Juniata County Commissioners establish wages for Children and Youth Services employees

MIFFLINTOWN – The Juniata County Commissioners met Tuesday morning to take action on a number of new business items.

During the meeting, the board:

Reviewed the November 2013 Change in Assessment Report as submitted by Jeff Haines, chief assessor; November 2013 Juniata County Children and Youth Statistical Report submitted by Penni Abram, Children and Youth director; Juniata County Treasurer’s November 2013 monthly report, submitted by Sandra King, treasurer; Juniata County Sheriff Department’s November 2013 monthly reports, submitted by Thomas Lyter, sheriff; and November 2013 Summary of Collections Report – Fines and Costs, submitted by Barbara M. Lyter, magisterial district judge.

Ratified the county’s Children and Youth Social Service Programs Certification Statement of receipts and expenditures for July 1 through Sept. 30, prepared by Robyn Ventresca, fiscal assistant.

Ratified Juniata County Hazardous Materials check No. 1,179 in the amount of $39.99 to Witmer Public Safety Group for foam trailer parts.

Approved requests for Open Space Legacy Funds for Walker Township in the amount of $5,556.91 and Beale Township in the amount of $1,684.53.

Approved tax exonerations for Walker Township.

Approved the reappointment of Jeffrey A. Zimmerman to the county Industrial Development Authority for a five-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2018.

Approved the Juvenile Court Judges Commission Grant-in-Aid Award Notification in the amount of $31,097 as submitted by Michelle Beaver, chief probation officer.

Approved the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Community Service grant application, subgrant No. 24,989, as submitted by Beaver.

Tabled the Agreement for Shared Services and Technology between Juniata and Perry counties regarding the construction of a new public safety communications tower. The location of the tower is Tuscarora Mountain. The recommendation was submitted by Allen Weaver, emergency services director.

Approved the collective bargaining agreement with the Service Employers International Union Local 668 for the contract term Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2016.

Approved checks Nos. 38,955 to 39,011 in the amount of $119,061.20.

After the regular meeting, Commissioner Jeffrey Zimmerman called to order a meeting of the salary board. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a salary for the Children and Youth Services director and caseworker supervisor.

Commissioner Robert Reynolds made a motion to approve a salary proposal prepared by Zimmerman. The proposal recommended a 2013 salary of $47,502 for the current director, who has more than 25 years of service with the county. This salary would be raised to $48,027.06 in 2014; $50,394.87 in 2015; and $51,906.72 in 2016. Zimmerman said the proposal is retroactive to the date of the director’s hire and represents 120 percent of the salary of the highest paid caseworker.

Commissioner Teresa O’Neal questioned the proposal, stating that the director received more than a 17 percent increase after public action by the salary board in April. Based on the proposal, the director would receive a 23 percent increase in pay overall, she said.

Reynolds said isolating the percentage difference is out of the context of the board’s decisions. He said the board’s goal is to establish a set of salary figures consistent with other department heads and contrasted to other established wages.

The motion passed with a 3-1 vote. Zimmerman, Reynolds and Treasurer Sandra King voted in favor of the motion while O’Neal voted in opposition.

O’Neal made the same case for the caseworker supervisor, whose position received a 9.8 percent raise upon hire in May and was slated to receive a 15.8 percent raise overall, according to her calculations.

A motion passed with the same vote result to establish a 2013 salary of $43,543.50 for the supervisor, who has more than eight years of service to the county. The salary will be raised to $44,849.81 in 2014; $46,195.30 in 2015; and $47,581.16 in 2016. This is 110 percent of the salary of the highest paid caseworker, according to the proposal.