|Untagged||29 Mar 2013|
|Undated Resignations by allegheny|
The Allegheny County Executive has asked for, and presumably received, undated resignation letters from members of boards of authorities and commissions to which he makes appointments. Those letters are obviously the cudgel by which the Exec will get his way at the authorities.
One might reasonably ask: "What is the point of independent authorities that have all the powers of government, except the power to tax, if the Executive is going to run them as just another means of exerting his will and power"? That was not the purpose of these authorities which were ostensibly created to carry out certain functions apart from the whims of politicians.
Senator Scarnati has already announced his intentions to take away the appointment power of the Allegheny County Executive vis-a-vis the Port Authority because of the reckless and arrogant highhandedness he has shown in dealing with that entity. Perhaps he might want to look at the other authorities and commissions as well.
This desire to exert total and arbitrary control of supposedly independent boards is not only unseemly, it is very dangerous. Very soon only lackeys of the Executive will be willing to take board appointments and the quality of governance will become worthless. This is not to say that some boards haven't been governed poorly in the past. But the opportunities for venality and capriciousness will run amok when only lackeys of a power hungry Executive are serving on the boards.
The brazenness of the Executive's call for undated resignations should be a red flag in Harrisburg that authority governance in Allegheny County is jumping off the tracks. Perhaps it is time to undertake a full reform of the state's authority law that has witnessed abuses in the past. With nearly 3,000 such entities statewide, there is a crying need to begin to rein in the number and power of these agencies.