Friday, July 11, 2014

Holiday display will make its return

September 29. 2013 11:05PM

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The December holiday season came up twice during last week’s Luzerne County Council meeting.

County Councilman Harry Haas said several citizens have asked if the county will restore the seasonal display on the courthouse lawn this year.

The display was canceled last year due to an exterior courthouse construction project and September 2011 flood damage to the nativity and some other display items that had been stored in the courthouse sub-basement.

County Manager Robert Lawton said after the meeting the display will be up this season.

Councilman Edward Brominski brought up a request for council donations toward the purchase of the courthouse Christmas tree, saying the money may not be needed because council candidate Mike Giamber has offered to donate a tree.

Lawton said he is donating $200 toward the tree and tree-lighting ceremony.

• The county received proposals from 10 professional recruiters interested in finding applicants for several vacant management positions, Lawton said.

The chosen recruiter must round up a list of qualified candidates for the budget and finance, human services and operational services division head positions, and staffers are reviewing the proposals, he said.

“We hope to move with a quick engagement to fill these important positions,” Lawton said.

• The county has started posting Right-to-Know requests and information supplied in response to them under the Right-to-Know section of the county website, Chief Solicitor C. David Pedri said the public information furnished through these requests may be of interest to the general public.

• Citizens Brian Shiner and Ed Chesnovitch told council last week they were disturbed to discover the county Redevelopment Authority pre-voted on agenda matters by email and then later ratified the votes at a recent public meeting.

The men said the email voting violates open meeting law requirements, and Shiner has submitted a Right-to-Know request to the authority seeking its emails.

Councilwoman Linda McClosky Houck suggested the county release a summary sheet or hold a seminar for authority and board members so they understand state Sunshine Act requirements.

• The council committee overseeing outside boards and authorities will meet at 6 in the council meeting room at the courthouse tonight. Discussion items will include county Councilman Stephen J. Urban’s proposal to ban school, county and municipal elected officials from serving on county boards and authorities unless such appointments are required by law.

Urban said his proposal will eliminate any appearance of politics in appointments and prevent elected officials from spreading themselves too thin when they have responsibilities to their constituents.

But Councilman Rick Morelli said the county has had a “tough time” finding volunteers to serve on boards. He said elected officials may be retired with more free time. Anyone elected to office is technically a politician, and all politicians are not bad, he said.

• The county Election Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow in the council meeting room at the courthouse.

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