WILKES-BARRE — Luzerne County Manager Robert Lawton has nominated county assistant engineer Christopher Belleman to head the Division of Operational Services.
If approved by county council, Belleman will be responsible for: engineering; the construction and/or maintenance of roads and bridges; parks and recreation; solid waste/recycling; environmental projects; planning and zoning; emergency management; emergency communications; the care, maintenance and security of buildings and grounds; and other duties as assigned.
The position is budgeted at a maximum salary of $85,000, and Lawton recommended a $75,000 salary. It was advertised in the $70,000 to $85,000 range.
“Chris has an outstanding record of experience in both the public and private sectors,” Lawton said, explaining his choice to submit to county council for consideration. “He’s been part of Luzerne County since 2007 and has performed at the highest levels of skill under some of the most demanding conditions — weather-related or technically challenging.”
Belleman, of Kingston, is a graduate of the University of Houston, Clarkson University and Broome Community College. A licensed professional engineer, he was hired in Luzerne County as assistant county engineer with 30 years experience.
In the agenda item Lawton will submit to council recommending Belleman’s appointment, he notes that Belleman has diverse experience as a civil/structural engineer working on government and commercial buildings, related structures, roads, bridges and other public works projects. And, he’s experienced at project management for a diverse mix of architectural/engineering design and construction projects.
In addition to his engineering work, Lawton said, Belleman has also demonstrated the following skills: fiscal management of contracts, contract compliance, budget preparation, management of budgets and schedules, performance measurement, delegation of assignments and coordination of technical and project resources.
The position was advertised nationally and posted on the county website. Five of the 26 applications most fully met minimum qualifications and were forwarded to a three-member review panel, which forwarded two candidates to Lawton.
On the basis of the candidates’ professional preparation, training and relevant experience, Lawton chose Belleman, he said.
Eight county divisions were created under the home rule charter. Six of Lawton’s division head nominees were confirmed by council so far, but the Budget and Financial Services Division Head, Richard Cardamone, resigned after a few weeks.
The division head slots remaining to be filled include Budget and Financial Services, Human Services and Operational Services. Council will consider Belleman’s nomination at its July 9 meeting.