Luzerne County has a new CIO

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Ray Kase has been hired as the new Director of Information Technology for the Luzerne County Government.

The post had been vacant since the resignation of Mauro DiMauro on December 16. County 911 GIS Director David Skoronski had served as temporary director since March.

Kase said he owned an IT consulting business working primarily with school districts for the past few years and previously worked for 20 years in IT management positions for school districts across the state.

Initially immersed in an assessment of county staffing and technology support needs, Kase said he is now focusing heavily on two critical projects related to network connectivity in buildings and servers holding county data and programs.

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A majority of the board had voted in January to allocate up to $2.463 million in US federal bailout funding to cover a range of hardware, software and services, including a virtualization infrastructure upgrade. that IT representatives had described as urgent.

Kase commended the council for the allocation of funds and said the project was well designed and contracted. The plan was developed by Skoronski and current staff members, officials said.

The Board has agreed to fund three additional positions in the IT department this year, meaning the department is now approved for 12 positions. Kase said only two positions remain open. Candidates will soon be interviewed for one, and the county is currently seeking resumes for a network administrator opening, he said.

“I’m happy to be here. We have a great team and we’re working on doing things a bit differently here,” Kase said.

He will receive $90,000 per year.

Board seat

Tuesday is the nomination deadline for Republicans interested in filling Robert Schnee’s vacant county council seat through 2023.

Prospective candidates must be over 18, have lived in the county for at least a year and hold Republican voter registration dating back to November 2019, when Schnee was elected.

The appointee may not hold any other elective public office or seat on any council, authority or county commission. Also prohibited is the employment or remuneration of any contractor of the county or its boards, authorities and commissions.

More information is available on the council’s page at lucernecounty.org.

The Board tentatively plans to publicly interview the nominees at 5 p.m. on May 31, hoping to vote on the nomination on June 14.

Prison labor

The county has entered into a $498,500 contract with Johnson Controls Fire Protection LP to replace the fire protection/notification system at the Water Street County Jail in Wilkes-Barre, according to an online publication.

The contract includes all materials, installation, programming, commissioning and validation of the system, he said.

The Council had allocated funding from the US federal bailout to pay for the project.

Primary election

The County Elections Committee will begin its arbitration of the May 17 primary election at 9 a.m. Monday in the county’s Penn Place building at 20 N. Pennsylvania Ave. at Wilkes-Barre.

Flagged absentee ballots will be reviewed first, including those whose outer envelopes lack signatures. Next, the board will address the provisional ballots dropped off at the polling stations to ensure that they bear the proper signatures and that no absentee ballots have been accepted from those voters.

The arbitration process will take time because the citizen volunteer committee must then review the written votes.

Unofficial online results will be updated when arbitration is complete, the board said.

All results are unofficial until certified by the board.

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