Contract with Luzerne County manager Pedri still being negotiated

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - jandes@timesleader.com
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A new employment contract for Luzerne County Manager C. David Pedri is not on council’s Tuesday meeting agenda, but it may be added that night if a proposed agreement is recommended, officials said.

Council Vice Chairman Eugene Kelleher, head of an ad-hoc council committee negotiating the agreement, said Friday that discussions with Pedri are ongoing and “positive.”

If a tentative agreement is reached, Kelleher said the committee will brief the full 11-member council at an executive session before Tuesday’s meeting and then decide if it will advance to the public session for consideration and a vote.

Kelleher said he wants Pedri to stay and remain manager.

“You can find mistakes with anyone, but I believe he’s doing an effective job,” Kelleher said.

Pedri, 39, of Butler Township, marked his two-year anniversary as the county’s second non-interim manager in May. Hired at a salary of $120,000, the agreement expiring the end of this year provided 2 percent raises in 2017 and 2018, bringing his current compensation to $124,848.

Council Chairman Tim McGinley said he created the ad-hoc committee because the negotiations involve confidential personnel matters and it is the first time a manager contract renewal has come up since the county’s January 2012 switch to a voter-approved home rule structure.

Robert Lawton, the first manager, never pressed for renewal of the agreement approved when he was hired in February 2012. That agreement provided $110,000 annually, membership in various government professional organizations, attendance at two annual organization conferences and access to a county vehicle for employment-related travel.

Lawton resigned from the manager position in December 2015.

Kelleher and Pedri have declined to discuss the compensation increase under consideration or other negotiation details.

The charter says the manager’s salary can’t exceed the elected district attorney’s compensation or be less than 55 percent of the district attorney’s salary, which is $179,299 this year, according to the county position budget. That means the manager must receive more than $98,614.

Under home rule, the manager approves many contracts, oversees day-to-day operations and hires and fires workers in most departments. The county has a $300 million budget, with human service branches included, 1,400 workers and more than 50 departments.

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. and is on-the-road in the Educational Conference Center at Luzerne County Community College, 1333 S. Prospect St. in Nanticoke. A work session will follow.

Work session topics include a new investment policy.

McGinley said the county receives real estate tax payments early in the year but holds on to some of the funds to pay debt and other bills later in the year. The policy would set parameters to temporarily invest these funds to generate maximum revenue.

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https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL091318Pedri2-2.jpgPedri

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

jandes@timesleader.com

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

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