Salary Board Compromises on Temporary Trainer for Controller’s Office

CLEARFIELD – The creation of a temporary position for an accounts payable trainer sparked deliberations and required several votes before gaining approval at yesterday’s Clearfield County Salary Board meeting.

Further, Controller Tony Scotto initially requested an accounts payable trainer at a rate of $16.10 per hour and not to exceed four hours per week for a period of four weeks. He explained his office lost its administrative assistant to retirement and had trained another employee to fill the position. However, Scotto said that employee has since accepted a job elsewhere, and his office’s new administrative assistant needs training.

When asked, Scotto felt 20 hours of training would be sufficient for the new administrative assistant. After Scotto’s motion gained a second, Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen initiated deliberations on the request.

Both Robinson-McMillen and Commissioner John A. Sobel, chairperson, expressed difficulty in approving the training position at the requested pay rate. Scotto indicated the trainer who had recently retired would have been paid at the requested pay rate if she had remained employed with the county this year. Robinson-McMillen pointed out the former employee was now collecting retirement from the county.

Robinson-McMillen also wanted the training to be more concentrated and conducted within a two-week period. At that point, Scotto asked to amend his motion to create the temporary accounts payable trainer position at a rate of $10 per hour and not to exceed 20 hours over four weeks. Commissioner Mark B. McCracken, who seconded Scotto’s initial motion, agreed to the amended motion.

When put to vote, Scotto and McCracken voted in favor. Sobel and Robinson-McMillen cast the opposing votes. After that Sobel said he believed the new administrative assistant at the Controller’s Office could handle the duties of her position with two weeks of concentrated training.

McCracken and Scotto then offered to compromise by limiting the training to a three-week period. Robinson-McMillen said she would agree to set the trainer’s pay rate at $10 per hour if Scotto limited the training to two weeks. Scotto countered by saying he was ready to take his request off the table and also pointed out it would cost the county $1,500 if they brought in someone through its accounts payable software company.

Robinson-McMillen said Scotto’s office should have more depth and employees who are cross-trained. Scotto indicated to the board that the employees of his office are responsible for a lot of activities, and the administrative assistant plays an active role in them.

Robinson-McMillen motioned to set the trainer’s salary at $10 per hour and not to exceed 20 hours over two weeks. She and Sobel voted in favor. McCracken and Scotto opposed the same. Sobel followed with a motion to set the trainer’s salary at $9.50 and not to exceed 20 hours over three weeks. When put to vote, it received the same results.

Scotto offered the next motion, which was to set the trainer’s salary at $10 per hour and not to exceed 20 hours. This time he stipulated that he would have the bulk of the training occur within two weeks and not to exceed a three-week period.

All four voted in favor of Scotto’s motion. However, Sobel and Robinson-McMillen noted that all departments should cross-train their employees, so that the county isn’t spending the taxpayers’ money on training its employees.

In other business, the salary board voted to approve:

  • its re-organization with Sobel as chairperson; Robinson-McMillen as vice chairperson; and Scotto as secretary.
  • to conduct the county’s Salary Board meetings at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.
  • the salaries of the elected officials as per the commissioners’ prior resolution, which set a salary freeze at 2013 rates. The salary of District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. will include a raise, as determined by the state, noted McCracken.
  • the solicitor salaries as set in the budget. These salaries, the commissioners said, did not include that of county Solicitor Kim Kesner.
  • the salaries of all salaried employees with a $1,000 raise and to eliminate any unfunded positions. Sobel, McCracken and Scotto voted in favor. Robinson-McMillen cast the lone opposing vote.

Initially, Robinson-McMillen motioned to approve the salaries of all salaried employees with exception to that of the director of elections. When put to vote, board members split with Robinson-McMillen and Scotto in favor and Sobel and McCracken opposing.

McCracken then motioned for the board to approve the full salary list as per the county budget. The board subsequently approved his motion, 3-1.

  • the pay increase of union employees as per the respective union contracts.
  • the request of Prothonotary Brian Spencer to create a position of temporary, part-time department clerk to be funded through June 30 and not to exceed 500 hours at the current union contract rate pending funding availability within the budget of Spencer’s office.
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