With the end of the month fast approaching, many are wondering whether the state will pass — and the governor sign — a new budget before the mandated deadline. Others are wondering what it may include, such as an increase in the minimum wage.
Although it's a state mandate that the budget be passed by midnight June 30, that often is ignored and with no consequences! It makes many wonder why there is such a requirement if those who made the rules can ignore them and face no penalty.
I guess that's politics!
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With the county tabulation from the primary election complete, it now appears there will still be a race for sheriff this fall. Dave Powers won the Republican nomination and Neil Fratus, the Democratic nomination.
Some top GOP officials have had to publicly leave the Fratus campaign because party rules require they support the party nominee. The interesting issue now will be whether many other Republicans who supported Fratus now will support Powers as their party nominee. The same is true for the Democratic party members.
It should make for an interesting — and intense — campaign over the next few months.
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County races which have candidates on both tickets include the commissioners, register and recorder and, of course, the sheriff. Others only have the incumbents on the ballot and for somebody to beat them they would have to have a successful write-in campaign — which is a little more difficult in the fall.
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Another interesting race this fall should be for Meadville City Council as there will be four candidates — between Republicans and Democrats — for two seats!
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The primary election saw many new faces to emerge and the question now will be whether those who didn't win will stay involved. Many times those who don't succeed will drop out of the political scene — until four years later when they want to run again.
One who said he will still be involved is Jack Harkless, who was unsuccessful in his bid for a nomination for city council. He is vice chairman of the county's Democratic Committee and vows to return.
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Many borough councils in the county will see new members join council, but at this point nobody knows who they may be. Many incumbents did not seek re-election and will only be elected if they had enough write-in votes to get on the ballot — or secure enough write-in votes this fall.
At this point, those write-in votes have not been announced, but interested people may go to the courthouse to see the results, which are on public display.
Linesville has only two of the seven members returning at this point.
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At one local government meeting, an issue was brought up for discussion, but no council members offered any discussion so the chairman just noted that they "will table it like we always do." Often, members want more time before bringing something up to discuss and potentially vote on.
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Linesville Borough Council usually offers a glimpse into life in a small town. The borough recently had a water line break and had to alert many residents. In addition to robot phone calls, an employee goes door to door to hang notices. There is only one problem. The notices are hung on the front door and many of the residents only use their back door — and never see the notices.
One man brought the matter to council's attention and it was accepted well. Kevin McGrath, public works director, said had he been doing it personally, he would have known which door to hang the notices as he is well acquainted with the habits of the residents. However, as public works director, he was handling the water crisis and the actual work was done by somebody else.
"If you don't have water, look at the front door" was the light-hearted response. Council takes the matter seriously, but at this point often is lost at what can be done at the immediate moment.
McGrath had alerted another council member by phone as she was working in Meadville. She immediately called home and told her daughter to draw water quickly to accommodate their needs. The daughter, who is a junior council member, added she was woken up early in the morning she needed to get up and do the dishes quickly. She wasn't too happy, needless to say.
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Another issue the resident was having was the tall grass at a neighbor's home. Jokingly, council suggested he may want to buy a goat until the matter can be resolved. At the same time, it was noted legal action will be taken against the neighbor as borough ordinances require lawns be mowed.
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Council meetings are interesting as people soon learn that serving on a government board is not quite as easy — or boring — as one might think.
It's good to see so many people are still willing to serve.
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With the 2020 presidential election right around the corner, the political scene is already heating up and promises to get even hotter!
Jane Smith is a retired Meadville Tribune reporter who specialized in covering government and politics.