HARRISBURG – June 30, 2011 – Monroe County’s new status as a fourth-class county requires changes to its current row office structure. In order to help the county plan properly, area legislators pushed a phase-in of the modifications triggered by this designation.
Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) and Rep. Mario Scavello (R-176) said the Monroe County legislative delegation succeeded in securing a four-year grace period to allow the county time to properly place these offices on the ballot, prepare the space and staff necessitated by this change, and budget for related costs.
Currently, the register of wills and recorder of deeds are combined into one position, and the prothonotary and clerk or courts are combined into a separate post. In a fourth-class county, the law requires that these offices are broken down into four separate bodies.
“This action gives Monroe County four years to implement changes, gives candidates time to campaign, and gives voters time to research the candidates and exercise their voice in the democratic process,” said Baker.
The language was amended by Rep. Scavello into House Bill 1549.
“The grace period in the bill will save taxpayers a tremendous amount of money over four years, more than half a million, probably twice that,” said Scavello. “Also, when these offices get split in four years, the vacated offices will be available to all citizens of Monroe County to run for, and will not be appointed by the county party chairs, as the previous law stated. I’d like to thank Senator Baker for working with me on this issue. Good things happen when the House and Senate work together.”
Contact: Jennifer Wilson