Our fourth question to the Luzerne County Controller candidate was a follow up to question Number 3.
Question Number 4: If you favor home rule, do you believe the position of controller should be an elected one, or should he or she be chosen by another method? Explain your reasoning.
As indicated in the previous answer I would not support a Home Rule charter that changed the role of Controller from an elected position to a position of selection because I believe it could impact the independence of the office. I believe abandoning the direct election of the Controller could make him or her worry more about job security and pleasing the County Council or County Executive to ensure job security and would lessen the impact and independence of the Controller's office.
DID NOT RESPOND
The controller position should be an elected one. Appointments naturally lead to possible corruption. The controller is the watchdog of the people's money, therefore the people should elect the controller to maintain his or her independence. If the controller is appointed, he or she would have to answer to those who made the appointment. An elected controller would have to answer to the electorate.
DID NOT RESPOND
Under home rule it would probably best in the best interests of the public to have the position filled by the elected body.
I feel the Controller should always be an elected position and I also feel the position should have term limits on it as well. I feel a term of two terms is plenty for any elected official and there should be no Retirement of pension allowed to any elected official. I would work with the Home Rule Study Commission to be sure that this is inserted in the Charter as well. The reason for this is because the Controller should not be allowed to be in control of the financial "Bible" for longer than 2 terms because it is a very powerful position. I also feel that new people would be beneficial to the taxpayers to formulate new ideas and procedures that would make the Office more productive.