Last updated: March 09. 2014 11:33PM - 3468 Views
By - jandes@civitasmedia.com

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More than 300 employees who work in Luzerne County Court branches are undergoing a performance evaluation, said county Court Administrator Michael Shucosky .

Court officials decided to conduct periodic reviews in 2012 after about a decade with no mass evaluation. The court has its own personnel policy. The reviews allow managers and employees to address deficiencies and discuss improvements, Shucosky said.

“We use it as a constructive mechanism, rather than a punitive one,” he said.

• Employees in non-court branches supervised by the county manager will receive performance reviews this year, county Administrative Services Division Head Dave Parsnik told a council committee last week.

Council’s personnel code adopted in 2012 said workers should receive performance evaluations “as soon as reasonably possible,” but the administration held off to develop a review system.

The administration is seeking a consultant to analyze appropriate pay scales for the future awarding of pay raises if money becomes available. Parsnik said he would prefer to time the reviews to completion of this study but promised the reviews will be conducted in 2014.

• The salary for a county information technology director position vacant since October may be increased because of difficulty attracting applicants, Parsnik said. The position is advertised at $55,000 to $70,000 and may be bumped up to $65,000 to $85,000, Parsnik said.

• Four council committees will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council meeting room at the courthouse.

• The county election board also will meet at the same time and night in the second-floor courthouse jury room. Kingston resident Brian Shiner said he and other involved citizens can’t be in two places the same time and questioned why the election board often schedules its meetings the same time as council’s.

• Council Chairman Rick Morelli reprimanded Shiner for moving the podium in the council meeting room at last week’s committee meetings.

“Please understand that you or no other audience members have the right to interfere with the meeting set-up or have the right to relocate any county furniture,” Morelli wrote in an email to Shiner. “This council has been more then cooperative and receptive of citizen input. This behavior will NOT be tolerated any longer.”

Shiner’s email reply said council was repeatedly informed the podium was in an “awkward” position in the new seating configuration because it blocks some audience members from seeing some council members and forces speakers to turn their backs to the audience.

“One purpose of public meetings is so deliberation can take place in the open, unobstructed,” Shiner wrote, noting the podium is on wheels and was not damaged.

• Resumes for two vacant county positions are due March 17 — 911 executive director, which pays $60,000, and the executive secretary for engineering/road and bridge, which is listed between $28,000 and $32,000.

• Kathleen Washko was hired last month as a prison classification specialist for $35,000, according to the February personnel report.

District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis also hired Thomas Ratchford as a full-time assistant district attorney for $40,000. Court administration law clerk Chester Dudick also transferred from a $64,329 position as a court administration law clerk to the District Attorney’s Office, where he will work as a deputy district attorney for $57,253, the report said.

• Three employees retired last month, the report said. They are: Clerk of Courts administrative assistant Robert Scanlon, Aging Manager Carol Davis and prison corrections officer Lawrence Gorka.

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