Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wilkes-Barre charter change

Wilkes-Barre city council want's to amend the the city charter to return electing council members at-large instead of by district. This is a guest post from Ray Arellano who ran for council in 2007.

How about the gall of the Council to propose an "end run" to hopefully get at least some of the mayors allies re-elected? They have not done anything in the last 4 years, but to "rubber stamp" the Mayor. By District representation, they are accountable to their constituents within the area they serve,(except for Tony Thomas who is a part time resident). Why not advertise this meeting, and set it at a time when more people are home from work, and can attend? Bill O'Boyle titled his article in the TL, "W-B wants an at-large council". That's not exactly so. What we need is a referendum to go back to the City Mgr. type of governance, and get away from the Mayor being the last word on everything? Council members should be elected based on their merit, not as a "team" which gives us the bad with the good. I don't care about partisan politics as much as I care about whats right for Wilkes-Barre...All the hard work that the citizens of Wilkes-Barre put in to reduce Council size, and have representation by district, should not be abolished by the whim of the present Council. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!
It won't reduce our taxes, improve our services, nor make the council respond to the will of the majority. Turn out the lights, the party is OVER!
Lets get some good non-partisan folks to run for these council seats. Now that would be constructive!!! Enough is enough!

Walter Griffith is also opposed to this.

Longtime critic questions W-B’s at-large voting issue

Griffith criticizes at-large election proposal


Anonymous said...

voting by district is the dumbest idea ever. Council members need to held accountable to every single taxpayer in the city, not just onces of his neighborhood. All a politician has to do is fight for his neighborhood and he will always be reelected. Stupid stupid stupid!!!!!!!!!! At large, the people have control, districts NO CONTROL!

Tony Thomas said...

Keeping the districts is the best way to go. If the voting goes city wide then it becomes harder to vote the incumbents out. How hard is that to understand? In the 2007 primary 904 Democratic primary votes were cast in District E, the one I live in. That means if I want to run I'm probably going to have to deal with about 1,000 Democratic primary votes in my district. A total of 5667 votes were cast in all of the district primaries for Democrats. It is far easier for someone to win an election with a smaller voter pool than it is with such a larger one. The switch to city-wide elections is just to ensure that the incumbents stay in power since voting them out will be harder to do. Voting out the incumbents would be easier if you take them out district by district. Having district voting makes it easier to get on the ballot and easier to get elected. Going city-wide will ensure that the machine wins it. At large the party leaders have control, not the people.