LAWRENCE COUNTY Voters will decide on new council

The treasurer and sheriff's positions would become appointed.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Voters will decide later this year if they want to change county government to include a seven-member council with a hired professional manager.
The nine-member, nonpartisan government study commission agreed by a 7-2 vote Saturday to recommend that change in government. Lawrence County now has three county commissioners and various elected officials in other positions.
Those voting against the measure were D. John Razzano and Gale Measel. Both had previously said they wanted a county council with an elected executive.
Under the plan that will be recommended to voters in November, the county council will set policy and the professional manager will take care of the daily administrative duties of the county.
Report to be issued
Commission Chairman Thomas Shumaker said a full report on the recommendation will be issued later this month.
Commission members also agreed that the seven-member council will include five members elected by district and two at large. The council president will be the highest vote-getter of the at-large candidates, Shumaker said. Council members will be paid $2,500 per year and the council president will receive $3,500, he said.
The commission will recommend to voters that the controller remain an elected position, while the treasurer and sheriff will be eliminated as elected positions and filled by appointments, Shumaker said.
Under the plan chosen by the commission, all other elected officials, except the district attorney, will be eliminated and be run by those appointed to the positions, he added.

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