Thursday, October 13, 2011

County Council candidates forum

The League of Women Voters held a traditional forum for Luzerne County County Council candidates last night at King's College. The turnout by the public was disappointing as only 50 people attended to hear what 21 of the 28 people in the race had to say. Jennifer has a write-up in the TL summarizing what each of them said in the 2 minutes allotted to them quoting the usual good government platitudes.

This is most unwieldy election I have ever witnessed locally with 11 spots up for grabs and an absence of any sort of party support or discipline. Every candidate is running on their own. Some people think that is a good thing and others long for the days of the 3 Commissioner system when the local Democrats with the help of a few big money Republicans gave us a predictable result. The old system gave us a string of all stars such as Makowski, Pizzano, Vonderheid, Skrepnak and Crossin.

Most people against the new charter are focused on this free for all and don't like the idea of an appointed county manager instead of an elected executive. I agree that we should elect a Mayor of the County and think that that the last home rule plan was much better. But this is what we have in front of us so deal with it. The next election for seats on the council will be more focused.

A point that I think that has been overlooked is that the charter has eliminated elections for the county row offices. The part I like is that the coroner, register of wills, recorder of deeds, treasurer and sheriff would all be hired based on qualifications . 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 and Jill Moran and Bob Reilly have shown how diffuse power centers can lead to trouble.

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 in jail.

I spotted this at LuLac's 13 questions

6. Will you make any endorsements in the upcoming races? And will your cohort Gort do so?

I can’t speak for Gort but I’m thinking of it. I’ll have to have a meeting with him about it.

I look forward to that meeting.


Anonymous said...

Excuse me guys but the adacity of LuLac or Gort endorsing candidates is a bit much. No, It's a lot much. On what bag of government or political experience do you guys feel qualified to endorse? At least the Citizen's Voice knew they didn't belong in the world of endorsements and didn't go there.

Gort said...

I've always said most endorsementments are only good for a press release unless they deliver money or boots on the ground. I can deliver neither so I won't be endorsing anyone.

As far as political experience I have worked on campaigns since 1976.