Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1340, Oct. 20th, 2010



I had the pleasure of moderating a Home Rule Informational session at the Chester Street Middle School in Kingston last night. Jim Haggerty opened up the evening introducing me as the moderator. Committee members Richard Kick Heffernen, CJ Kersey and Jeff Neimac answered questions from me. I asked Hefferen, a former employee if he could’ve done his job better with Home Rule. He answered yes saying that hiring should be done on merit. The former county employee said jobs were doled out according to commissioners wishes not merit.
C.J. Kersey pointed out that a county manager will be chosen by council and that body will not be involved in day to day running of county. I pointed out that in 2003 without corruption, indictments and tax increases, the home rule yes people still got 46%. If the charter was successful, what type of transition team would be formed. County Council commissioners and others elected in the election of council in 2011 would make up the transition team to be up and running in 2012. A big issue was the streamlining of the legal services in the county. Kersey said there would be one law department so the county could have all legal work under one department instead of various row officers having their own solicitors.
Niemec added that the Charter would prevent the county row offices from suing each other in the county from suing itself. On the finances I told the group I was surprised to learn there were 68 different bank accounts for Luzerne County government. When I asked if there was a way to stop this if the Charter did not live up to expectations, the members said the charter structure remains for five yrs voters before voters can change it. Charter can be amended and Kersey pointed out that Lehigh Valley which has had a charter since 1976 has added more than 80 amendments. Other points, tax collectors won't lose jobs and the annual salary at least $80000 county mgr not to-exceed $160000. After consolidation there will be two row offices left. Division of Judicial services and Controller as well as the D.A. will be left. Elected officials were asked to attend, none did although Red O’Brien made an initial commitment. One man summed up his feelings by saying, “this is our home, we have to make it better, that’s why I’m voting yes”. More than fifty people were in attendance.
Overheard at the Home Rule forum: Hate the dike tax. We are being punished and then have to buy flood insurance on top of it…….. Casino gaming funds Republicans in Senate voted1/3 for property tax relief and 2/3 for stadiums and other projects and that if Ed Rendell winds up in Washington he and Obama deserve each other.


At 3:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it, they said the Republican's passed the gaming tax with only 1/3 for tax reliefe adn the remainder for special proljest and then they go on to blame Rendell! WTF? Heffernan comlains about how the commissioners hired "favorites" when he worked for the county ........ is he shitting me? How the f ___ did he get his job? Another jerk who thinks he got his job based on ability and all others on politics. Total jerk! Home Rule will save money is a real joke and a pie in the sky idea. Home Rule will cost us bundles. Not manager hired to replace Row Officers will be earning $36,000 as the Row Officers are currently paid. Hiring by the manager will keep the COuncil out of the day to day business ofhe county is anothe pipi dream. The majority will control the manager and he will do exactly as they tell him or he won't have his job very long. Voters who think Home Rule will take politics out of the Court House also write letters to Santa. Wake up before its too late. Once Home Rule is passed, it will be here forever. Home Rule can be a good thing but this Charter is terrible.

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Junction said...

I hope they clear the muddy waters a little more on the workings of the home rule. As it stands now and of what I heard from the 1/3 of the committee last night I am not sold on this new form of gov.Not sure why all the committee was not on stage to answer questions from the public if this is such an important election as stated by Mayor Haggerty.If they cannot answer a few questions how are they going to handle the majority of the county voters when they are asked questions if this home rule charter goes thru.

At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think what people are totally missing on changing the form of government is that currently there is no organizational structure or hierarchy. There is no total team approach to running the operations. There exists many silos that run independently with no regard to the impact to the overall organization. The current form of government is inefficient, wasteful and selfish. They missed out on the concept of reengineering and doing more with less.

At 12:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonk, would it have killed Michael Buffer in the Voice to give the name of your blog?

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A word about Ed Hefferean, as for me, I'm hooked on a Hefferen. The guy is the smartest, most common sense person on that panel. Yes siree Bob, I'm hooked on a Hefferean!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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