County works out 4-H deal

BY STACI WILSON

The county has worked out a deal with Penn State involving the 4-H program after several months of negotiation, Commissioner Alan Hall announced at the Oct. 24 meeting.

The agreement will once again provide for a 4-H educator position with the county funding the position for three years.

Hall said the county has also agreed to pay the costs of one administrative support position at the Extension office for 2013.

Commissioner Michael Giangrieco abstained from the vote. He said that although he was not opposed to the move, he had not yet had a chance to read the agreement.

Hall said that Penn State had decided to regionalize the bookkeeping for the programs in an effort to be more efficient.

Commissioner MaryAnn Warren said that although the county had only received the agreement from Penn State the day prior to the meeting, she wanted to act on it quickly so the search for a 4-H educator could begin.

Earlier in the year, the county had sent out termination letters to two of the administrative support employees in the Extension office. Although the two positions were in the Penn State Cooperative Extension Office, they are currently county employees.

The salary board voted to eliminate the county positions of Cooperative Extension Secretary/Computer Contact and Cooperative Extension Office Manager/Secretary, effective Dec. 31. Giangrieco also abstained from both of those votes.

As part of the agreement, for the 4-H educator position, the county will pay $41,383 in 2013, with annual increases in 2014 and 2015.

The county will also pay $38,313 in 2013 to fund the administrative support position that will remain in the Cooperative Extension office.

A vote to increase the salary for the county solicitor to  $35,000 with no benefits due to “increased responsibilities” hung in abstention. Giangrieco abstained. And County Treasurer Cathy Benedict said she would have liked to look at the proposal prior to the meeting.

Benedict asked what the increased responsibilities entailed.

Warren said he was developing a policy for department heads concerning right-to-know requests and that there are “many more things on the table now” that require handling by the solicitor.

Amanda Wilston, Hop Bottom, is leaving her position in Voter Registration and has taken the position of Deputy Chief Clerk, effective Oct. 25.

Brian Hinkley and Bill Kelley were appointed to fill vacancies on the county’s economic development advisory. Hinkley’s term expires at the end of this year. Kelley’s term runs until Dec. 31, 2013.