Well-organized elections will be at the center of Crocamo’s concerns
Improving the elections will be one of the top priorities for Luzerne County Chief Lawyer Romilda Crocamo when she takes office as acting county manager next week, she said on Thursday.
“I will work with the Election Commission and the Election Office to make the necessary changes and ensure that the recommendations of the council’s inquiry committee are completed,” said the 58-year-old Conyngham resident.
She will start as an interim manager on Wednesday. The administration has scheduled a 10 a.m. rally in the courthouse rotunda on Tuesday for workers to offer their best wishes to outgoing county manager C. David Pedri on his last day and allow Crocamo to greet the employees.
The mislabeling of Republican county ballots as Democrats in the May 18 primary was the latest in a series of ongoing issues that have sparked complaints from some voters. Some of these problems – a shortage of poll workers, staff turnover, and adaptation to new voting machines and mail ballots – are occurring in other regions.
While the county director oversees the electoral office under the autonomy regime, the electoral council made up of five citizens also plays an active role in supervising the elections.
Electoral council members have issued guidelines – some recommended by the council’s election inquiry committee – as part of ongoing efforts to make the Nov. 2 general as straightforward as possible.
âThe members of the electoral committee are really smart and active, and the council took a long time with their investigation to make very thoughtful recommendations,â Crocamo said. âWe have to make sure that we use these resources. “
Crocamo’s other two priorities are preparing the 2022 budget proposal, which is due to be presented to council on October 15, and a proposed plan to spend the $ 112.89 million allocated to the county by the US bailout.
A final federal decision on how US rescue money can be spent is expected in August, but Crocamo said it has started reviewing preliminary eligibility requirements with a team of division heads so that a Suggested plan can be submitted to the board as soon as possible for its consideration.
Some board members have also started to come up with their own ideas on how the money should be spent.
Regarding the interaction with the 11 board members, Crocamo said she would listen to all of them with an open mind, including those who did not support her acting appointment.
Six board members backed Crocamo’s nomination: Tim McGinley, Chris Perry, Kendra Radle, Sheila Saidman, Robert Schnee and Matthew Vough.
The other five voting against the nomination: Walter Griffith, Harry Haas, Linda McClosky Houck, LeeAnn McDermott and Stephen J. Urban.
A graduate of the MMI preparatory school in Freeland, Crocamo holds two master’s degrees in addition to a law degree.
She worked in the private sector from 1991 to 2010 at two New York City law firms and as general counsel at the Barbara J. Hart Justice Center in Scranton. Since then, she has worked for the county as the County Court Master for Juvenile Delinquency and Addiction and as a Law Clerk for County Common Plea Court Judge Tina Polachek Gartley before being hired as a Head of County Law Division in July 2016.
Her assignment as a temporary supervisor will likely run until the end of the year, as the board is not expected to complete the permanent manager selection process until late November or December. The Board voted to pay him $ 102,116 as an interim manager, which is an increase over his compensation of $ 96,444 as a law division head.
Crocamo has not decided whether she will apply for the permanent manager position.
âI am focusing on the job that awaits me now,â she said.
She recently spoke of her vivid memory walking past a towering rod bank when she was five and first entering the Hazleton area because her parents decided to move from California to be near the members of family here.
âI said I wanted to come home,â she recalls in a story about a pending private development project that will remove this vestige of mining days gone by.
Crocamo said she quickly grew to love this region and is committed to its continuous improvement. She has met with Pedri on several occasions to discuss the position since her appointment and has a busy schedule of briefings on pending projects and other pending county government matters. Meetings with all departments are planned.
She admittedly doesn’t have Pedri’s charismatic and outgoing style, but said she has strong communication skills and is comfortable speaking in front of crowds. Interaction with the public is essential because the government has to “work for the people”, she said.
Long hours and a demanding, fast-paced schedule are nothing new to her.
âI have always worked very hard,â said Crocamo. âI have no concerns about my ability to devote the time to this work. “