LAWRENCE COUNTY Program to offer public better view of operations

Commissioners want more information from department heads and officeholders.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Lawrence County commissioners said they plan to start a new program next month that could provide the public with a closer look at county operations.
Commissioners, at their weekly caucus Thursday, said they are asking county department and agency heads, along with row officers, to attend commissioners meetings and present a brief overview of what is happening in their departments.
"They can provide us with where they are so far this year, provide us with a budget update and answer any questions this board, as well as members of the public, might have for them," commissioner chairman Dan Vogler said.
Commissioners said they would like to see up to three department heads at each meeting. They explained they can require department heads to appear at their meetings, but they are not authorized to demand agency heads or row officers to attend.
"But we are asking," Vogler said. "And I think it will be a good thing for all of us, including the public."
Vogler said a schedule will be drafted and posted in advance so the public will be aware of which department heads will be attending which meetings.
In recent weeks, commissioners have said they worry about acting on requests made by various department heads before having a chance to review the information needed to make a responsible decision.
Commissioners have repeatedly commented they would appreciate having more input from the various department and agency heads and row officers regarding the various requests, specifically in the areas of budget items, contracts and personnel.

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