Monday, December 06, 2004

Row office reform solution -- unbundle and take on a case by case vote.

I wrote to Erik Selby, Program Manager, KQV, and asked if I might provide an audio editorial.

Row office reform is a big topic in 2005. Our county's chief executive has a plan to reduce the elected offices from ten to two. Others on council and in our political system have different plans, be it 6 or 5 or otherwise.

Rather than a bundled package, I'd love to see the voters of the county deal with each office on a case by case basis. Rather than one question for the voters with an outcome of for example, 10-2, take it or leave it.

Let's think again. Let's ask ten questions.

Should the county charter be changed so as to keep and elected position of:
  • Treasurer: vote "YES" or "NO."

  • District Attorney: vote "YES" or "NO."

  • Sheriff: vote "YES" or "NO."

  • (and so on)

  • Listing all the office postions could be squeezed into the radio's message.

    The voters are smart enough to take this apart on a case by case basis. The vote would allow each office to campaign or not for their role within the new structure.

    When there is a bundled deal, this gives cover. The process should be open, honest and clear for all to see.

    As voters are not aware of the issue, they'd be encouraged to not vote and leave the decision to those who have strong opinions on the matter. But, in the course of the campiagns, good news outlets would rise to the call for more voter eduction, also on a case by case basis. This educational exposure would make the county stronger and serve as a civics primer to many.

    Western Pennsylvania lags in terms of our use of democracy. Let's provide more power to the people. Our use of referendums and ballot questions is horrid. We should enliven this process as a tool of democracy. Self-reliance is in short supply and greatly needed before we can solve the various crises we face.


    Of course, I'd re-write for length before going to the studio.

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