Posted in: Blog by admin on February 25, 2010
In an editorial Wednesday, a local newspaper fumed over the recent flap about the Luzerne County Homestead Tax Exemption. It laid most of the blame at the feet of Commissioners’ Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla.
Commissioner Petrilla that day released a statement accepting responsibility for much of the “mix-up”, and said she corrected the problem. She also said she would work to see something like this didn’t happen again.
Maryanne Petrilla has stood out as an island of honesty and integrity at the courthouse since she assumed the chair of the commissioners. Her former colleague, Greg Skrepenak, has resigned in shame. Several other county officials have been implicated in the scandals that have hit the county in the past year and a half. She has literally had the Herculean task of figuratively trying to clean up the Aegean stable that the courthouse had become.
Yet she has worked diligently and hard to do so. And the statement she released (referenced above) mentions the many other accomplishments she’s had.
Having to work with a new, inexperienced, rookie commissioner on the mess of a deficit she inherited to create a balanced budget, as well as navigating the ways of ever-mercurial minority commissioner, Mr. Urban, has not been easy. But she’s done it all as best she could, never whining along the way. She just feels its part of her job.
The taxpayers are justifiably angry over their government. The onslaught of convictions and indictments here would cause the bravest of souls to lose faith. But, while not minimizing it, the number of offenders are a few dozen.
It seems to me that we have to give some breathing room to the other thousands of public officials at all levels that are working hard everyday — and do — get things done in county and local government. We can’t tar everyone with the same brush we would reserve for those who have tarnished things the worst.
And we can’t judge what good people are trying to do by one incident, or mistake. Nobody is perfect. Just because somebody screws up shouldn’t be grounds for being thrown out of office or seemingly endless ridicule on talk radio and in the press.
If we do this, we’ll never get anyone to run for public office. The thing I hear most often from people I work with in my business is the disproportionate grief they often get over the smallest of things doesn’t make their jobs worthwhile anymore.
Maybe a little more tolerance and patience is needed toward those who are trying best to do their jobs and haven’t violated the public trust.