Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Editorial: Yes to reform / The public should vote to cut county row offices

I agree with the PG on an election editorial. Should that scare me?
Editorial: Yes to reform / The public should vote to cut county row offices Voters can end all that, regardless of which party has control, if they agree to the proposal on the May 17 ballot. Put before the public by County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and County Council, the plan would reduce the 10 elected row offices to four: district attorney, controller, treasurer and sheriff.

Although the Post-Gazette advocated a previous option that would have eliminated the latter two offices as well, the reform that reached the ballot is better than nothing and deserves the taxpayers' support. In that regard, a recent study by the county controller concluded that Allegheny County would save at least $770,000 a year by having the court and the county executive take over the six functions.

That's a good dollars-and-sense reason to vote Yes on row-office consolidation. But a better reason is to professionalize, rather than politicize, them. The voters have a rare chance to reform their government next month, and they should make the most of it.

What comes next should be interesting.
I hope the voters put a stand alone question or two on the ballot to eliminate the elections for the office of treasurer and sheriff.
Furthermore, I advocated for a yes-no decision on each office. The row-office question should have been delivered in an unbundled package, as 10 individual questions.

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