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 says some local people have high incomes
A lot of people fantasize about becoming instant millionaires. That’s why millions of Americans play the lottery, particularly when the jackpots for Powerball and Mega Millions exceed $100 million.
John K. Manna: Son of football legend leads political field in poll
Jay Paterno announced last week that he will be a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in the May primary. Earlier this week, a poll showed Paterno leading the field of Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor by a slim margin.
John K. Manna: Distressed status gives city more revenue sources
New Castle’s population decline over the years has been well documented. It may be small consolation, but most cities in the Northeast have experienced a migration of residents to the suburbs or the Sun Belt over the last 50 years or so.
John K. Manna: Governor’s stances appear to shift over time
Where did Gov. Tom Corbett get his ideas? I don’t know if anyone has ever asked that question, but it came to me this week after reading a column written by G. Terry Madonna and Michael L. Young.
John K. Manna: Survey data suggest governor faces re-election struggle
While public opinion polls are conducted throughout the year, this is the time of year they may carry more significance. Primarily because we are entering a new political campaign season, one in which Pennsylvania voters will be electing a governor.
John K. Manna: Rationale for rejected Voter ID law remains suspicous
Back in 2011, state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said House Bill 934 was needed “to ensure our system has integrity.” Metcalfe, a Butler County Republican, was the prime sponsor of the bill requiring voters to provide a state-approved photo identification when voting.
John K. Manna: State acts to give public more information
When someone suggests, for example, that school property taxes be replaced with state funding, school officials object. And why? They contend that local control would be diminished as a result. I find it laughable since school districts really have little local control now.
John K. Manna: Council members clash on filling empty slot
What a way to begin a new session of New Castle City Council. If this is a honeymoon, I can’t imagine what the divorce may look like. Not that I’m predicting any kind of irreconcilable differences among members of council, but they got off to a rocky start Thursday night in attempting to fill a vacancy on council.
John K. Manna: City school board contest saw plenty of campaign spending
This has been an unusual year for politics in Lawrence County. It’s been a highly uneventful year, except perhaps for those who won election to public office.
John K. Manna: Party labels shouldn’t matter in local contests
Anything is possible in elections, but often improbable when it comes to school board races in Pennsylvania. In the Nov. 5 election, voters went to the polls in six of the eight school districts in Lawrence County and were faced with little choice.
- More John K. Manna Headlines
- John K. Manna: State says some local people have high incomes