ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹɟ ʎlnɹʇ ɐ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Home Rule: 1-week Report Card?

How’s that Home Rule thing working out so far? That was the starter for yesterday’s drawn-out conversation. Circumlocution, you could call it.

Well, you’d think that after one week it’d be virtually impossible to draw anything close to conclusions, but I do have a few thoughts.

First of all, I’m surprised by all of the consternation concerning the rumored front runner for the county executive post. Did we really believe that we’d search the world over and find a perfect candidate for the appointment? I never thought we would, unless we managed to fill the ear of someone who loves a challenge.

And those people do exist. I remember from my restaurant days that there is no quicker route to stardom than assuming control of a under performing store and turning it around. Taking control of a store that is achieving or exceeding expectations and continuing those profitable ways only proves that you are as capable as the previous general manager.

Getting back to the so-called front runner for the executive post, his employment track record is some cause for concern in that he seems to change jobs about as often as I change the filter in my coffeemaker.

Another serious cause for concern is the fact that the county council seems to have split into two rival factions…the Urbans and everybody else. So far, it seems as if Pop and Junior have their own agendas.

And I wholeheartedly disagree with Pop’s assertion that we should have put more emphasis on recruiting a local to fill the executive seat. By bringing in an outsider, at least the ages-old party politics, past allegiances and the behind-the-scenes power brokers will lose their grips on Luzerne County governance. At least, I hope.

I did not agree with the council’s decision to keep the process of recruiting an executive behind closed doors. Sorry, but I was told that this switch to Home Rule would bring with it a transparency in government where none existed before. And with secrecy being it’s first official overt ( or covert) act, council did not fill me with optimism going forward.

I once asked Councilman Harry Haas what his favorite color was? His response? Transparency.

Exactly! That’s what the populace of this county needs and expects. And I would not only remind him, but all of the 11 people we now look to for open and honest governing that more than anything, we need and deserve some transparency for the first time in our troubled history.

Still, we need to be remindful of the fact that this transitional period should prove to be messy considering that the outgoing commissioners did their level best to make it messy by saddling us with a 2012 budget that reeks of sabotage.

So, how’s that Home Rule thing working out so far?

To definitively answer that question would be akin to bemoaning an individual’s lack of accomplishments despite their obvious infancy.

We’ve only got a week by which to judge the state of things. But I would go as far to say that by having an 11-person council of people who seem to refuse to be on the same page, at least initially, I am troubled more than I thought I would be at this early stage of the revolution.

Remonstrance? Hell, at this point I’d settle for sanity tinged with some civility.


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