Luzerne Home Rule Chairman PJ Best (left) gave a tutorial to the candidates running for the Government Study Commission (GSC) on how to file nominating petitions and stressed the importance of electing the right people. He said the the outfit would be working to educate the public about the need for a GSC and a yes vote on the question that will be on the May primary ballot. He promised that all candidates will be given access to the website to post their qualifications and put their video presentations on YouTube. He hopes that an interactive forum can be developed. A voters guide and DVD are in the works and a big fundraiser is being planned for late March/early April.
Some of the prospective GSC candidates then were given an opportunity to address the crowd.
Phil Struzerri warned that there are some people that are running for the GSC with the intention of making sure that Home Rule is scuttled.
Courtdale Mayor James Gaughan is also a high school government teacher who said he always gave his salary back to the town much to chagrin of his wife.
Walter Griffith brought along a copy of the county code from 1955 that is still the governing document and made the obvious point that it is antiquated. To change anything it requires an act of the PA Legislature and we know how quickly those guys act.
Ed Transue is Social Studies teacher who got pissed off over the reassessment when it "made me a millionaire on paper." He stressed that "without integrity you have nothing."
CJ Kersey is a Government teacher at Wyoming Seminary and a volunteer for the Obama campaign who said he will be open minded.
Rick Morelli was a member of the Hazleton Area School Board a few years ago and pointed out that he doesn't have any relatives employed by Luzerne County. He repeated the oft heard phrase government should be run like a business.
Ray Gustove wants better internal financial controls.
Frank Sindaco, the host of the event, explained that he is not a politician but felt compelled to run for the GSC.
Paul Krumbel is a union electrician that was uncomfortable speaking in front of a crowd.
Recent W-B council candidate Pete Gagliardi gave a mercifully short pitch.
Only one woman came forward to volunteer to be a candidate for the GSC and she pointed that out. Meghan Godwin is a philosophy teacher that would give the GSC a different view.
After the program I asked PJ Best who was on the Luzerne County Home Rule Committee and he gave me a vague answer. He named the officers but I neglected to ask who elected them to their positions. I also asked the director of the NEPA Organizing Center who was paying for the place, he told me that it was coming out of his pocket.