Change Of Government Coming For Lackawanna County?

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Lackawanna County`s three-commissioner way of governing could see an end in the near future.

At Lackawanna College Wednesday night, the seven-member government study panel voted to do away the offices of county commissioner.

“There aren`t enough checks and balances, I feel that the commissioners have way too much power, arrogance about that power and the minority commissioner really doesn`t have a say,” said Marnie O`Dey-Palmer from Clarks Green.

“The commissioners have tried to claim 'well we have a controller and a minority commissioner.' They have not been given information, the controller`s on record having not gotten information, in fact they took an important vote on an ordinance to do away with row officers that the minority commissioners wasn`t even aware of the morning of the vote,” said Chuck Volpe, the chairman of the panel.

The panel then had to select how the county would be run.

One option was the way Luzerne County now runs its county with an elected part-time council that would appoint a full-time county executive.

The panel went with its second option having an elected part-time council as well as an elected full-time county executive.

This question will now be on the May ballot in the primaries for voters to decide if this is how the county should be run.

In a statement from Democratic Majority Commissioner Corey O`Brien, he said:

“Chuck Volpe has taken his personal vendetta to the next step, as promised. Now only the voters will stand between him and his government takeover.”

The panel also voted to keep those four row offices the commissioners wanted to eliminate as elected county positions saying in May the voters chose to keep them.

Jim McNulty, a former mayor of Scranton, is married to the recorder of deeds.

“I think the independence of elected officials who are directly responsible to the people is very important to keep the confidence of the people in their government,” said McNulty.

As for how many members will be on council and whether to break Lackawanna County up into voting districts, the panel said that will be worked out before the primaries through public hearings.