The call for the elimination of the city's four row offices got a little louder today with the release a new report by the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority.
The authority, which oversees Philadelphia's finances, said the city could save as much as $15 million a year by scrapping the offices, and stated that as the goal given that their joint functions are "primarily administrative in nature." The offices include the sheriff, register of wills, clerk of quarter sessions and the city commissioners.
In addition, the authority argued that their continued existence goes against the spirit of open government: "The independent status of the row offices adds a layer of bureaucratic expense, diminishes the mayor's ability to properly budget and oversee their administrative functions, allows circumvention of city hiring rules, and creates the potential for patronage and political favoritism," the report said.
The nonprofit and nonpartisan Committee of Seventy has also argued in favor of abolishing the four offices and the positions of the six elected officials who run them.
To read the PICA report, titled "A History We Can No Longer Afford: Consolidating Philadelphia's Row Offices," go to http://www.picapa.org/.
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