Luzerne County has new drug and alcohol director

By Jennifer Learn-Andes -

Luzerne County government has a new drug and alcohol department director.

Steve Ross will be paid $68,901 to head the county agency, which also covers Wyoming County, officials said Thursday.

The position has been vacant since veteran department overseer Michael Donahue was promoted to county human services division head in June.

A lifelong county resident, Ross has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bloomsburg University and has worked as the county agency’s chief fiscal officer for 18 years.

Ross said he has worked closely with other drug and alcohol officials at both the county and state levels during his county tenure.

“I’m glad for the opportunity to use my knowledge of the drug and alcohol system to continue to meet the goals of the department and county and the challenges we face,” said the Mountain Top resident.

County Manager C. David Pedri informed the council of the appointment this week, saying Ross has been “a vital part of the success” of the county department.

“I hope you will join me in congratulating him on this well-deserved promotion!” Pedri wrote.

The appointment means all but one top management vacancy in human service departments has been filled.

The administration is still reviewing options for the mental health director position vacated by James Davis’ retirement in April 2015. Tara Vallet was promoted to mental health deputy director earlier this year.

Two other veteran employees were promoted to oversee departments earlier this year: Mary Roselle as executive director of the Area Agency on Aging covering Luzerne and Wyoming counties and Joanne Van Saun to head Children and Youth.

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

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