Luzerne County authority term limits proposed

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - jandes@timesleader.com
Brominski -

Term limits for citizens serving on Luzerne County authorities and the county Community College Board of Trustees will be discussed at Tuesday’s county council meeting.

Councilman Edward Brominski proposed limiting terms earlier this month when council filled 33 seats on county boards with a mix of newcomers and current members.

Members of county municipal authorities serve five-year terms under the state Municipal Authorities Act, but there is no state limit on the number of terms.

Citizens appointed to the community college serve six-year terms, with no limits, according to its by-laws, council’s agenda said.

Council’s proposed ordinance suggests allowing only two consecutive terms. County officials did not have a list of current members who would be barred from reappointment if this limit is imposed.

The county has seven authorities: Flood Protection, Housing, Industrial Development, Redevelopment, Transportation, Convention Center and Northeastern Pennsylvania Hospital and Education.

Other county boards and commissions were not included in the proposed term-limit requirement, in part because some have difficulty attracting applicants.

The county’s home rule charter implemented in January 2012 limits county council members to three consecutive terms.

Another proposed legal settlement also is on the work session agenda, continuing last year’s push to close more cases to avoid the expense and risk of proceeding to trial, according to the agenda posted at www.luzernecounty.org.

The latest potential settlement involves Tyler Price, who filed a writ in January 2017 intending to sue the county and county Children and Youth.

Price was placed in foster care in October 2007, when he was 7, the agenda said. He maintained he should have been removed from foster care placements due to alleged abuse and that the county failed to follow its policies to ensure his safety, it said.

The settlement was not disclosed because the administration insists the amount does not have to be released until the voting meeting. If council rejects the settlement, the matter would proceed to litigation.

Another settlement is scheduled for a vote Tuesday, as opposed to discussion only.

This litigation was filed in 2011 by Frances Lombardo, who alleged he was assaulted by two county prison guards in 2009 and 2011 without provocation and that his requests for treatment were ignored by prison officials at that time.

A proposed tax break for a project in Hanover Township and Nanticoke also is up for a vote Tuesday.

Missouri-based NorthPoint Development, which brought online pet-supply retailer Chewy.com to Hanover Township, is seeking a tax break for development on approximately 330 mine-scarred acres it plans to purchase from the nonprofit Earth Conservancy.

The partially wooded tract runs along Route 29 on the east side and will connect to the new South Valley Parkway that is under construction. It is also accessible from Kosciuszko Street near the Lexington Village residential development and across from Luzerne County Community College, maps show.

NorthPoint is seeking exemption on new construction but not the land under a program known as the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assessment, or LERTA.

Council is considering full exemption in the first seven years, 90 percent in the eighth year, 80 percent in the ninth and 70 percent in the 1oth and final year.

Brent Miles, NorthPoint’s economic development vice president, told county council his company plans to construct three buildings over three years with the following square footage: 1.3 million, 307,000 and 507,000.

He provided a low estimate of 1,300 to 1,500 new jobs at the new site but said it could be 2,000 to 3,000. Miles said he can’t speculate on the types of tenants or jobs that may be attracted because he won’t launch marketing until he knows the specifics of the tax-break package.

Brominski
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_brominski.jpgBrominski

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

jandes@timesleader.com

If you go

Luzerne County Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the county courthouse on River Street in Wilkes-Barre.

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

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