Patrick Johnson named new county public defender

By JOHN RISHEL

jrishel@lockhaven.com

LOCK HAVEN — Patrick Johnson will be stepping into the Clinton County Public Defender position recently vacanted by Thom Rosamilia.

The Clinton County Board of Commissioners approved the hiring of Johnson on Thursday night, which will be effective March 12, 2019, at an annual salary of $56,308, which is the established starting salary for the position.

Rosamilia had recently vacanted the position, accepting an assistant district attorney position under Clinton County district attorney David A. Strouse.

Commissioners also approved the transfer of Michelle Sonnie, from administrative payroll assistant to assistant fiscal accountant in the commissioners office, effective March 11, to fill a vacancy and the hiring of Wenda Butler to fill Sonnie’s previous position as administrative payroll assistant, effective March 14.

“This was all initiated by the retirement of Lynn Neff a couple of weeks ago,” said commissioner Robert “Pete” Smeltz.

Sonnie’s annual salary will be $33,201 (Grade D) and county chief clerk Jann Meyers noted that Sonnie will also be trained to become a notary for the county.

“She brings a lot of previous experience to the job,” Meyers said of Sonnie.

Butler’s annual salary will be $28,000 (Grade D).

“We interviewed three people. We looked for experience with the Tyler Tech System, as well as experience in payroll. She is going to be a great asset for us in the commissioner’s office,” Meyers said of Butler.

The commissioners approved a food service contract set forth by the Clinton County Prison Board, which extends an agreement between the Clinton County Correctional Facility and Aramark Correctional Services, LLC, through April 19, 2020.

The terms include an increased Consumer Price Index (CPI) fee of 3.2 cents per meal, with an estimated annual cost of $8,760 to the county based on average daily population and a price per meal increase from the current menu of approximately 4.2 cents per meal, which would be an estimated cost of $11,497 annually based on the number of meals served.

While that is a projected $20,257 increase in the annual cost of food service at the county prison, commissioner Jeff Snyder noted that a majority of the meals served at the prison are to out-of-county inmates, and the cost of their food service is worked into the per diem contracts.

“I don’t have the figures, but I would guess that only about one third of those inmates would be county inmates. The rest are per diems, where the county isn’t paying,” Snyder said.

In another agenda item, the board approved the payment of county bills in the amount of $340,458.32, for the period ending March 14, 2019.

Bill invoices over $10,000 included:

– Payment of $81,056.83 to Correct Care Solutions for a medical contract with the correctional facility.

– Payment of $106,223.18 to M&T Bank for federal payroll taxes and $13,730.70 for state payroll taxes.

– Payment of $16,666.67 to Ross Library for Jan. and Feb. 2019 allocation.

– Payment of $30,473 to Woods Services Incorporated for residental treatment.

– Payment of $13,078.25 to Stiffler McGraw for Phase 4 Project #18-0032 of the Bald Eagle Valley Trail.

The commissioners invited the public to come out to the grand opening of Phase 2 of the Bald Eagle Valley Trail at 1:30 p.m. on March 20. There will be a ceremonial ribbon cutting event to celebrate the completion of the 3.5 mile segment at the Castanea Train Station, 15 Logan Avenue, Castanea.

“Thank goodness winter has broken, and the trail is in good shape. My wife and I will be there with our bicycles, and you all are welcome to come ride with us,” Smeltz said.

Snyder also wanted to “give some accolades” to the county’s new cleaning staff.

“We are all happy with the job they are doing, the floor is shining. It is cleaner and even smells better, and we are not spending any more than we did in the past,” he said.

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