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Schuylkill County News

County Agrees to Pay a Premium for Senior Services Financial Oversight

It’s a lot more than we’re paying a County employee to do the job.

(ARTICLE IS UPDATED WITH INFORMATION PREVIOUSLY OMITTED. THAT INFORMATION IS IN BOLD ITALICS.)

Schuylkill County Commissioners recently agreed to pay a premium for financial oversight of its Office of Senior Services.

Last Wednesday, the Commissioners officially accepted the retirement of an employee in the Senior Services office that was in charge of fiscal operations there.

Rather than replace this employee, the week prior, at their Oct. 18 Work Session meeting, Commissioners unanimously approved a motion to give a contract to Service Access Management (SAM), Pottsville, to handle fiscal management duties for the County’s Office of Senior Services.

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The contract is good from Oct. 16, 2023, until Sept. 30, 2024.

It’s not the first time the County has contracted with SAM for financial oversight services. It did so last year for its Children & Youth Services.

There’s absolutely no indication the reason SAM was contracted for C&Y finances is present with the Senior Services office. This is because of a retiring employee.

What is interesting about this contract is the amount.

The County agrees to pay SAM $148,350 for an approximately 50-week contract for Senior Services fiscal management.

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You’d think, seeing that, that the retiring employee was making a pretty penny. Think again.

According to public records acquired via third-party by The Canary, the retiring employee was making a fraction of that … a relatively smaller fraction.

Records show the Fiscal Officer I position within Senior Services was being paid $22.93 per hour. At 75-hour bi-weekly intervals, for 26 pay periods (a full year), that works out to nearly $45,000 a year.

If you do the math for the SAM contract, as it would compare to an employee at the rate of the retiring employee:

  • $148,350 divided by 75 hours (bi-weekly) divided by 25 pay periods (for a 50-week contract) … that equals $79.12 per hour.

Side-by-side, that’s not a 100% fair comparison because it doesn’t factor in the cost of employee benefits and possible pension costs.

But even if you factor in a very generous benefits package for the retiring employee, it pales in comparison to the money the County is giving SAM for these services. And that contract price likely would include the County compensating SAM for the employee or employees that might be dedicated to this new contract.

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The contract does allow the County to get out of this contract if a new employee is found for the now-open position of Fiscal Officer I.

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