Synchronization of Luzerne County government payroll set for completion Oct. 1

By Jennifer Learn-Andes -
Luzerne County Courthouse -

The conversion of all 1,400 Luzerne County government employees to the same payroll schedule is among county Manager C. David Pedri’s new 90-day goals.

About 40 percent of workers are paid in advance for time they have not yet worked, which means errors must be corrected after the fact.

The administration had planned to complete the payroll synchronization by June 30 through its contract with human resources management company ADP.

However, the budget/finance division encountered some issues and opted to delay the switch to “make sure it is done right,” Pedri told council last week.

Impacted workers will have to forego compensation for the number of days they are paid in advance. The administration has said it will provide ample notice to help employees prepare.

More goals

Pedri said he added the 90-day goals to encourage division heads to focus on at least four projects a year.

Among the latest goals set for completion Oct. 1: community development office review and approval of $15 million in infrastructure improvement projects to be covered by a business development loan fund that is no longer in high demand; election poll worker training on the use of 220 electronic poll books purchased this year from Election Systems & Software for $324,802; and launching of a human service program focused on vulnerable young adults under age 22.

The law division also plans to finalize management’s switch to an electronic contract approval process aimed at cutting back on paper and time wasted delivering packets to various offices.

A prison population analysis also is planned by the public defender’s office to come up with measures to further reduce the inmate count, Pedri’s report said.

• Jobs posted

The county is publicly advertising a planning and zoning executive director position vacated by the recent resignation of James Ferry.

The salary range is $55,000 to $65,000, according to the posting on the job opportunities section of the county website at Resumes are due July 26.

A $45,000 planning/zoning analyst and transportation planner position paying $48,000 to $53,000 annually also have been advertised.

• Unused county properties

Council members postponed a vote authorizing the manager to auction a batch of unused, county-owned properties because they want the administration to come up with proposed minimum bids for each.

If the auction plan is ultimately approved, the assessor’s office will inform adjacent owners of listed properties in case they are interested in bidding, Pedri said.

• Budget reports

Councilwoman Linda McClosky Houck’s resolution mandating a format for monthly division-level budget reports was postponed at last week’s council meeting, but she is still pressing to get the format in writing.

A council majority opted to hold off on her resolution for two reasons: the administration agreed to make the change without a mandate, and council Chairman Tim McGinley said such a change should be incorporated into the administrative code instead of passing as a separate resolution.

McClosky Houck said the resolution could cement the format until a pending committee review of the entire administrative code is completed and presented to council, which may take months.

Her post-meeting email said she wants to introduce an ordinance amending the code to add the report format now instead of waiting.

Luzerne County Courthouse County Courthouse

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.