Luzerne County Council may approve sale of West Pittston house Wednesday

Luzerne County Council has scheduled a special meeting Wednesday night to adopt a resolution regarding the sale of county-owned property in West Pittston.

The agenda says further details will be provided in a meeting handout, but several council members said the property is a house at 1200 Susquehanna Ave., West Pittston.

The county acquired the property earlier this year as part of its settlement of 2018 litigation filed by Richard and Kimberly Hazzouri that argued the couple was wrongly prevented from participating in a flood buyout program

The settlement awarded $650,000 for the property—$585,000 from the county community development office, $50,000 from the county’s insurance carrier and $15,000 from West Pittston’s insurance carrier. Since the settlement was separated from a flood buyout that would require demolition, the county is free to sell the property to recoup some of the money lost paying the settlement.

County officials also want to sell the property so it does not have to be maintained by the county.

Wednesday’s meeting starts at 5 pm in the county courthouse on River Street in Wilkes-Barre. Instructions to attend the meeting remotely are posted under the council’s online meeting link at luzernecounty.org.

Children and Youth

After interviewing applicants, the county is once again advertising the Children and Youth administrator position, according to an online posting.

Applications are due Jan. 5. More information on the position is available under the human resources department career opportunities section at luzernecounty.org.

The position is still advertised at $85,000 to $90,000.

The county administration had increased to that range in October after the first two rounds at lower ranges had not yielded a recommended permanent director, officials had said. The agency has been managed by acting administrators since the county terminated former administrator Joanne Van Saun in July 2021 due to the criminal charges against her.

In addition to increasing the administrator salary range, the county had restored a second Children and Youth deputy position to make the top oversight position more attractive to qualified applicants, officials have said.

prison overseer

Due to the holiday season, the county administration has switched to an indefinite application deadline for the vacant correctional services division head position.

Under the original job posting, applications were due Tuesday. The new solicitation says the position will remain open until it is filled.

As reported a week ago, the position is open because Mark Rockovich retired after nearly 32 years of employment at the county prison.

Rockovich had received $87,872 annually in the position, which is posted at a range of $83,000 to $87,000.

Although the county manager nominates applicants for the eight division head positions under the home rule charter, council confirmation is required for these hirings.

John Robshaw has been serving as acting prison system overseer since the end of September. Robshaw had been promoted to prison deputy warden in February. Sam Hyder had resigned as deputy warden in November 2021 after nearly five years as second-in-command.

More open management positions

Several other management-level positions remain on the county’s job site as “open until filled.” These openings, along with the annual compensation or pay range:

• Election director, $64,500

• Information technology director, $85,000 to $90,000

• Human services program director, $70,000 to $75,000

• Road and bridge supervisor, $45,000 to $48,500

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

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