Cumberland County parts with Claremont finance director

CARLISLE — Cumberland County has parted ways with the director of finance for county-owned Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, creating the second vacancy in that position this year.

Mary Jane Fisher was hired about two months ago on a provisional basis to replace previous director of finance Scott Sowers, chief clerk Larry Thomas said. On Nov. 21, the county elected not to make her a permanent employee, Thomas said.

“We just thought it would be better for all parties concerned if we went our separate ways,” he said.

It’s been an eventful year for Claremont, which is nearing the completion of a new $2.5 million short-term rehabilitation unit but also recently parted ways with administrator Karen DeWoody. The county has advertised a request-for-proposal for a management firm that will help recruit a new administrator. It may follow a similar process for replacing Fisher, Thomas said.

Dana Best and Lynette McCollough of the county’s finance office have long provided support to the nursing home, and will be temporarily overseeing nursing home finances, he said.

“While there have been clearly some personnel changes of a significant nature, there has been continuity with both (Dana) and Lynette in the finance department,” he said.

Commissioner Gary Eichelberger said Fisher was hired after a search conducted by Robert Half International, a recruiting firm specializing in financial and other professional positions.

Eichelberger, who opposed the renovation project and has questioned the financial stability of Claremont, said the county’s decision to not permanently hire Fisher underscores the difficulties and complexities involved with properly running a nursing home.

Still, Thomas said the county is “guardedly optimistic” about the nursing home’s financial stability as it moves forward with the opening of the short-term rehab unit in January.

Email Daniel Walmer at dwalmer@cumberlink.com or follow him on Twitter @SentinelWalmer