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Agenda to include issue of health care



Published: Fri, June 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Commissioners are also looking for volunteers to fill empty board seats.

By VIRGINIA ROSS

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Lawrence County commissioners are taking their meeting on the road next week.

Their next evening session will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the New Beaver Borough Building at 778 Wampum-New Galilee Road.

There will be no morning meeting that day. The night session is one of several monthly meetings being conducted at various sites in the county during the summer.

As part of Tuesday's agenda, commissioners will consider whether to continue the county's participation in the Health Care Coordination Unit. The program began more than five years ago and is a multicounty effort of the Mental Health/Mental Retardation departments in Lawrence, Butler, Beaver, Armstrong, Indiana, Clarion, Crawford, Venango and Mercer counties.

County Mental Health/Mental Retardation director John Klenotic told commissioners at their caucus Thursday that the program is required by the state and is designed to address the health and assessment needs of clients his department serves in residential living arrangements.

To continue its participation in the program, Lawrence County must contribute $5,000.

Seats open

Meanwhile, commissioners are looking to fill an open seat on the Lawrence County Municipal Authority created by the death of John Razzano in February.

Anyone interested in serving on the municipal authority should write a letter of intent to the commissioners or attend a commissioners meeting to make that desire known. Applicants are also required to undergo criminal background checks.

A second position on the municipal authority opened when a term being filled by Edmund Retort Sr. expired Jan. 1. Commissioners said they are interested in retaining Retort on that board and are waiting to hear if he is interested in being reappointed before they accept applications from other individuals. Retort has continued serving on the authority since his term expired.

Commissioners said, for the sake of continuity, they would also like to retain Joseph Hake and Leo Carlin as members of the Lawrence County Airport Authority. Both men's terms have expired.

But, they added, they plan to review the county's ordinance that governs how such appointments are made to determine whether they can reappoint individuals without opening the application process to other candidates.

"I just think that if someone is doing a good job, we should keep that person where they are," Commissioner Dan Vogler said, noting seats on the county's four authorities are non-paid, voluntary positions.

Earlier this week, commissioners began an overhaul of the Housing Authority by naming Ernestine Wise to replace James Graves, whose term expired Dec. 31.

Graves completed a five-year term and continued serving on the board until Wise was appointed. He had expressed interest in being reappointed. Commissioners said they would like to see several new members on that board. Another seat will open at the end of this year.




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