I enjoyed the recent Intelligencer article about County Commissioner Diane Marseglia's first 100 days. She's a breadth of fresh air in County government and I applaud her initiative and enthusiasm. Perhaps, as the "new one" her fresh perspective enables her to see things that others, in the job for years, have missed.
For Commissioner Martin to say that doing what they've been doing for the past 13 years is fine is an absurdity. Wake up and smell the coffee, Charlie. Our world has changed dramatically in the past decade, not to mention post September 11, as have the needs of Bucks County.
It is this, "We're fine" business as usual attitude that results in situations like the 911 debacle, a mishandling of responsibility that was conveniently whitewashed by our "long standing" Commissioners while residents suffered and, in at least one case, died. If this is "every thing's fine" governing, we're in big trouble.
Is everything fine? According to Commissioner Marseglia, addressing the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, County computer systems are so outdated that it is virtually impossible to accurately access where our money is going.
Is business as usual working? Our prisons are overcrowded housing, in many cases, minor offenders who would be better served in Drug Court, a program that has had amazing success throughout the nation. While our elected representatives oppose such a move, we, the taxpayers pay more than $25,000 per inmate per year while the cost of a drug court program is less than $6,000. The success of drug courts in other locals is in the ninety percentile while prisons have been a dismal failure nationwide, due to the lack of rehabilitation. We have not been rehabilitating prisoners, we've been warehousing them.
And, by the way, the noise reduction machine, costing $200, opposed by Mr. Sanko was to enable county residents to remain anonymous while calling the Commissioner's office, not for personal amusement. One can only conclude petty politics and the "good old boy network" is alive and well on Court Street.
Regardless of one's personal political affiliation, we need more people like Diane Marseglia and former commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick who are willing to take action and devise creative solutions to the challenges facing Bucks County, not ride on what were, perhaps, past laurels.