CLARION — A realignment in job responsibilities led to the creation of two full-time administrative positions in Clarion County.

During their regular meeting on Tuesday morning, Clarion County Salary Board members unanimously agreed to create the positions of director of GIS and director of Assessment effective Feb. 26.

According to Clarion County Commissioner Ted Tharan, who serves as chairman for the salary board, the new structure is actually a recreation of positions that existed in both departments in the past.

“They were once separate positions, but eventually they combined into one,” Tharan said. He explained that Clarion County Assessment director Cherin Abdelsamie took over the responsibilities of the GIS position when that director left. Abdelsamie continued to serve in both positions until she left for a new employment opportunity earlier this month.

“Cherin was a one-in-a-million person that could handle both,” Tharan continued, adding that he believes the county would have a hard time finding someone else who specializes in both areas. “So we have decided to divide it again.”

As described on the county’s website, the director of Assessment is responsible for providing “technical, administrative and supervision in Clarion County Assessment Office.”

Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in real estate, computer science, database architecture or related fields, with higher education preferred. A Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator (CPE) designation is also preferred, or must be obtained within one year of hire. Candidates must also show a “strong knowledge and experience in data base management and Excel.”

No description for the director of GIS was available online as of press time.

Both director positions were created as full-time positions at 35 hours per week. The salary range for the director of GIS was approved between $31,000 and $38,500, while the director of Assessment’s salary was approved between $34,000 and $42,750.

In related business, the salary board also approved the creation of a full-time GIS specialist position at 35 hours per week effective Feb. 26. The salary range was set between $12 and $15 per hour.

County director of employee relations Tim Cochran explained that although the GIS specialist has always existed, the position had never been defined and a pay range had never been established.

Also during the salary board meeting, board members approved a change to the salary complement for county CYS employees.

The amendment changes the total number of working hours for all bargaining and non-bargaining positions in the department — with the exception of the deputy director position, which will remain the same — from the current 35 hours per week to 40 hours per week.

“They will work an additional five hours per week, so they will get paid for those five hours,” Tharan noted.

Bargaining members are represented by United Mine Workers of America.

The CYS employees were officially repositioned into their new 40-hour per week positions, effective Jan. 1, by Commissioners Ted Tharan, Wayne Brosius and Ed Heasley at their meeting immediately following the salary board meeting.

Board of Elections replacements

Tharan announced that Clarion County President Judge James Arner appointed Judy Fiscus (Republican), Karen Knepshield (Republican) and Nancy Kadunce (Democrat) as replacements on the Board of Elections effective Feb. 20.

The women will replace Tharan, Brosius and Heasley who cannot serve on the board while running for reelection.

“I am looking forward to working with Nancy Kadunce, Judy Fiscus and Karen Knepshield, the newly appointed Clarion County Board of Election members,” county director of Elections Cindy Callihan said in a statement released Tuesday. “We will have an organizational meeting very soon to get them updated on the election/voter registration process and procedures.”

Callihan noted that the Board of Elections will be working on a variety of items this year, including election equipment vendor demonstrations and selecting a new voting system that provides a paper record.

In addition, the commissioners approved for Kadunce, Fiscus and Knepshield to receive a payment of $250 for each election (Primary and General) and a mileage rate of 51 cents.

CDBG program revision

The commissioners voted to revise the 2015 Community Development Block Grant program to move $59,318 in unspent funds from the Hawthorn-Redbank-Redbank Municipal Authority sewer lateral project to the East Brady Borough Grant Street sewer line replacement project.

County to apply for grant

Resolution No. 6 of 2019 was approved. This authorizes the county to apply for a Keystone Historical Preservation Grant to replace the windows in the old county jail building.

Contract with coroner

A contract was also approved on behalf of the Clarion County Coroner with Erie County Coroner Lyell P. Cook for forensic pathologist services. The term of the contract is Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 at a cost of a $10,000 retainer and $1,100 per autopsy.

Brosius explained that although Erie’s autopsy cost is “among the cheapest in the commonwealth,” it was increased this year.

Resignations accepted

The resignations of Dan Clark (sheriff’s department) and Nathan Girvan (911) were accepted.

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