WILKES-BARRE — Butler Twp. Manager Jennifer Pecora will be Luzerne County’s next administrative services division head.
County council confirmed Pecora on Tuesday, after county Manager Randy Robertson nominated her to fill the position that has been vacant since David Parsnik resigned last September.
Council must confirm the manager’s nominees for division head positions, the county charter stipulates.
Pecora will be paid $94,500 per year. She lives in Sugarloaf Twp., where she serves as tax collector.
After council confirmed her appointment, Pecora told The Citizens’ Voice, a Times-Shamrock newspaper, that she will resign both her elected tax collector position and appointed township manager position once she receives and signs a formal offer letter from the county.
Robertson said Pecora was thoroughly vetted at several levels and interviewed twice after she was among 23 applicants for the position.
She was one of four finalists, Robertson said.
A panel that included at least one executive from outside county government and two department heads from the administrative services division selected Pecora as the best candidate, Robertson said.
Council voted 8-2 to confirm Pecora, with councilmen Brian Thornton and Kevin Lescavage opposed.
Council members Chris Perry, Tim McGinley, Matt Mitchell, Carl Bienias III, John Lombardo, Stephen J. Urban, Lee Ann McDermott and Gregory Wolovich voted yes. Council Chairwoman Kendra Radle was absent.
Several council members objected to the process by which Pecora was appointed.
Robertson did not release her name in advance. He said he was not sure whether council would confirm Pecora, and if he released her name and council rejected her, she would have been “left high and dry” with her employer.
Thornton said he only learned of Pecora’s proposed salary 20 minutes before Tuesday’s voting session started, which he said was unacceptable.
Thornton, McGinley and Wolovich said it is important to maintain transparency in county government hirings.
Robertson said the charter-mandated process for appointing division heads “stinks.”
“If they work for me I should be able to hire them,” Robertson said.
Robertson said Pecora is “young, ambitious and driven.”
Pecora has worked as township manager in Butler Twp. since November 2018. Prior to that, she served as the township’s budget and finance director.