I was a big proponent of the last plan that called for an elected county executive and a 9 member council with 6 positions elected by district and 3 at-large. It met the goal of separating the legislative and executive functions of the present 3 Commissioner system plus it got rid of electing row officers.
I have some reservations about the new proposed Luzerne County Charter . My biggest objection is not having an elected but appointed county manager. I don't like having a "Mayor of the County"that is not accountable to the voters. And I have concerns about the changes to the Controller's position
The part I like is that the coroner, register of wills, recorder of deeds, treasurer and sheriff would all be hired based on qualifications not elected. These are management/clerk positions with no policy responsibility. After all there is no Republican or Democratic way to perform an autopsy or register a will.
But I'm still reading the document and will reserve judgement.
I was privy to an email exchange between home rule opponents (how quaint) recently and I was surprised that many goo goo (good government) types that supported the last charter are opposed to this plan.
What is not surprising is that local Democratic and Republican party members are oppossed. Democratic Commissioners Maryanne Petrila and Tom Cooney are on the record opposing it and I understand that Republican Commissioner Steve Urban is also against it. Republican Prothonotary Carollee Medico-Oligarchy and Controller Walter Griffith have also have come out against it. Walter has a good argument because it changes the responsibilities of his office. The rest of them seem to want to protect their jobs.
This quote from Luzerne County Democratic chair Mark Buffalino both amuses and infuriates me...“I think our current office holders, especially Commissioners (Thomas P.) Cooney and (Maryanne) Petrilla, have taken steps in taking the county in the right direction, and I think those efforts would be impeded by change for the sake of change.” In 2003 the Dems asked us to trust Greg Skrepenak and Todd Vonderheid to fix the system telling us that home rule wasn't needed because we could trust these guys to fix the system. That worked out well. Vondy quit before his term was up and Skrep is headed to jail.
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Take a look at who’s opposing home rule plan MARK GUYDISH OPINION
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