NEW CASTLE —
A couple of things:
We finally have an opinion.
A week after it threw out a redistricting plan for state legislative districts, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released its opinion yesterday.
The court says the plan drawn up by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission splits too many municipalities among separate districts.
While the commission may argue that splitting municipalities was necessary because it had to try to make each district nearly equal in population, that’s a hollow argument considering what the commission actually came up with.
Consider, for example, the commission’s redesign of the Ninth District represented by Chris Sainato. It has a population of 60,799.
Then there’s the 17th District represented by Michele Brooks. It has a population of 63,205.
The court said that while population is a factor, other factors that must be considered include compactness and integrity of political subdivisions.
The court’s ruling means the commission needs to come up with a new plan. Meanwhile, candidates for legislative offices, facing an April 26 deadline to file nomination petitions, aren’t sure where their districts begin and end.
There was a lot to digest from interviews this week of New Castle residents seeking appointment to city council.
The majority of what the nine candidates had to say was impressive, while some of it was not so impressive.
A comment made by one of the candidates, John Donnelly, made me chuckle.
In his remarks to council, Donnelly said it “appears” there is no coordination or cooperation with the county government.
That’s being kind.
OK, let me back up a bit. It’s not that the Lawrence County commissioners and city officials don’t cooperate on certain matters. However, there is no ongoing dialogue between the two entities. At times, one would think the two are on separate planets.
I’m not placing blame on either one, but if we have to pick one of them that should initiate a dialogue it would be the commissioners because they represent the entire county.
From all indications, county and city officials seem to get along when they do discuss matters of mutual interest. So, it should be an easy transition for them to meet periodically, perhaps every three months.
Discussion can only be a positive, possibly spawning some ideas that could develop into some tangible results for the county.
NEW CASTLE —
A couple of things:
- John K. Manna
John K. Manna: State finally has road, bridge repair plan
Pennsylvania finally has a program in place to fix roads and bridges and provide more money for mass transit. The massive undertaking — pushed by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett — will cost about $2.3 million per year, most of which will be paid by motorists in the form of increases in gas prices at the pump and fees.
John K. Manna: Three former governors give their endorsements
Another election is history, which means another election campaign season is under way. Actually, some Democratic candidates running in next year’s gubernatorial contest couldn’t wait and began campaigning months before this year’s election.
John K. Manna: Taking a look at Tuesday’s election results
What to take away from Tuesday’s election in Lawrence County. Maybe not much, but let’s try. Voter turnout was awful — just below 20 percent. Based on records of the county Board of Elections, it was the worst turnout for a general election within the last 30 years.
John K. Manna: Voters must make choices in ‘off-year’ contests
I don’t know who coined the phrase “off-year election.” The implication is that it’s not as important as presidential, gubernatorial and congressional elections.
John K. Manna: Why would anyone run for office?
Why are you running for office? This is often the first question — a softball one at that — candidates for public office are asked. And sometimes we get great answers and sometimes we’ll get something like, “Hmm, let me think.”
John K. Manna: Doing away with school property taxes would cause new problems
In less than a month, a bill in the Pennsylvania House went from committee to adoption. I’m certain it’s no record, but considering the significance of the legislation, the House wasted little time. But this is one bill that House members should have taken longer to consider and even defeat in its current form.
John K. Manna: Despite significance of races, history suggests a low turnout this fall
The deadline to register to vote in the November election is just nine days away. It’s highly doubtful we’ll see hordes of unregistered people rushing to the courthouse to get their names on the registration rolls generally because odd-numbered year elections simply don’t generate as much interest as those in the even-numbered years.
John K. Manna: State should foot the bill for education
OK, here’s my periodic look at property tax reform in Pennsylvania, or the lack thereof. Rep. Seth Grove of York County offered the latest proposal to deal with school property taxes. He calls it the Optional Property Tax Elimination Act.
John K. Manna: Voters are always hoping for something better
Ed Rendell a candidate for Philadelphia mayor? His name is being tossed around as possibly running again for mayor, a post he held before he ran for governor.
John K. Manna: Do lawmakers care what citizens really think?
Monday is Labor Day, which once was considered the start for fall political campaigns. That isn’t the case anymore, because campaigns seem to have no beginnings or ends, but go on and on.
- More John K. Manna Headlines
- John K. Manna: State finally has road, bridge repair plan