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Commissioners hold a moment of silence for Vatavuk

February 6, 2019

The Somerset County commissioners started their meeting Tuesday with a moment of silence honoring the late Commissioner John P. Vatavuk.

It was the first meeting since Vatavuk lost his battle with cancer on Jan. 27.

Commissioner Gerald Walker said that President Judge D. Gregory Geary will appoint a new Democrat to fill the remainder of Vatavuk’s term. Vatavuk was elected to a third, four-year term in 2015.

“The appointment comes from the same party as the outgoing commissioner,” Walker said.

Deadlines for the appointment were not released Tuesday.

In other business, the board paid $1,407,218.88 in bills and approved the following personnel actions:

Resignations/separations from employment:

Area Agency on Aging: Mollie Walker, of Friedens, accountant I, effective Feb. 8.Children & Youth Services: Caleb Leonard, of Somerset, caseworker I, effective Feb. 4.Clerk of courts: Zora Naron, of Rockwood, clerk, effective Jan. 25.County 911: William Grasser, of Somerset, communications officer, effective Feb. 1.Taxassessment: Charlene Wright, of Rockwood, data collector, effective April 5.

New employees:

Adult probation: Jonathan Thomas, of Hooversville, probation officer I, $27,239, effective Feb. 19.Children & Youth Services: Kayla Dusack, of Homer City, caseworker I, $25,000, effective Feb. 11.County jail: Joe Brown, of Rockwood, and David Krouse, of Windber, part-time correctional officer, $15.07 per hour, effective Feb. 11.Court administrator: Daniel Mickey, of Somerset, court officer, $12.09 per hour, effective Feb. 11.Entrepreneurship & Innovation Department: Joseph Fetzer, of Johnstown, director, $51,500, effective Feb. 6.

Salary board:

Trail: Voted to replace the position of trail maintenance coordinator with the position of director of parks and trails at a starting salary of $45,000, effective Jan. 29.

County jail: Set the 2019 hourly rate for part-time correctional officer at $15.07 (37 cents per hour increase), effective Jan. 1; increased the salaries for all employees covered by the United Mine Workers of America/jail contract by 2.5 percent, effective Jan. 1.

District attorney: Set the starting salary for detective at $30,000, effective Feb. 4.Public defender: Set the starting salary for assistant public defender at $32,000 and approved an additional $500 for the assistantpublic defender tasked with treatment court responsibilities.

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