City reform advocate calls six elected offices "needless"

    Mayor Nutter will deliver his budget address to City Council later this week and suggest ways to plug the city’s budget gap. The city’s government watchdog groups says Philadelphia could save millions by getting rid of elected officials who transport prisoners to court, supervise elections, and handle bail and marriage licenses.

    Mayor Nutter will deliver his budget address to City Council later this week and suggest ways to plug the city’s budget gap. The city’s government watchdog groups says Philadelphia could save millions by getting rid of elected officials who transport prisoners to court, supervise elections, and handle bail and marriage licenses.

    Transcript:
    “Obscure but costly” – those are the words the Committee of Seventy uses to describe six elected positions including the Clerk of Quarter Sessions, the Sheriff, the Register of Wills and three City Commissioners.

    President Zack Stalberg says eliminating the elected offices could save about $5 million over the city’s next five-year budget plan  and make government more efficient and transparent.

    Stalberg: “They’re little independent fiefdoms of government. They provide jobs for Democratic party loyalists and in the case of some of the offices they provide opportunities for patronage or nepotism. In two of the cases the chief deputy for the officeholder is the person’s child.”

    Stalberg says many of the tasks charged to the offices can be absorbed by the courts or other city departments.

    More information:
    Read the Committee of Seventy’s report Needless Jobs: Why Six Elected Positions Should Die

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090317seventy.mp3]

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