Luzerne County’s new manager search committee holds first meeting

At its first meeting on Wednesday, the Luzerne County Manager Search Committee set a target date of February 1 to research, select and recommend qualified candidates for managers to the county council for consideration.

The seven-member citizens’ committee presented the screening because the last research committee met in December 2015 and held its last meeting in April 2016. If the new committee follows the previous practice, at least four weeks would be allocated. to candidates to submit their curriculum vitae. .

This timeline makes it clear that the next county director will be selected by the reorganized council sitting in January. At least two new board members will be elected on Nov. 2, and the number could go up to five if the incumbents lose. A replacement for city councilor Walter Griffith is also due to be appointed in early 2022 if he wins his bid as county comptroller general.

The search committee voted unanimously on Wednesday to appoint Chris Hackett as chair to oversee meetings and set agendas.

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Ray Wendolowski has been selected as vice-chair and will act as committee spokesperson.

Alec Ryncavage has been appointed secretary to manage files and financial matters.

Sherri Homanko, Rick Morelli, Brian D. O’Donnell and Patrick Patte are also on the committee.

In preparing for the research, committee members agreed that it would be useful to ask for feedback on the position of County Council Director, former County Director C. David Pedri, and former committee members. researchers Carmen Ambrosino, Gene A. Camoni, Michael Giamber, Gerard O ‘Donnell and Christopher Slusser.

The committee plans to invite them all to its next meeting on September 30. He also scheduled meetings on October 7 and 21 to continue discussing the job description, advertising plans and budget. The board has allocated $ 5,000 to the committee to carry out its work.

While the board hires the director, the county’s charter of autonomy requires the external committee to “recommend the candidates it deems most qualified.” The drafters of the charter argued that the involvement of an independent committee early in the process would make the selection more impartial and less vulnerable to political intervention.

The committee discussed the possibility of concentrating its advertising spending for the position in the mid-Atlantic region, although applicants from anywhere in the country would be considered.

The committee cannot advertise until the county council has decided how much compensation it is prepared to pay.

Council Chairman Tim McGinley said he and his colleagues needed to make a decision quickly. He personally thinks the board should come up with a range, but not as wide as last time around.

In the last research, the council ended up reverting to the wording of the charter, which says that the salary cannot exceed the remuneration of the elected district attorney or be less than 55% of the salary of the district attorney, which was $ 175,572 in 2015. As a result, the manager position was advertised at $ 96,565 to $ 175,572.

Critics said an unusually wide salary range may have deterred applicants.

If the board relies on the charter range again, the position would be advertised from $ 102,116 to $ 185,665, which is the DA’s current pay according to county officials.

Pedri, who resigned in July, had been hired at $ 120,000 and has gone up to annual pay of $ 137,333 this year. Romilda Crocamo is the acting director.

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