McClure’s cabinet quickly confirmed
On JaN. 4, just two days after being sworn into office, Executive Lamont McClure nominated eight people to serve on his cabinet. He even introduced them to the public from the courthouse rotunda. Exactly two weeks later, on January 18, McClure’s cabinet picks were confirmed with almost no muss or fuss.
Charles Dertinger’s nomination as Administrator was originally sent in at a salary of $93,626. McClure had intended to seek a higher salary, and corrected his error before the vote. But John Cusick, who supported Dertinger, was unwilling to support him at a higher salary. He said Dertinger should receive the same salary that was given to Cathy Allen, the former Administrator under John Brown. So he voted No.
That was the sole No vote from Council for any of these eight nominations.
But the votes were 8-0, not unanimous, because Bob Werner was under the weather and stayed home.
After the meeting, McClure said, “Tonight’s vote was historic for Northampton Count as, for the first time, our top two attorneys will be women. Five of our eight nominees confirmed tonight by Council are women, another first in Northampton County history. We believe, during home rule, this is the quickest formation of a Cabinet for a new administration and we’d like to thank Council for its overwhelming support of these nominees.”
McClure also provided a brief description of each cabinet official.
Department of Administration – Charles M. Dertinger. - Has a long record of community service, serving as a Northampton County Councilman at Large from 2006-2010. His committee appointments included Open Space, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Economic Development. Charles has been a liaison to 911 and a delegate to the Lehigh Valley Labor Council AFL CIO since 2000.
Fiscal Affairs – Stephen J. Barron, Jr., JC, CFE. - Has served as Controller of Northampton County since his first election to that position in 2007, providing fiscal oversight into the county’s $360 million budget. With his team of auditors, Steve estimates that he’s saved the county more than $12 million over the last ten years.
Solicitor – Melissa Pammer Rudas. - A graduate of Dickinson School of Law, Melissa has headed her own law office since 1999. She’s a member of the Pennsylvania Bar, and is admitted to practice at the Federal Court (Middle District of Pennsylvania) and the United States Supreme Court. Her public service includes serving on the Bethlehem Zoning Hearing board and the City of Bethlehem’s 275th Anniversary Committee.
Human Resources – Elizabeth “Liz” Kelly. - An attorney, Kelly is a Senior Associate at King, Spry, Herman, Freund and Paul in Bethlehem, PA. She has served as a Director of Human Resources for the Allentown School District in the past and has experience in managing programs for healthcare, benefits, and employee education. Elizabeth has a wide background in labor, employment, unemployment, civil service, and federal laws.
Public Defender – Nuria DiLuzio. In private practice since 2001, focusing on Criminal Defense and Family Law. She’s a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the New Jersey Bar Association and is admitted to practice at the U.S. Federal Court (Middle District of Pennsylvania). She has served as both a full-time and part-time public defender.
Public Works – Michael Emili. - A civil engineer with Bethlehem City, Michael Emili has managed multiple public works projects, including bridge replacements. Michael has experience with watersheds, sewage pumping stations, and has certifications from OSHA, EIT and the American Concrete Institute.
Human Services – Sue Wandalowski, M.S. Ed. - Has worked at Kidspeace since 2000, and currently serves as their Permanency Program Manager. She has years of experience in foster care and adoption, overseeing caseworkers and managing offices devoted to social work.
Community and Economic Development – Tina Smith. - Founder and current president of the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen as well as a board member of the Nazareth Center for the Arts and the Nazareth Economic Development Commission. Tina is the current president of the Nazareth Bath Regional Chamber of Commerce and has years of experience in organizing events and festivals, both large and small.
McClure still has two positions - sheriff and corrections director - to fill. But the sheriff’s position requires him to advertise and then consult with the court. Richard Johnston,a Deputy Sheriff, has been named Interim Sheriff for six months.
His Corrections Director will be named in May. McClure explained that Todd Buskirk, a longtime warden who recently retired, has agreed to return temporarily,????