Pittsburgh-Area Leaders Expected To Back Tom Wolf

Tom Wolf, the Democratic front-runner in the race for governor, will be in town Saturday to showcase high-profile endorsements from Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and possibly other local elected officials.

Neither the county executive nor the mayor would comment on the development, which was confirmed by those involved in discussions with the candidate. It wasn’t clear what other officials might join them at the weekend announcement.

Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Peduto are part of a group of local officials who have had ongoing discussions about the possibility of a group endorsement from senior Democrats in the region. U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, has been part of those discussions and one figure familiar with the endorsement conversation said he expected the congressman to be there as well.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2014/03/07/Local-leaders-expected-to-back-Wolf/stories/201403070108#ixzz2vKAKRu4u

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New Form of Government for Lackawanna County: Would It Work?

Lackawanna County Courthouse, Scranton, Pennsy...

Lackawanna County Courthouse, Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lackawanna County would find itself on a rarely traveled path if voters were to approve a switch in county government from the traditional three-commissioner form to a system with an elected council and an elected executive or appointed manager.

Luzerne County made the transition in 2012, and Allegheny County did it in 2000.

But in the four decades since it became an option under Pennsylvania law, a mere six counties – Luzerne and Allegheny included – have adopted home rule charters that scrapped their three-member boards of commissioners in favor of an executive/council or a council/manager form of government.

A group led by Dunmore insurance executive Chuck Volpe wants to place a referendum on the May 21 ballot to establish a commission to study and recommend changes to county government, with the expressed goal of replacing the commissioners with an elected executive and elected council.

What’s better?

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/new-form-of-county-government-would-it-work-1.1445618

Allegheny County Port Authority Board Fires CEO

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

Port Authority’s board of directors voted today to fire CEO Steve Bland after efforts broke down to reach a settlement under which he would resign.

The dismissal was engineered by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.  He has not commented on the matter but sources who asked not to be identified have said friction developed between the two over Mr. Fitzgerald’s desire to have greater control of day-to-day operations at the agency.

The vote to dismiss Mr. Bland was 5-3, with four members recently appointed by Mr. Fitzgerald all voting yes, along with board member Jeff Letwin, who was appointed by the prior county executive, Dan Onorato.  The others voting to fire were Joe Brimmeier, Connie Parker, John Tague, Tom Donatelli.

Voting no were Mavis Rainey, Amanda Green Hawkins and Eddie Edwards Jr., all of whom are board veterans.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/transportation/port-authority-board-fires-bland-672980/#ixzz2JfkDbXwW