Eckhart and his staff take oath of office
Lehigh County Controller Republican Glenn Eckhart was sworn in Jan. 4 for his second four-year term in the Lehigh County Courthouse with the Honorable Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dougles G. Reichley presiding.
In addition, Eckhart organized an event to honor his staff at the Masters at Shepherd Hills Jan. 6 inviting Reichley, the Honorable Northampton County Common Pleas Judge Emil A. Giordano and the Honorable Lehigh County Court of Common Please Judge James T. Anthony as well as family members of the staff.
All members of the staff took the oath of office – the first time this has been done.
“I thought it would be neat to have a night where the families could come and see their loved ones taking the oath of office,” Eckhart said. “I wanted to recognize them individually.” Eckhart said no taxpayer money was used for the event; it was paid for by campaign contributions, donations and Eckhart.
Recognized on Jan. 6 were Deputy Controller John Falk, of Allentown; Office Manager Cindy Achey, of Lower Nazareth; Auditor Rob Fenstermaker, of New Tripoli; Auditor Zachary Effting, of Hanover Township; Associate Auditor Daniel Aqilino, of Newton, N.J. and part-time solicitor Christie Schlottman, of Whitehall.
Senior Auditor Thomas Schweyer, of Allentown, took the oath of office Jan. 4 with Eckhart.
Eckhart came up with the idea to host the event to recognize his staff. “When the voters elected me, they elected the staff as well,” Eckhart said. “I wanted to start a new tradition.”
Speaking at the event, Eckhart introduced each of his staff members and talked about each one.
“John [Falk] has really made the department what it is over the last 28 years. He has worked for four controllers, and he has made the office what it is. This position is appointed by the controller. He is so valuable, four controllers and both parties have recognized the job he has done. He has built the staff. He thinks of the office as a team and cares about the employees.”
Eckhart said “Cindy [Achey] has been here for 28 years, also working for four different controllers. She is the office manager/secretary and keeps the office in order. We can always count on her to get things done. She is a great asset to the team.”
Fenstermaker has been with the county for 12 years. “He is invaluable in handling difficult situations and is an integral member of the team,” Eckhart said.
“Zak [Effting] is one of our newer team members and is very well credentialed. He is a CPA and has a criminal justice and accounting background. He is the future of the controller’s office.”
Eckhart said Aquilino started as an intern two years ago while at Moravian College and was hired full time Jan. 4.
“Christie [Schlottman] has been an invaluable asset to the team offering legal advice when needed.”
Eckhart thanked his supporters for their faith in him but said the event Jan. 6 was about the staff. “I need people to understand I don’t do this job alone,” Eckhart said.
“I will continue to work for the taxpayers honestly and look for efficiencies, and I will continue to build on the good relationships I have with the elected officials of Lehigh County.”