Phoenixville Council Appoints New Member To Fill Vacated Seat

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

PHOENIXVILLE — In a split vote at Tuesday night’s meeting, borough council appointed a current planning commission member to fill the East Ward seat Mike Speck vacated by his election to mayor in November.

Shai Perednik, who also serves on the borough’s historic architecture review board, joined council in a 4-3 vote divided along party lines Tuesday night.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to get involved in the borough,” Perednik said, adding he’d like to see his family grow up alongside the borough.

One of three candidates interviewed, Perednik received approval votes from Council President Jim Kovaleski, Council Vice President Dana Dugan, Jenn Mayo and Jeremy Dalton.

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New Pittsburgh Government Set To Launch As Peduto Has Laid Out Some Lofty Goals

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Saturday, incoming Mayor Bill Peduto began his move into the mayoral wing on the fifth floor of the City-County Building in advance of today’s inauguration, when he will officially take the reins of city government.

The Rev. Terry O’Connor, son of the late Mayor Bob O’Connor and brother to Councilman Corey O’Connor, blessed the space with a sprinkling of holy water. The floors were mopped.

For a man who has pledged to “clean up city hall” and who gave his victory speech while clutching a broom, it was an apropos entrance.

Mr. Peduto has expounded on that theme for more than a year, calling the administration of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl corrupt and saying that the city needs to move away from the old-style politics if it wants to progress. And if he holds to his campaign pledges, he will represent a monumental shift in both style and substance in the mayor’s office.

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Sunshine Act Keeps Doors Open

While Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law gives residents the chance to keep tabs on their government through access to records, a related law lets them see decision-making bodies in action.

The state Sunshine Act requires public boards and councils to discuss business and make decisions in public.

The laws work in conjunction to give people access to their governments. A resident may request a document they know exists because it was approved or discussed at a public meeting.

But there are sometimes disagreements over when one law or the other applies.

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Governor Christie Quietly Takes On New Jersey Lottery

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of Ne...

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TRENTON – Gov. Christie hasn’t held a news conference about it, and his treasurer has refused to testify on it.  But the Republican governor is close to privatizing the bulk of a $2.8 billion New Jersey institution.

Following a national trend already under way in Pennsylvania, Christie is negotiating a 15-year contract with a company to operate the state lottery in an effort to increase sales, thereby building more revenue for schools and state institutions.

Like Pennsylvania’s Republican Gov. Corbett, Christie bypassed the Legislature, much to its chagrin, in bidding out the system.  And like Pennsylvania, New Jersey got just one bid in response to its request for proposals.

Unlike in Pennsylvania, where the pending contract was ultimately posted online and must be submitted for approval to the Democratic attorney general, New Jersey’s lottery bid is not public.  Christie could just sign a contract in the next two months.

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