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.
2nd District Democrats nix charter
Charter attacks blasted
Take a look at who’s opposing home rule plan MARK GUYDISH OPINION
2 hours ago
I thought you'd be all over the latest escapades of the NEPA renegade X-MEN tow trucker superheroes:
Towing company owner allegedly tries to head-butt officer
I was thinking we should start up a Marvel or DC comic book series about them, any good artists out there? Have a fleet of them on the comic book cover, in formation in their tow trucks.
They would be like the X-MEN mutants, battling society...always getting a raw deal from "the man". We could follow their adventures.
I have two huge problems with the charter. First, ELEVEN members? It is hard enough to get 4-5 somewhat qualified persons to run for 3 Commissioner positions. How in the world can we get more than eleven (we want to have a choice of who to vote for so I figure we need at least 30 people running for eleven positions). Second, "At Large" just is not equitable. This is a relatively rural county once you get outside of the two large population areas. The former will be consistently underrepresented with district elections. Although getting rid of some row offices and making others non-elected is a step in the right direction, can't we do this under the current form of government? Last, I do not buy the "pro's" position that current leaders are merely attempting to protect their jobs. I think that incumbents, perhaps with the exception of Griffith, and certainly the commissioners, will not be re-elected. They do however, understand the workings of government because they are in thre trenches every day.
Now, students, does it really make sense to add 6 more county leaders in addition to the 3 that we already must endure???
In short, let us do the math: 3 on the take plus 6 on the take = 9 on the take.
Does that in any way make any sense??
As I said, do the math.
It's not surprising that the pro home rule guys are going after Casey Evans, a political newcomer, for speaking his mind. They go after everyone that speaks their mind on home rule if it's an opinion contrary to what their's is. What one of the anonymous commenters said is absolutely right and that there's no regional representation on the proposed charter, so where is the guarantee that this council and unelected county manager will actually work for the whole county? This county's track record isn't the best at that, but it's also certainly not the worst, and without districts, it will be impossible for us that live in these places far from W-B to have our opinions heard and our problems addressed. Good for Evans for standing up for the folks in his district. Haggerty and all the rest are career politicians carving out their own jobs in this "brave new world" they want to give us. They and their supporters say that its only the political establishment that has a stake in home rule's defeat that are speaking against it... Well I got news for all of you: It's Haggerty and Niemec and Kersey and Morelli and all the rest that have a stake in home rule being instituted! It goes both ways! You don't think these people won't want to be on the new council? Or have some position somewhere? It's a political coup on their part, and I for one don't support it. Evans is right for calling the charter out on its own fine print. Hope he keeps it up.
Money is the mother's milk of politics, partonage is the father's sperm. 11 low paid leaders, one un-elected county manager can only lead to more troubles than we already have. I am voting NO.
It is a disgrace to throw out a good form of government because of bad people who run it. So we may get a new form of government with corrupt people running it. Vote QUALITY candidates and Vote NO to home rule.
This is the reason for Home Rule.
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