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Thomas Muller nominates three female administrators

By Randy Kraft, WFMZ.com Reporter, RKraft@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 31 2014 10:32:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 01 2014 12:20:47 PM CDT

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Lehigh County Executive Thomas Muller is nominating three women to fill key positions in his administration.

They are:

*Kay Achenbach, director of human services.

*Janine Donate, Lehigh County Prison warden.

*Pat Kline, director of general services.

All three appointees must be approved by Lehigh County commissioners.

Achenbach has most recently been the health choices' administrative services director for the county's human services department.

Muller said she has been handling the position of human services director since David Gilfoff resigned from the position in January.

He said Achenbach came to the county as the fiscal officer for Children & Youth Services in 2004, after holding that position in Northampton County. Before that, she was an internal auditor for Northampton County.

If approved, Donate will replace Dale Meisel, who retired as the prison's warden in February.

 Muller said Ed Sweeney, the county's director of corrections,  is joining him in recommending Donate  become the next warden.

"After two rounds of intensive searches, we have concluded that one of our own is the right person for the position," said Muller.

Muller said Donate has been deputy warden at the prison since May 2012. He said she was the warden of Lackawanna County Prison for more than four years and began her career as a corrections officer in Monroe County.

Kline will replace Glenn Solt, who will be retiring as director of general services on April 11.

Muller said Kline has been the number two person in in that department for many years and with the county for more than 30 years.

"She has been the 'go to' person and the driver of the budget process for each of the past two directors of general services -- Jan Creedon and Glenn Solt -- and both have recommended her unequivocally for the position," said Muller in his letter of recommendation to the commissioners.

Muller has submitted the names of his three nominees to county commissioner Brad Osborne, who chairs the commissioners' intergovernmental & appointments committee.

Commissioners are expected to vote on the three appointments during their April 23 meeting.

All three nominees will be formally introduced to commissioners during the April 9 intergovernmental & appointments committee. That committee meeting will be chaired by commissioner Scott Ott, because Osborne will be absent.

"All three nominees have considerable experience within their respective fields and with the county in particular," said Osborne about the nominees. "The challenge for each of them will be to convince our board they have the ability to effect positive change and deliver measurable results."

By a 5-4 vote on Feb. 26, county commissioners narrowly approved the appointment of Daniel McCarthy as the county's new director of administration. McCarthy's appointment was debated by commissioners at four meetings before he finally won approval.

But on March 12, they rejected Thomas Walker, Muller's first nominee to become the county's next human services director, by a 5-4 vote.