Monday, September 21, 2009

Luzerne County Restructuring

Back in January, 2008 Jennifer Learn-Andes wrote an article about Row Officers wanting salary increases.

Board of Commissioners Chairperson Maryanne Petrilla said she agrees that local row officer salaries are “off base” compared to similarly sized counties and will recommend the commissioners vote to study row officer salaries in those counties.

The county should then hold several public hearings to present findings and gather public feedback, she said.

“It’s their government and they have to have a say,” Petrilla said.

Well, Maryann here's what I have to say. We have a government study commission examining the county structure. In looking at the request to increase salaries another issue has come to light lately, so much so that Attorney General Tom Corbett has agents working on the matter.

The Row Offices are independent of county government as the offices are elected at large by the voters. It basically states that in the Administrative Code of Luzerne County. Their departments are funded through county government but the elected officials are independent from answering to the Commissioners. And that's when the problem started. Who do they answer to? Only the voters at election time.

If the Commissioners want to look to increase the salaries of Row Officers who is negotiating the time spent "on the clock" to earn that salary? There have been questions raised about vacation time, sick time, and the like recently so it is about time these Row Officers enter into a "contract" with the voters to document their time spent on the job to justify their salary.

Reporting is required in the private sector';the public sector should learn a lesson. If its not documented it didn't happen.

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