Blogger's Note: This is the fourth installment of Brad Osborne's questionnaire to South Whitehall Tp Comm'r candidates.
November 20, 2019. There was no advertisement. There were no interviews of any kind, The published agenda failed to include the appointment of a vacant Commissioner's seat. Yet as the midnight hour approached, that's precisely what happened. South Whitehall Board of Commissioners rejected the voters’ fourth choice for three available positions in favor of Joe Setton to fill a vacancy. The Morning Call headline read “Catcalling, lack of transparency, mistrust: South Whitehall residents lash out at commissioners over appointment”.
This sleight of hand has since resulted in several consequential and permanent pro-development decisions in 3-2 votes, and has angered many residents.
Today’s Candidate Question: Should vacancies on the Board of Commissioners and volunteer boards/commissions be advertised and interviews conducted in a public setting before an appointment is made?
Christina “Tori” Morgan (R): No response.
Joe Setton (D): No response.
David Kennedy (R): Yes, all positions and vacancies should be advertised. There are many SWT residents who are highly qualified and capable; full transparency is a must. This process should always be “in the sunshine.”
Monica Hodges (R): Yes. The vacancy should be announced in a timely fashion; the description and responsibilities of the position as well as the application deadline and term expiration should be clear; the advertisement of the vacancy should be rigorous; and the public should be able to watch the interviews, know what questions were asked, know the responses, and have a clear idea as to why the final appointee was chosen.
Thomas J. Johns (D): Yes. In addition to allowing transparency in the appointment process, the advertisements of the vacancies may alert other residents who are unaware of the opportunity to serve their community.