Pension board schedules meeting
BY STACI WILSON
At the request of County Treasurer Cathy Benedict, the commissioners agreed to schedule a special Pension Board meeting. The meeting will be held Friday, Aug. 3,9 a.m.in the commissioners’ meeting room in the courthouse.
Benedict made the request during the July 21 county commissioners’ meeting. She said she was concerned no one was working for or looking out for the county’s assets.
In a board meeting held earlier this year that Benedict was unable to attend, the remainder of the board – the three commissioners and Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer – voted to terminate financial advisors The Seneca Group.
Benedict has railed against the board’s move in the months since – most recently calling into question proposed contracts from a different investment manager the board was set to act on at the July 11 Pension Board meeting.
At that meeting, Benedict said the proposed fund moves were similar to what the county did when it suffered an $8 million loss from its retirement fund. The board then tabled the items regarding the retirement fund and did not revisit the proposed changes at the July 25 meeting.
Benedict cited the volatile economy and told the commissioners, “It’s irresponsible to just sit on our hands.”
“You terminated a consultant with no cause,” Benedict said, “based on misstatements and misunderstandings.”
Commissioner Michael Giangrieco agreed that a special meeting was needed but felt it could not be held after Wednesday’s meeting because proper notice of it had not been published.
The commissioners hired Jonathan Allen, doing business as ‘Been Here and There Computer Systems,” effective Dec. 1, to a four-year contract to provide the county with IT management, services and administration.
According to Commissioner Alan Hall, Allen’s company will have more staff than the county’s current IT provider.
In the first year of the contract, the county will pay $180,000 with the contract prices increasing each year. In the final contract year, the county will be paying $192,425 for IT services.
The commissioners also exonerated the Tax Claim Bureau from collecting delinquent taxes on two parcels.
The exonerated parcels include a trailer in Bridgewater Twp. in the name of George Perris on Cundy land, assessed at $3800. The trailer was exonerated from the tax rolls by the assessment office on July 12 as razed. Total to be exonerated is $326.16.
The other parcel is located in Great Bend Twp., is a trailer in 3 Ponds Mobile Home Park in the name of Jaime and Sheldon Whitman, assessed at $1000. The trailer was exonerated as gone from the assessment rolls in January. Total to be exonerated is $343.15.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, audience member Bruce Paskoff asked Commissioner Michael Giangrieco if county solicitor Thomas Meagher was an associate in his private law firm and whether or not (Giangrieco) considered that a conflict of interest.
The commissioner said he was not a part of the hiring of Meagher as the solicitor. And that although the attorney worked from his office, he wasn’t certain Meagher is an “associate.”
Paskoff said that Meagher was listed as an “associate” in an advertisement placed in an April edition of a local shopping guide.
The commissioners were also asked by an audience member to provide an update on 4-H and Penn State Extension in the county.
CountyCommissionerAlan Hall said a meeting had been scheduled withPennState’s senior leadership in August about the matter.
Susan Oliver, spokesperson for WPX, said the company was concerned about what is happening with 4-H, saying the company has worked with the organization in the past and looks forward to working with it in the future.