In defense of the Luzerne County Home Rule Charter

 Letters to the Editor

Disclaimer: Letters to the Editor express the opinion of the writer and are not necessarily the opinion of WBIG ownership, management or staff.

I hear more and more people saying that Luzerne County home rule government did not live up to their expectations. A common criticism: home rule charter does not provide adequate checks and balances.

The council-manager form of government is the most popular structure of local government in the United States. I believe the perceived problem revolves around not following the provisions in the charter, not the charter itself. Checks built into the charter include a Controller watchdog function, an Accountability, Conduct, and Ethics (ACE) commission, and an eleven member Council—all oversight functions to help keep government honest and effective. Unfortunately, all three have had limited success. Controller audits are generally disregarded, his charter-mandated unrestricted access denied; the ACE Commission has dismissed all thirteen complaints brought before them; and a majority of the part time council members lack a fundamental understanding of government operations and policy making experience.

Edwards Deming said, “It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best”

Michael Giamber,
Sweet Valley
2013 Candidate for Luzerne County Council

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