Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Despite gathering at least 25 signatures to call for a public hearing on the possibility of a city county merger only 6 people took to the lectern Tuesday to voice their opinion. Among them was great Pittsburgh League of Women Voters President Suzanne Broughton whose group supports a merging of the city and county while leaving school districts and the other municipalities intact. She says one major concern is making sure voting districts are drawn to ensure good representation for everyone including minorities. Pittsburgh Democratic Committee Chair Barbara Ernsberg presented a long list of reasons why she feels the merger would be ill advised. She says she does not want the city’s elected offices to be eliminated. She also says she sees no real pension and debt solution, fears a weakening of minority representation and is worried about a loss of city identity. She also is worried that boards created to protect citizens such as the citizens police review board and the zoning board would be eliminated because there is no equivalent at the county level.