Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Watchdog Group Recommends Eliminating Some Row Offices

Government watchdog group Committee of Seventy today released a report calling for the elimination of some longstanding Philadelphia "row offices" -- the independently elected positions of Clerk of Quarter Sessions, Sheriff, Register of Wills and the three City Commissioners.

Watchdog Group Recommends Eliminating Some Row Offices

Government watchdog group Committee of Seventy today released a report calling for the elimination of some longstanding Philadelphia "row offices" -- the independently elected positions of Clerk of Quarter Sessions, Sheriff, Register of Wills and the three City Commissioners.

“We agree with Mayor Nutter that the fiscal crisis gives us a rare opportunity to significantly restructure the government,” said Seventy President Zach Stalberg in a press release.

The report is titled "Needless Jobs: Why Six Elected City Positions Should Die."

Mayor Nutter last year said he was reviewing the need for those offices in light of the city's budget crisis. To get rid of them, he would need City Council to approve legislation for a ballot measure to change the city's Home Rule Charter. Voters would then have to decide.

Seventy argues that the responsibilities of those offices could be reassigned to other city departments or the courts. The report says that just eliminating the salaries and benefits of the six officials in those offices would save $5 million over five years.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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