Luzerne County’s search process for a home rule manager will be held up as a model for other county legislators across the country at a National Association of Counties conference in Pittsburgh today. The national organization representing county government geared one of its conference workshops on an examination of the county’s protocol to guide other counties who are considering hiring a full-time manager or administrator. Manager Robert Lawton and county council Chairman Jim Bobeck will travel to Pittsburgh today to lead the workshop. Bobeck said he will pay all of his own expenses. Lawton’s attendance at national county government conferences was part of his employment contract, Bobeck said. However, Lawton said Monday he is paying his own expenses to attend the conference. • County Councilmen Tim McGinley and Edward Brominski have surfaced as the top contenders for the council chair seat Bobeck is expected to vacate in coming weeks. Bobeck’s decision to step down isn’t a surprise because he said he would only serve as long as necessary when he took the leadership post in January. • Reports of summer layoffs have permeated the county government workforce, but the administration says no deficit-avoidance options will be laid out until Lawton presents his comprehensive mid-year financial assessment to council at its Aug. 7 public work session. • In their quest to learn more about outside boards and authorities that don’t get much public attention, county council members have asked Luzerne County Industrial Development Authority members to discuss their work and financing at Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. meeting at the Emergency Management Agency building, Water Street, Wilkes-Barre. • County council members will take their meeting on the road for the first time July 31 with a public session at the Luzerne County Community College, 1333 S. Prospect St., Nanticoke. The home rule charter says meetings may be held in different geographic areas throughout the county. • A public advertisement seeking a new county election director is expected in the near future. Acting clerk of courts Tom Pizano has temporarily filled the position since Leonard Piazza was terminated in April. Lawton will choose the new director but promised to seek considerable input from county election board members. • The latest property assessments have been posted on The Times Leader’s free online property assessment database at www.timesleader.com (click on the tax assess icon on the main page). • The administration continues to review options for a new computer software program for all financial and payroll records. The current provider -- Minnesota-based ACS Enterprise Solutions – is paid $28,000 per month. The administration publicly sought proposals to identify possible savings and system improvements. • County Council last week approved a Moon Lake Park master plan required to obtain future state funding for the county-owned Plymouth Township site. The plan is posted on the manager’s section of the county website at www.luzernecounty.org.