Referendums Rock Lackawanna Co. Government

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Lackawanna County Commissioners took two hits after the Primary Election. Not only did voters vote down their plan to eliminate some elected positions and consolidate county offices, the other referendum result may put their job in jeopardy.

Voters elected a government study commission that could change Lackawanna County's form of government.

"I don't know what they're trying to say, i think they wanted to look at studying government. We weren't really a part of that, we were focused on the savings to government. Our job isn't to be running around doing the campaigning, our job is to lead and show savings," said Commissioner Jim Wansacz.

Wansacz blamed it on low voter turnout. Now, he said, the voting minority may have created consequences for all county taxpayers.

"One of the immediate consequences, what is the study commission going to cost? Looking at past counties that have done this we're looking at a $60,000 to $100,000 cost. So, I'm not sure where that money is going to come from because it's not budgetted in the county's budget," added Wansacz.

Voters elected a super majority to the government study commission that has a plan to completely change Lackawanna County's form of government.

Chuck Volpe formed that super majority, known as the "Fix It Ticket". Volpe said it's too early to tell how much the commission will cost. But, he said, the election results show that Lackawanna County folks are looking for change.

"The voters said overwhelmingly 'yes', if that's not a mandate to do what we said we were going to do, I don't know what is. There's going to be a change in Lackawanna County," Volpe added.

Volpe and his supporters who pushed for the government study commission were stunned by their success. Volpe's campaign manager said they spent $300,000 to hire Washington DC political campaigners.

"People saw it for what it was and they followed, and now we're moving forward," said campaign manager Tom Galella.

Volpe said the government study commission will meet for the first time in a few weeks. Then they'll have nine months to come up with a recommendation that could be on next year's primary election ballot.