Wednesday. Zimmerman has been first deputy controller since 2012. In addition to working as county administrator, Gary Bender had also been doing the grant manager work.

“We’ve been talking about replacing Gary as grant manager and hiring someone full time,” said Commissioner Frank Staudenmeier. “Gary, I just want to say that you did a super job of keeping all the balls in the air.”

Bender, who’d been interim Schuylkill County Administrator/Director of Economic Development, was named county administrator in September 2016, at a salary of $80,051. Bender was involved in county government since 2006, working as grant writer, demolition coordinator, Community Development Block Grant compliance officer and director of Community Development & Central Services. Zimmerman will be paid $50,351.

What does the change mean for the County Controller’s Office? Commissioners’ Chairman George Halcovage said that discussions about the change have been ongoing, “giving Christy (County Controller Joy) ample time,” Halcovage said. “He’s proud of the work Ron (Zimmerman) has done and during the transition will restructure the controller’s office.”

In other personnel moves, the commissioners accepted three resignations: Joel Methven, New Philadelphia, as an investigator with the County Coroner’s office; Chastity Rynard, part-time secretary, Public Defender’s Office; and Ann Marie Zeth, Branch Township, clerk, District Attorney’s office. Kelsey Schwalm, Hegins Township, was appointed to work as a temporary clerk for the District Attorney’s office, at a rate of $12 per hour.

The Pottsville office of CareerLink and the county have partnered to facilitate the hiring of summer interns. According to the program, the county pays the interns, $12 per hour, and then is reimbursed for the funds. Interns must be county residents and currently enrolled in college, said Human Resources Director Debra Twigg.

Interns hired are: Stephanie Aungst, Pine Grove, Public Defenders’ Office; Patrick Coyle, Norwegian Township and Michael O’Pake, Norwegian Township, District Attorney’s Office; Elizabeth Zimmerman, Frackville, Treasurer’s Office; Justin Boudreaux, Orwigsburg, Clerk of Courts; Charles Bechtel, Pottsville, and Gabriella Bentz, Pottsville, Controller’s Office; and Richard Montone, Wayne Township, Register of Wills.

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