Recognizing the work of many

By LYLE T. GALLOWAY
Posted 6/9/21

HONESDALE, PA — Working to make sure Wayne County runs safely and smoothly takes many hands; two of those were recognized at the June 3 meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners.

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Recognizing the work of many

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HONESDALE, PA — Working to make sure Wayne County runs safely and smoothly takes many hands; two of those were recognized at the June 3 meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners.

The first certificate was presented to Danielle McConnell for one year of outstanding service to the county. McConnell works as a clerk, handling the traffic docket within magistrate Linus H. Myers’ office. Some of the cases handled by the office include traffic citations and non-traffic violations like retail theft and disorderly conduct. According to Myers, it is one of their “busiest dockets.” On top of McConnell’s service to the county, she also juggles the responsibility of raising two boys as a single mom.

“One of the things that has impressed me a lot about Danielle is that we have a lot of people that come into our office that are not all that pleased to come into our office,” said Myers. “We represent the system and sometimes they come in pretty mad at the system.”

McConnell’s work ethic, kindness and composure when handling the public were highlighted by the commissioners.

“The people I work with are absolutely amazing... I’m just thankful to be part of it,” said McConnell.

Next to be recognized was Steve Price for his 15 years of service to the county as director of emergency management.

During his tenure, Price handled everything from responding to natural disasters to reviewing contingency plans from personal care facilities including daycares and nursing homes.

Another big part of Price’s job involved reviewing the dam plans for the county in case of a breach or failure.

“People generally speaking don’t think of emergency management until there’s an emergency. When there is, we’re all extremely thankful that Steve and his entire group and all the boards that he sits on are so organized and so prepared. It’s amazing how many things there are to think about, steps to be taken when an emergency happens,” said commissioner Joseph Adams.

Commissioner Jocelyn Cramer also thanked him for the roles he took in response to the pandemic.

“You were at the table with every discussion. Whether it was the hospital, whether it was PEMA and FEMA, supplies, coordinating policies, helping us to get supplies for testing, providing testing centers, you were in the front-row seat for this whole thing, helping manage, that because that’s what you do,” she said.

A new space for seniors

Bids were reviewed for renovations to the Earl J. Simons Senior Center in Honesdale. The renovations will be applied to the basement area of the building. The area currently houses the facility’s kitchen and coolers, provides space for the center’s drivers and serves as a place where activities like Tai Chi and arts and crafts are held.

“We’ve been wanting to do something about the basement for a while because we really do want to grow our programs and make it inviting so people want to come and spend time there,” said Mary Ursich, administrator for the Area Agency on Aging.

Some of the basement’s temporary walls are to be torn down and replaced with new permanent ones, along with the installation of new flooring and ceiling tiles. A 75-Kilowatt generator will also be installed to run the kitchen and the elevator in case of a power outage.

Two bids were received for the construction. The first was from Grimm Construction out of Waymart for a total of $198,981. The second came from Bognet Inc. from Hazle Township for a total of $236,778.

The bids will be sent to an engineer and a solicitor for review and recommendation.

Save the date

A meeting with the Wayne County Bureau of Elections was held regarding mail-in ballots.

A total of 28 ballots were sent in without a signature or a date. The bureau had set them aside, pending further instruction from the state on what to do with them.

On Tuesday, elections offices received a new directive from the Pennsylvania Department of State to not count mail-in ballots that were received without a date or signature.

On the outside of the ballot’s envelope, and on a green slip of paper inside, clear instructions are provided telling the voter what to do before they mail their ballot.

The new ruling left the commissioners and many in attendance wondering whether this new ruling will affect the results of the Primary Election.

“I did go through and make a list of which districts it affected where the ballots were from. None of the districts had races that were close. The only one that I had was Waymart borough. There’s a difference of one vote between fourth and fifth place for council, but there were no ballots cast in this batch for Waymart Borough. None of the other races will be affected,” said Wayne County Board of Elections Director Cindy Furman.

A motion was made by the commissioners to follow the current guidance and not count those votes.

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