HARRISBURG – Senators Pat Stefano (R-32) and Scott Martin (R-13) announced plans today to help taxpayers remove elected officials who neglect the duties of their office.
In current practice, the only ways to address a municipal official who neglects their duties is removal by the Senate and the Governor – a process that is difficult, time-consuming and rarely used – or waiting for the next election to vote the official out of office.
Senate Bill 1068 would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow the General Assembly to create a process for municipalities to remove an elected municipal official for being derelict in their duties. The measure would allow for the removal of an elected municipal official without direct action by the Senate and the Governor.
Stefano and Martin each cited cases in their districts in which elected officials have neglected or completely abandoned the duties of their office, creating a multitude of problems for local municipalities and taxpayers.
“The decisions of voters should be respected, and we need to ensure a proper balance between preserving the will of the people and meeting the needs of communities and taxpayers,” Stefano said. “Local governments need a way to address situations where elected officials abuse the public’s trust by abandoning their duties.”
The bill is expected to be referred to the Senate Local Government Committee, which Martin chairs. Martin said he hopes to have the panel weigh in on the plan in the near future.
“The cases in which local officials have abandoned their post have created serious consequences, both for municipalities and taxpayers,” Martin said. “There has to be a mechanism for local governments to conduct their business and hold accountable those officials who refuse to meet their responsibilities to the detriment of the people they are supposed to represent.”
Jake Gery (717) 787-7175 (Senator Stefano)
Terry Trego (717) 787-6535 (Senator Martin)