Exeter Borough Council will hold a special meeting on Monday to amend the job description of borough Manager and Luzerne County Councilwoman Kendra Radle.
The purpose of the remote meeting, which starts at noon, is to modify the borough manager’s duties and contract, according to a legal notice.
Radle said Sunday that council will remove “treasurer” from her full job title, after county Councilman Stephen J. Urban noted that state law prohibits an elected county official from serving as treasurer of a municipality.
Borough council will make that change “to err on the side of caution,” Radle said.
She said she has “not acted as treasurer” since she was hired as borough manager in January.
The word “treasurer” was removed from Radle’s job description at the borough website late last week. Urban sent an email during last Tuesday’s council meeting, citing the state statute that forbids elected county leaders to also serve as a municipal treasurer.
Radle said the plan when she was hired as Exeter manager was for her to learn the job from veteran borough employee Debra Serbin, who plans to retire at the end of this year.
Serbin would serve as treasurer for the rest of 2021, with Radle assuming those duties next year, Radle said.
However, that plan has changed. Once Serbin retires, someone other than Radle will be appointed borough treasurer, Radle said.
Radle said she hopes the borough council vote will end the controversy over her dual role as county councilwoman and Exeter employee.
She said she will abstain from county council votes about “anything involving Exeter.”
Exeter council hired Radle on Jan. 5 at a salary of $40,840, according to meeting minutes posted to the borough website.
Election board controversy fallout
The controversy over Radle’s position with Exeter followed a controversy over Urban’s appointment as chairman of the county board of elections on Feb. 24, a position from which his 10 county council colleagues removed him on March 2.
They agreed with the county office of law that the county charter prohibits a sitting council member from serving on the election board. Urban argued that state law supersedes the county charter and permits the appointment.
Radle resigned as vice chair of the county Republican Party on Feb. 25. She criticized Urban’s appointment and said she did not want to get caught in a conflict between the Republican committee and her duties as a councilwoman who represents the entire county.
Urban, also a Republican, described Radle’s criticism of him while she held a borough position that potentially violated state statutes as “Luzerne County hypocrisy at its finest.”
County council might fill three vacant seats on the election board as soon as Tuesday.
Last week, council vacated the election board seats held by Urban as well as Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt and Keith Gould, who voted to appoint Urban chairman.