Chris Kelly: Scranton Voters Stick With What They Know Is Killing Them

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The table was set for reform-hungry Scranton voters to nominate successors to three-term Mayor Chris Doherty, but they showed little appetite for change at City Hall in Tuesday’s primary election.

Just under 37 percent of city Democrats voted; about 19 percent of their Republican neighbors. The turnout was shockingly anemic, considering taxpayers’ endless braying about being bled dry by a parasitic government.

Turnout was similarly listless countywide (35.3 percent), but at least voters supported a government study commission that could lead to real change and voted to keep county row offices, rejecting a naked power grab by the incumbent county commissioners.  Jim Wansacz, Corey O’Brien and Pat “Cheese” O’Malley weren’t up for re-nomination, but voters let them know they were lucky not to be on the ballot.

City voters sent a different message:  Forget belt-tightening!  Bring on the bankruptcy buffet!

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/editorials-columns/christopher-j-kelly/chris-kelly-scranton-voters-stick-with-what-they-know-is-killing-them-1.1495526

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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Intl. Airport Clears Way For $50M I-81 Project

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport board on Thursday cleared the way for development of a multimillion-dollar access road project.

The board, including the commissioners of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, formally released 16.5 acres of land for the state Department of Transportation to build an access road that will extend from Interstate 81 through the airport property, overpass the Pennsylvania Turnpike and connect to the Grimes Industrial Park in Pittston Township.

“This is a big deal,” Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien said.  “It opens up the west end of the airport for future economic development projects.

Thirteen acres of the land will be used for the access road and the remaining 3.5 acres will be used for reconstruction of the of the airport exit along Interstate 81 in Dupont.  The project will combine the Avoca and airport exits into one and move traffic through a series of roundabouts.

Read more:  http://standardspeaker.com/news/airport-clears-way-for-50m-i-81-project-1.1476011

Lackawanna County Eliminates Four More Jobs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lackawanna County is eliminating four more positions, bringing to 28 the number of county jobs slashed over the past two months to help balance the 2013 budget.

Cutting the four positions will save $184,837 in salaries and benefits next year, according to figures provided by the commissioners’ office.

Chief of staff Maria Elkins said Thursday the latest cuts include the elimination of a secretary’s position in the Department of Human Resources, which will result in a layoff.

Two vacant positions will also be cut, effective at the end of the year, she said. They are an accountant position in the treasurer’s office and a clerk position in the clerk of judicial records office.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/lackawanna-county-eliminates-four-more-jobs-1.1422148