Luzerne County Manager Robert Lawton’s newly released December personnel transactions report is longer than usual because it includes 34 layoffs.
Eleven attorneys were furloughed because the county solicitor’s office is now handling the representation of defendants when assistant public defenders have a conflict. The elimination of these attorneys — known as conflict counsel — from the court will save a net $100,000 annually, Lawton said.
The following conflict counsel attorneys were furloughed: Mark Bufalino, Robert Buttner, Mark Deady, Paul Galante, John Hakim, Allyson Kacmarski, Matthew Kelly, Thomas Marsilio, John Pike, Hugh Taylor and Jeffrey Yelen, the report said.
• The remaining workers were furloughed as part of a plan to close a $1.4 million 2014 budget deficit: Debra Miller, election bureau; Christina Polomchak, mapping; Doris Macynski, purchasing; Henry O’Dell, IT; Ann Marie Sedeski, licensing; Heidi Franco and Bobby Zaremba, assessors; Carl Lisowski and Donald Edwards, budget/finance; Matthew Calabro, deeds; Barbara Majorana, wills; Nancy Defluri and Ashley Ferretti, prothonotary; Anthony Kochanski and Nicole Trout, clerk of courts; Gloria Reilly, building/grounds; Roger Monroe and Edward Macosky, road/bridge; Alan Nice, security; Rena Roberts, community development; and three per diem sheriff deputies — Brian Travis, Charles Rauschkolb and Jocelyn Wadzin.
• Nine county employees retired in December: probation officer Dorothy Cappellini; road/bridge foreman Kenneth McDaniels, building and grounds maintenance worker/carpenter Edward Paradis, Planning/Zoning Executive Director Adrian Merolli, prison captain James Pugh, prison correctional officers Mark Kimsel and Joseph Cook, security officer Michael Lieback and treasurer’s account executive Loyanne Macarty.
• County Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council meeting room at the courthouse, with a packed agenda that includes discussion on reopening the 2014 budget and introduction of an ordinance reversing the switch to in-house county tax collection.
The county’s 69 elected tax collectors have offered to drop their litigation challenging elimination of their duties in exchange for the county’s agreement to pay them a reduced rate to continue collecting county taxes.
• New Council Chairman Rick Morelli also plans to discuss his proposal to restructure council meetings and create council committees to review information before it comes to council for a vote. His 30-page proposal is attached to the meeting agenda at www.luzernecounty.org.
• Councilwoman Kathy Dobash has requested a vote Tuesday to seek proposals for a stenographer to prepare verbatim meeting minutes. The proposals will give council members an idea of the cost.
Verbatim meeting minutes were praised by many under the prior commissioner system, but the minutes were prepared in-house because commissioner meetings were usually significantly shorter than home rule council meetings. The three commissioners also each had an administrative assistant to help transcribe recordings of meetings, while the 11-member council has one clerk.