Luzerne County Manager Pedri’s contract renewal added to tonight’s council agenda

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - jandes@timesleader.com
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Luzerne County Council is set to vote tonight on a four-year employment agreement with county Manager C. David Pedri, although the proposed salary raises have not yet been released, according to a revised meeting agenda posted at www.luzernecounty.org.

Pedri’s current agreement expires the end of this year. A former county chief solicitor, the 39-year-old Butler Township resident was hired as the county’s second non-interim manager under the home rule government structure in May 2016.

He was hired at $120,000 and received 2 percent raises in 2017 and 2018, for a current salary of $124,848.

Tonight’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. and is preceded by an executive session. The meeting will be at the Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke.

According to the proposed resolution, council must set the manager’s salary through a resolution.

The lines were left blank for council to insert the salary that will be paid to Pedri on Jan. 1, 2019, and the raises he will receive on Jan. 1 in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

It says other terms and conditions will be contained in “extension of employment agreement offer letter” that was not posted.

Several county officials have stressed that the agreement does not force the manager to stay — or council to keep him — for a set period of time. Pedri would be free to resign, and council retains the power to terminate.

An ad-hoc council committee has been handling the negotiations with Pedri, but a majority of the 11-member body must approve the compensation and other terms for them to take effect.

Council Chairman Tim McGinley said he created the 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.

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.

The meeting is at the Educational Conference Center at the college, 1333 S. Prospect St. in Nanticoke.

Check back this evening for an update.

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https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL091318Pedri2-3.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.