“While an appointment to the interim post would be an honor, I strongly believe that it must be those same Luzerne County residents who should elect me as their commissioner.”-Controller Maryanne Petrilla
Her commitment to the democratic process is very touching. But outgoing Commissioner Todd Vonderheid sort of put a dent in that process by quiting before his term was over. Now President Judge Mark Ciavarella and the county’s eight other judges get to pick a replacement. I find it curious that the Governor nominates replacements for row officers, which in many ways are functionaries of the courts, but the Judges get to fill the most political office in the county.
The TL is reporting that Clerk of Courts Bob Reilly and Prison Board Chairman Wister Yuhas are applying for the job and former state representative Tom Tigue that he is seriously considering submitting his resume. Some other names being tossed around include 3 former commissioners– Frank Trinisewski, Rose Tucker and Tom Pizano. The most interesting name on the list is Bob Reilly. If he was appointed to the post wouldn't he have to resign as Clerk of Courts while at the same time running for reelection to the office?
But the politicians want a say. After first saying he would stay out of it, Petrilla's running mate Commissioner Greg Skrepenak said Tuesday he expects the “courtesy of a conversation...The individual chosen will have some very difficult decisions to make that will have some long-term impact on the county,” Skrepenak said. “I would think you would need someone who has experience and can take office and hit the ground running. There is not going to be a learning curve.” And Luzerne County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Bufalino said the party should be part of the process.
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