Communities and counties throughout NE Pennsylvania are facing huge snow-removal costs and awaiting word whether the region will qualify for federal aid.
And then there was one. Jim Mulligan stands alone in the race for the GOP nomination to serve as Scranton’s mayor after his two challengers — Bob Bolus and Giovanni Piccolino — were forced to withdraw due to flawed candidate petitions. (The drawing plays off a local post-snowstorm tradition wherein residents reserve on-street parking spots using a chair or other item.)
And so, Sunshine Week — that seven-day stretch set aside each year to remind government officials that they are obliged to let the public know how its business is being conducted — has come and gone. In its wake, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is busily putting its seal of approval on a particularly ill-advised piece of legislation (HB 27) that would shield the identity of any cop involved in a shooting or use of force that results in injury of loss of life. Further, the bill would make it a second-degree misdemeanor for anyone other than a county district attorney to reveal the officer’s name. Police are one of the most powerful agents of government that come into regular contact with the public, so it is therefore vital that that they and the governmental bodies for which they work be held accountable.
$4.2 million legal and broker fees out of the roughly $195 million sewer authority sale price might not seem like a particularly large percentage, but for a cash-starved municipality like Scranton, every dime counts. Certainly, the legal and financial experts who shepherd through such transactions need to be fairly remunerated, but city residents and taxpayers deserve a more thorough accounting of what they’re paying for.
While today’s blizzard likely will be one for the books, Northeastern Pennsylvanians are accustomed to an occasional late-winter nor’easter. We’ll just dig out and wait for the first daffodils of spring.
The latest Sunday Perspective splash page, this week about Indivisible Lackawanna, a liberal grassroots political movement that adopting the methods of the tea party.