Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Luzerne County Council to hire a manager

The papers are reporting that a guy from California will be offered the job as the first Luzerne County manager under home rule later today. The CV and the TL say the pick is Robert Lawton. I don't know much about him other than what I read in papers but certainly wish him the best. He is walking into a mess of a budget situation left over by former Commissioners Maryanne Petrilla, Steve Urban and the other guy that interim manager Tom Pribula has been trying to address. He keeps proposing a mix of tax increases and budget cuts that the new council keeps shooting down. Sounds a lot like what is going on in Washington.

I have been getting beat up in the comments and other blogs for my backing of the new form of government. It's a school board, it won't work, etc. The new charter is not perfect but then what is? I preferred the previous charter with an elected county executive and a mix of distict and at-large elections for the council. That plan was shot down when Skrep and Vondy said "trust us." That worked out well.

This new form of government was passed as a reaction to the Juvie Brothers scandal for sure. The thing I like about it was elimination of most of the row offices that were power centers with no oversight. How many of them went to jail? There is no Democratic or Republican way to perform an autopsy (Coronor) or to register a will. And What the hell is a Prothonotary?

If they hire Lawton and he doesn't back out before February 21st the Yonk has some advice. A couple of my favs

Don’t take it personally if people don’t like you because you’re an outsider. People from Scranton have the same problem.

If someone says you’re a cousin….don’t believe them

Abe’s Hot Dogs, South Main, the original. Don’t settle.

There are two Steve Urbans on the County Council, one has hair, the other doesn’t. Both may seem like the same person so you’ll need to tell them apart.

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