Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Luzerne County government

In the recent election the Luzerne County GOP did well. Dick Hughes will now be a judge and Stefanie Salavantis kept hammering the kids for cash scandal topping Jackie Mo in the District Attorney race showing what a ton of money and a savvy media campaign can do.

The race for the new County Council was the most unpredictable yielding a somewhat surprising result with only 6 Democrats winning seats in a county with a big Dem registration edge. There will be 4 Republicans and an Independent rounding out the newfangled 11 member body. Kingston Mayor and study commission chairman Jim Haggerty told me before he wrote the new charter that he wanted to try to minimize the influence of campaign contributions For the most part each candidate ran a solo effort with a few alliances that at times crossed party lines but didn't work out. My good friend David Yonki said that name recognition would be a key in this race because of the crowded field predicting that Urban the Elder and Urban the Younger would top the poll. It was good to see that the CV quoted a real political expert in addition the Captains Obvious college professors. I would add that the Independent Rick Williams TV spots raised his name recognition contributing to his win. I expect (hope) that party loyalty will be put on the back burner and our new Councilors will do what is best for us all. It will be interesting to see what alliances and deals that will be made in the coming months and years.

Now the hard part.

Members get applicant details

The first job of the new council is to hire an unelected county manager but this story tells us that they can't even agree on the ground rules on applications.

In other news the present Commissioners have decided to spend $1 million to tear down the Hotel Sterling after pissing away $6 million trying to save it. The place was wreck even before the recent flooding.

Another boondogle on the horizon is the Market Street Square property that the county bought from Thom Greco for $5.8 million in 2006. They voted to sink another $2 million into the place to clean it up that will let the county put a senior center and the tourism bureau office in the station. $7 million plus for a senior center and tourist office for this place ? Another property that should be bulldozed and start from scratch. I worked at the Station years ago and it was an eyesore and hazard even then. There was some entertainment value when Greco and the owners of the Woodlands owners the Cornfelds got into a pissing contest that resulted in some expensive cars getting towed all over town.

Greco and Greg Skrepenack should enjoy the show on TV.


Anonymous said...

I hate to be the one to tell you that the politics of this new County Council will not add up to a hill of beans. The Council will hire a new county manager and then for all intent and purposes, they are done! They have very little function other than that appointment followed by approval of the department managers the county manger picks. Yes there can be a real political coalition put together and as a unified group, they can put the hammer on the county manager and cause him to do their bidding via a threat to dump him and they don't need cause to do so. The saving grace is that this group is not capable of getting together to form a coherent majority. AND, don't be too quick to come to judgement on that. Remember that the county manager will be a mini king and the only thing that could keep him in check is a strong over site coalition and this group does not have the government experience to know up from down and they are all too independent to take advise from each other. A real cluster f***! If you or anyone can see this mess as a workable government, then you have cat vision with night vision optics. I don't wish for failure, I just don't see this form of government working. Time will tell. Signed the WATCHER

Anonymous said...

The Petrilla led county government is disgraceful. Juts when I think she and Cooney along with Urban are not capable of doing more damage, she pulls a black rat out of the hat. I thought the installation of a million dollar time clock system was a huge waste and was the crowning jewel in her hat for the road but then she pulls the hotel demolition out of the same hat. This idiot woman really needs to be sent packing. Does anyone realize the amount of money she has pissed away this year? The former Greco property will be a 7 million dollar tourist office, the million dollar time clock that is a joke and now another million after the previous 6 million to tear down the hotel. Add it all up, the taxpayers would have been better off if we gave Petrilla a million dollars to simply stop making decisions and go away. The Watcher

Anonymous said...

very nicely put.