2010-02-13 / Potter County News

Potter County election workers get pay raise

Potter County election workers will receive a pay increase following action by the County Commissioners at Thursday’s business meeting.

An increase of $10 per poll worker per election was approved by Commissioners Doug Morley and Paul Heimel; Commissioner Susan Kefover was absent. Upon the recommendation of Sandy Lewis, director of voter registration and elections, the commissioners also adjusted the compensation brackets for election officers. Payment is made based on the number of votes counted. Brackets were changed from 150 votes or less, 151-400 and over 400 to 151-300 and over 300. Under Thursday’s action, judges of election will receive $60, $75 and $80 per election, while inspectors will receive $65, $70 and $75.

Lewis noted that the poll workers’ pay has not been increased since before she took office, in 2000, although they have occasionally been given premiums such as tote bags.

Heimel noted that the county is “fortunate to have poll workers to serve every year.” The workers must remain at the polls for an indefinite number of hours after 6 am on election day, with their duties sometimes extending into the early hours of the next morning, although those instances have been nearly eliminated with the use of electronic voting machines. Total cost of the poll workers’ pay increase to the county is $350.

Rent paid by the county to polling places was also increased from a range of $20 -$50 per polling place to $50.

In other matters, the Commissioners appointed Christian T. Mattie to represent the county in the lawsuit filed by Doris Rigas, appealing the assessment on her home, an apartment building and 104 acres. Mattie was retained at a rate of $140 per hour. Morley noted that county solicitor D. Bruce Cahilly is unable to represent the county in the litigation because he represents the Rigas family in another matter.

Purchase of several maintenance items was approved for the North Fork Dam site, with the cost partially funded by a Growing Greener Grant. Approved for purchase were a snow plow and installation from Bradco Supply at a cost of $5,570; a 2010 Kubota 4-Wheel Drive with front mounted mower, including delivery, from C.H. Waltz Sons/Howards Inc. at a cost of $16,062, a savings of 32.35% through the state contract process; a flat-bottom boat from Lime Lake Marine & RV at a cost of $1,307; a dump trailer from Foster’s Auto & Trailer Center, $6,990; and a storage shed from Mill Creek Plaza, $4,309. The commissioners noted that the Mill Creek quote was the second lowest of three received but that since the cost difference was minimal ($24) the recommendation was to purchase from the local vendor. Grant funds will cover $19,846 of the $39,399 total cost of the items.

Approval was granted to hire Dean Predmore to carry out duties in conjunction with the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant agreement signed by the commissioners in January. Responsibilities include identifying, visiting and obtaining gas well mapping information needed for 911 and first responders. The grant amount is $5,909; Predmore was hired for 350 hours at $12 per hour, plus 45 cents per mile for 3,798 miles.

Saskia Cohick was hired as a consultant to train emergency services personnel with the implementation of the Environmental Systems Research Institute data hardware for dispatching and training involving gas well sites and transportations systems handling products from these locations. Grant amount is $6,000.

All costs of both hirings will be reimbursed by the Pa. Emergency Management Agency. However, a question was raised regarding whether the county should have advertised to fill the positions. Morley responded that the hirings constitute professional services contracts; Heimel added that if there is found to be an advertising requirement, the county will comply.

Also on Thursday, Merle and Janice Clark were appointed to the Aging Advisory Council effective March 2010 through March 2013.

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