In a clear referendum on the people’s displeasure with Democratic majority Commissioners Jim Wansacz and Corey O’Brien, Lackawanna County voters overwhelmingly approved the creation of a Government Study Commission.
Lackawanna County’s Democratic majority commissioners also attempted to consolidate four elected offices into positions that they would be empowered to handpick. All four of these proposals were soundly rejected. One attempt, the attempt to make the Sheriff an appointed position, was particularly objectionable to Lackawanna County voters.
Having their editorial page slip further into irrelevancy, the Scranton Times-Tribune weighed in, calling for the rejection of the Study Commission and adoption of the Commissioner’s proposal, to no avail.
The campaign for the study commission was led by Chuck Volpe, a former Democratic candidate for both Pennsylvania Governor and State Senator who now sells insurance. It is reported that Mr. Volpe’s campaign spent $300,000 on this effort. Mr. Volpe was able to push most of his candidates to victory.
With the exception of Mr. Volpe’s team, a few individual candidates, and the Republican Party no unified force presented a serious campaign for a slate of candidates or on the questions.
While the election was non-partisan and the returns are still unofficial, Republicans will likely have representation by two of the seven members. They will join former Democratic Chairman Jerry Notariani along with other Democratic members of Mr. Volpe’s slate to comprise the commission.
Volpe has a super-majority on the Commission, guaranteeing that his ideas for government reform will be addressed.