Some wish to eliminate handful of elected city offices

    Philadelphia’s Clerk of Quarter Sessions has decided to retire, and the office could be eliminated. Of course there are other elected offices regarded by some as unnecessary.

    Philadelphia’s Clerk of Quarter Sessions has decided to retire, and the office could be eliminated. Of course there are other elected offices regarded by some as unnecessary.

    [audio:100309TMROW.mp3]

    Philadelphia has an elected Sheriff, Register of Wills, and City Commissioners in addition to the soon to retire Clerk of Quarter Sessions.

    In their November 2009 report, the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority recommended streamlining the operations and moving them to existing city departments at a savings of between $13-million and $15-million a year.

    But because they are elected posts, they are typically occupied by entrenched political figures with power in party politics. Larry Ceisler is a political analyst who publishes the blog PoliticsPA.com.

    Ceisler:
    Basically they were places for patronage employees and people who were loyal to the political parties, and it was these people who were the committee people who supplied the election day strength for the get out the vote efforts.

    The good-government group The Committee of 70 has been calling for the abolition of several offices for more than a year, but making the move a reality could be difficult.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.