As I understand, the state Legislature is starting to work on election reform legislation for the future.

One report I saw said it is hoped to have "early voting" in place by 2025.

I wonder why they are waiting until 2025. From all reports I have seen, one of the biggest changes many people wanted in the presidential election last year was the ability to have early voting — like many other states have.

It would seem a mystery to me if that is one of the big issues, the Legislature would want to have that addressed in time for the 2024 presidential election — not a year later.

I'm sure there must be a logical explanation.

• • •

For all the cries about the redistricting in time for next year's election, I have not read or heard a lot of news on progress being made in that area either.

Perhaps more is being done behind the scenes.

• • •

Talking about behind the scenes, school districts and other municipalities across the state will have new mandates about what can be discussed or voted on at a meeting effective Aug. 29.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed an amendment to the Sunshine Act mandating that school districts must post agenda items which may or may not be voted on at least 24 hours in advance of a meeting.

Agendas must be posted on websites and at the location of the meeting — and made available to everybody who is in attendance at the meeting.

• • •

Carla Sands, a Cumberland Valley native, has joined the throng of 14 candidates vying for the chance to succeed U.S. Sen. Patrick Toomey to represent Pennsylvania in the 2022 election.

She is one of six Republicans and eight Democratic candidates. If she were successful, she would be the first female U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.

She is not a newcomer to politics, having served as U.S. Ambassador to Denmark.

• • •

As the Crawford County Fair gets closer, it will be interesting to see how many candidates campaign in view of the fact there is not expected to be as many in attendance because of the fact it will be scaled back to some degree. There won't be the big-name entertainers who filled the grandstand because of COVID-19 issue.

Although the mandates have been lifted by the state, should the virus numbers return, the mandate could be put on again.

And, by the time it was announced, it was too late for the fair board to contract with the entertainers.

But, there will be special activities in observance of the 75th annual fair, which was to have been last year.

When the fair celebrated its 50th annual fair, Gov. Tom Ridge made a special appearance.

Well wishes are being sent to Ridge, who is in a rehabilitation center near Washington, D.C., after having suffered a stroke last month.

• • •

At last week's Linesville Borough Council meeting, attorney Bill Walker was in attendance on behalf of the boroughs' planning commission. He was asking council to consider hiring a professional writer to do zoning ordinance updates in view of the upcoming completing of the borough's comprehensive plan.

The town's zoning ordinance has not been updated since 1972 and Walker suggested a professional would be better. He quickly suggested he did not mean to reflect that attorney Jeff Millin, who is the borough's solicitor, who does most of the updated ordinance was not doing a good job. He said professional firms, who do this extensively have the most experience. Millin smiled and said he agreed.

• • •

At the conclusion of the meeting, council voted unanimously to end its declaration of emergency for the borough, which was declared last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was officially ended on July13.

"I'm officially off the hook," grinned council member Michael Chance, who is the borough's emergency management coordinator and had made the declaration and insisted on the borough office being closed to the public and masks being worn by everyone at meetings.

• • •

We send condolences to Robyn Sye, former county finance director and former Crawford County Republican Committee chairman, on the recent death of her mother/

Sye now is employed at the State Correctional Institution at Cambridge Springs.

Jane Smith is a retired Meadville Tribune reporter who specialized in covering government and politics.

 

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