Lackawanna County Commissioners Introduce Ordinance To Raise Their Salary, Those Of Row Officers
SCOTT TWP. — Lackawanna County commissioners and the county’s elected row officers may get raises in 2020 and the three years following, which officials said would be the first increase for those positions since 2003.
At a Wednesday meeting held at the Scott Township Municipal Building, commissioners introduced an ordinance that, as proposed, would guarantee 4 percent raises in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 for commissioners, the county’s recorder of deeds, clerk of judicial records, sheriff, coroner, controller, treasurer and the register of wills.
Commissioners currently earn a base annual salary of $76,017, while the other row officers earn an annual base salary of $66,174.
The county last passed an ordinance boosting salaries for those positions in 1998. That ordinance, which didn’t take effect until 2000, guaranteed 4 percent raises in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003, county Chief Financial Officer Tom Durkin said.
Comparatively, the salaries of county union employees have increased by approximately 40 percent since 2003, Controller Gary DiBileo said.
Commissioner Laureen Cummings believes the row officers deserve raises but wants them to be less than 4 percent per year.
“I was thinking somewhere between 2 and 3 percent,” she said.
Arguing that row officers’ salaries in several other of the state’s third-class counties are higher than in Lackawanna, Recorder of Deeds Evie Rafalko McNulty said she thinks 4 percent raises are fair. Coroner Timothy Rowland and Register of Wills Fran Kovaleski agreed.
Commissioners plan to vote on the ordinance at a special meeting that has not yet been set.
In other business Wednesday, commissioners:
• Introduced an ordinance enabling the county to enter into a “forward interest rate hedge,” a financial process by which the county can achieve a lower interest rate, 3.3 percent, on a series of 2010 bonds that it can’t refinance until 2020. Officials expect the process to save the county about $2 million over the life of the bonds, Durkin said.
• Unanimously approved $65,895 in repairs to the Lackawanna County Children’s Library. Repairs, which include refinishing the main library floor and children’s bathrooms, among others, will be made with a portion of $15 million the county borrowed earlier this year.
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Old Forge restaurateur to run Charl-Mont
Lackawanna County has finally found someone to run a new version of the Charl-Mont Restaurant at the former Globe store in Scranton.
After releasing two requests for proposals in recent months seeking such an operator, county commissioners on Wednesday approved a $1,500-per-month lease with Gino Majewski of Old Forge. In his proposal, Majewski notes that he and his family have “been in the restaurant and food servicing business for generations.” One of those restaurants was the former Pelosi’s Pizza of Old Forge, he said.
Majewski will lease the restaurant space, located on the first floor of the Lackawanna County Government Center at the Globe, for three years and has agreed to an additional three-year extension at an increased monthly rate that has yet to be determined.
Majewski’s menu will likely consist of things that county employees and guests of the Globe can grab quickly, such as soups and sandwiches. The restaurant will serve both breakfast and lunch items, and will offer “a very affordable special daily,” he said.
It’s unclear when the new Charl-Mont will open at the Globe.
— JEFF HORVATH