|Peg Ferraro, lookin' lean and mean|
Another Council member, Tom Dietrich, also supports making row officers elective positions. At yesterday's Personnel Committee meeting, he claimed this is because of John Stoffa's recent, and very controversial, appointment of Gina Gibbs as Register of Wills. That's funny because, when he spoke to The Morning Call, he denied the proposal had anything to do with the Gibbs' appointment. He's managed to contradict himself in the span of 24 hours, like a good little pol.
|Bob Werner chides Kraft and Dietrich|
This appeal to direct democracy has a big flaw, and that was driven home by former County Exec Jerry Seyfried at a hearing on Wednesday. You see, the voters, in an exercise of direct democracy, have already shot down the idea of elected row officers.
In 1978, the row offices were abolished, not by politicians, but by the voters of Northampton County. The voters, through the process known as voter referendum, have told you they don't want row offices. The change that was implemented provided a system of checks and balances like no other in the history of the County. The efficiencies that came with the elimination of the row offices and the adoption of the Northampton County Home Rule Charter resulted in cutting property taxes almost in half.I spoke, too, but should have kept my trap shut. Council members Bob Werner, Peg Ferraro and Scott Parsons each stated that this is pretty much a terrible idea.
|Scott Parsons, as Coroner, can declare me dead|
Peg Ferraro, who remembers what it was like when row officers were elected, claimed there were "separate little fiefdoms" that were accountable to no one. "You're taking us back forty years," she warned Kraft and Dietrich. She said people get elected for two reasons - popularity and money. Not competence or professionalism. "Be careful what you ask for," she added.
Scott Parsons said bluntly, "This is probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. I can't support this at all."