Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Luzerne County Should Take A Lesson From Allegheney County

Mark Moran Citizen's Voice Photo

Caption- "I wonder if I am going to be next??"

In today's Citizen's Voice Michael Buffer reports on the sad state of financial affairs facing Luzerne County. The county is considering a 33% tax hike to make ends meet. According to Buffer the county will be able to pare that down to 22% if they lay off 150 people.

The reality is that we are in the midst of a restructuring of Luzerne County whether "they" want to believe it or not. I call it the "Southerton" effect. Except for that PizzellaFella I believe the next set of office holders WILL GET IT.

They will understand that the people are damn angry with government. Speaking of Pizzella, dude, did you not see what happened to Ciavarella when his arrogance ran about ten feet in front of him? Seriously, think about this. You couldn't walk in Conahan's shadow and you believe you are going to do what? Gort has a great post about the PizzellaFella. Frank...ly speaking if you were a pilot you would know it is a dangerous game to get caught in the propwash.

Anyone who has encountered the federal system will give you the following rundown. The Feds are not Keystone cops. The problem with the Feds is you are already caught when they come for you. When they want to talk to you they already know what they need to know. They just want to talk to tidy up a few details before they lock your ass up. Ohh off subject, sorry. Back to Luzerne County.

Commissioner Petrilla and Urban. Take a page from the Allegheny County playbook. Start with this paper written by Christopher Briem of the University of Pittsburgh that details how Allegheny County came to its breaking point of change. Efficiency in consolidation is no different for government than it is for private industry.

In line with consolidation look how Allegheny County was able to extract savings and install efficiency into its government structure by eliminating Row Offices. Allegheny County's efforts to terminate duplication saved residents millions. Although Dan Onorato doesn't stand a chance against Tom Corbett shoud the race for governor shape up that way I want to give him credit for his plan outlined in this article. Yes, not all Democrats are bad.

But the effort should not stop there. Many local governments should be looking at consolidation. The state should be mandating enrollment in the Pennsylvania Council of Governments to effect a statewide savings for each and every taxpayer.

Jim Dino of the Standard Speaker writes:

Councils of governments are meant to act as a conduit among an area's municipal governments, so that they can try to address common problems together - and perhaps save money doing it.

The Mountain Council of Governments represents 13 municipalities in the Hazleton area, including municipalities in Luzerne, Schuylkill and Carbon counties. There is no membership fee to belong to the Mountain COG.

For more information on the M-COG contact Dan Guydish, executive director, at 455-1509 or at www.hazletonchamber.org.

I know,,time to take my Prozac. Nobody will ever go for it.

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