Sunday, May 08, 2005

Row Office Reform: YES and NO editorials in Sunday's PG Forum Section

The Yes-vs.-No ballot question on the May 17 election, right next to our special election for PA Senate, 42nd, makes for some interesting discussions.

Recap from my perspectives:

Months ago, I pushed and pulled as best I could to the County Executive and to County Council Members to junk the plans put forth for the ballot question. The question is not nearly as good as it should be.

Voters are asked to choose a bundle. YES votes call for a drop from ten (10) row offices to four (4). NO votes say keep the system of 10 row offices -- just as it is for now.

The bundle is bad. The bundle forces a discussion into certain areas. The voters got ripped off at the ballot box -- before the vote was even taken. The question of 10 to 4 stinks.

Dan Onorato wanted to drop from 10 to 2. He had a different bundle. That was a bad question as well.

Would-a, Could-a, Should-a from the Rauterkus perspective: Ask each each question for each office on its own merits in seperate votes.

Should the county controller continue to be elected? YES -- or -- NO?

Should the county's recorder of deeds continue to be elected? YES -- or -- NO?

These questions would continue for all ten row offices.

That is what should have happened. That isn't happening. We need elected people who know and care about democracy.

Among the candidates in the race for state senate, Diven seems to be on the side of voting "YES." Fontana was on county council and he didn't do what should have been done, as I suggested. He went with the flow and fumbled into an expansion of four offices put onto the ballot in a crafted compromise that ends up putting the region in another goofy situation -- much like being a dead skunk in the middle of the road.

We need leaders that push forth better solutions. We don't need back bench leadership. We don't need guys who cave on important issues.

Back to today's PG editorials. On the "YES" side was Dick Thornburgh, and he got his taken by David Tessitor.

Thornburgh put up a call for a YES vote because of some an ancient relic reasoning. Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, -- and even George Washington -- are "ancient." But they gave us freedom and in turn the Constitution. Hey Thornburgh -- being ancient has its advantages and is heads and shoulders over the style of leadership and bone headed people we've in too many offices of power running the region in these MODERN TIMES.

Let's turn back the clock and thrive again in terms of our democracy.

The closing statement from the "NO" side from Tessitor is powerful. Note NO! We need more deomocracy, not less.

Thornbergh does not give one reason WHY the old doesn't work. He streamlines democracy and the power with the people -- and that's something that we should question. He thinks an appointed leader is going to give better customer service than an elected one. Why? Thornburgh's spin without substance.

Hanging one's hat on modernized IT is a joke. IT is Informational Technology. I know a thing or two about public IT elements. The county's IT plan isn't about modern solutions, such as open source software. I have no confidence in mega networks run by those who less than 10 years ago didn't have any computers. A distributed network is stronger, better, more modern. We don't want Thornburgh styled, monolitic IT plans lead by career politicians.

If we had a real IT pro among the flock of those in charge, then I'd re-consider my stance. We don't have the talent nor know-how in the top leadership, sadly.

Red tape for citizens and business isn't in the row office structure, but is in found in the AUTHORITIES such as the URA, Water & Sewer, Parking, Stadium, and Housing. We need to work on those authories. I'm the one that wants a vote to eliminate the authorities.

We are barking up the wrong tree.

Onorato is not bucking powerful people in his own party when Michael Lamb, a candidate for mayor, is also standing up to say the same should occur. Onorato is going with the flow among the corporate power base. That isn't bad, in and of itself. But, don't tell us Onorato is bucking the establishment. I'm not crying any tears on these matters for him going out on a limb.

Power would have gone to the people with a one-by-one vote on each office. That would have been the way to buck the system in an effective way.

No comments: