Senator Pat Stefano Released the following statement regarding legislation he is introducing on the removal of absentee municipal officials

“It is with great reluctance that I announce legislation to amend the Pennsylvania State Constitution to make it easier for communities to remove elected officials for negligence of their duties.

I have watched with great alarm the gridlock caused by two members of Monessen’s City government not attending city meetings causing a lack of quorum and halting city operations. Unfortunately, with a looming deadline to renew insurance, Monessen is now faced with irreparable harm by these unfortunate actions.

Recently Council wrote to me and other State officials asking for the individuals’ removal from office. The “direct address” process detailed in the Constitution hasn’t been successfully employed since 1891; most recently failing to remove a criminally indicted Attorney General a few years ago.

Communities are left with little to no recourse to deal with absentee elected officials crippling local governments.

I have personally reached out to Mayor Shorraw and received the same types of response that I have been reading in the newspaper.

That is why I am introducing this constitutional amendment which provides recourse to municipalities if an elected official fails to show up for 3 consecutive properly called for public meetings without a valid medical reason. It would allow a petition to be filed with the Court of Common Pleas who upon verification of the claims shall remove the individual in question.

Because of the immediacy of this situation, I have also written to Governor Wolf today urging his help in resolving this crisis. (See Attached)

People do not expect elected officials to always get along and agree with each other. They do have a right to expect that they show up to do their jobs and attend to the people’s business.

I’m saddened that this situation has devolved to the point where this legislation is necessary. I hope that those causing this crisis will come to their senses and get back to work for the people who elected them.”

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