Commissioners looking at employee work hours
BY STACI WILSON
Although new faces are joining the ranks of the courthouse staff, the county commissioners focused their attention at the Wednesday, Sept. 12 meeting, on the number of hours each week those new employees were hired to work.
The commissioners acknowledged the hiring of Jonathan Cronk by Prothonotary Susan Eddleston as the Second Deputy Prothonotary; and Ankur Kanti Patel, Esq., by President Judge Kenneth Seamans, as the Judicial Law Clerk.
The position in the prothonotary’s office is slated to work 37.5 hours per week; and the judicial clerk was hired to work 32.5 hours per week.
Commissioner MaryAnn Warren called the less than 40 hour per week positions into question.
“How come we are still filling positions at 37.5 hours?”Warrenasked.
Commissioner Alan Hall said that the County Salary Board had recently created the Second Deputy Prothonotary position with those hours. The three commissioners, as well as the county treasurer, serve on the salary board.
Commissioner Michael Giangrieco said the hours would have to be reviewed based on the current union contract.
Warrensaid she would like that to happen and then questioned the 32.5 hours for the judicial law clerk’s position.
Hall said, “I think this needs to be a continuing discussion.”
In recent meetings, the commissioners have discussed the need to have courthouse employees working 40-hour work weeks, in an effort to reduce county staffing needs to handle regular, weekly workloads in the departments.
The commissioners acknowledged the Aug. 24 termination of Sami Bourizk from juvenile probation by President Judge Kenneth Seamans.
Michael Harlost was hired by Register/Recorder Mary Evans to a part-time clerical position.
EMACoordinator Robert Stoud was appointed by the commissioners to serve as the applicant agent for Tropical Storm Lee, Hurricane Irene, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program update and the HMGP Buy Out.
Prior to accepting public comment, Hall reported on developments regarding theSusquehannaCounty4-H program.
The commissioners expected to receive an operating budget fromPennStatelast week that included funds for a 4-H Educator forSusquehannaCounty.
Warrensaid that she had asked that the funds be available to have a 4-H Educator hired by Nov. 1.
It was also reported that bookkeeping services will be combined to handle the four-county region.
Hall also said that mandated updates to 911 would cost the county over $400,000 to upgrade the communication center.
He said that the county is looking into sharing the hardware and software servers withLackawannaandWaynecounties.
Hall said funding from the federal or state governments for the upgrades would probably be limited and PEMA was working with groups that are combining services.
Audience member Edna Paskoff asked when the commissioners would begin to work on the 2013 budget and if any public hearings regarding the budget would be held.
Hall said departments have been sent information to begin working on their parts of the budget.
He also said that the budget would be discussed in meetings but that no public hearings would be held. Once the preliminary budget is adopted by the commissioners, it will be available for public review in the Chief Clerk’s office.
Vera Scroggins asked the commissioners to report on any discussions they have had regarding issues related natural gas development with elected representatives.
Hall said that he has had conversations relating the concerns to State Rep. Sandra Major regarding legislation and state agencies that regulate the industry.