Government’s fate to go on the ballot

Petitions to serve on a study commission must be
circulated next month.



NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Voters will again decide if they want to look at changing Lawrence County’s government.

County commissioners reiterated their willingness Tuesday to put the issue on the fall ballot when questioned by a member of the League of Women Voters.

Janet Verone, league member, urged commissioners to act soon because the deadline to get an issue on the ballot is in August.

She noted that time also is needed to circulate petitions for those interested in sitting on the commission. Voters will simultaneously decide if they want a study commission and vote for its members in the fall.

Marlene Gabriel, county elections director, said county commissioners must pass an ordinance by Aug. 7 and those interested in sitting on the commission will be able to circulate election petitions from Aug. 7 through Aug. 28.

2nd time around

If successful, this will be the second county government study commission this decade. Voters elected a nine-person commission in 2001. Voters later rejected its proposal that the county adopt a council-manager form of government.

County commissioners say they will put the matter on the ballot, but will not necessarily support it.

Commissioner Steve Craig said he would rather see the League of Women Voters focus its attention on the changing the form of government in New Castle. That was one of the recommendations of a state report issued recently.

Commissioner Ed Fosnaught added that he believes the issue will fail if voters are again asked to vote for a hired manager, rather than an elected county executive.

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