FOR THE GOOD of Northeastern Pennsylvania, we ask these things of the Election Day victors who soon will head off to Washington, D.C., or Harrisburg, and of the area voters who awarded them the jobs:
• U.S. Sen. Robert Casey. Do more to promote collaboration among Pennsylvania's delegation; regularly invite your fellow Democrats and the Republicans, including your colleague Sen. Patrick Toomey, to a neutral site where all can hobnob, hash out issues and – who knows – perhaps find common ground on behalf of their constituents. Each of these officials gets paid $174,000 per year. Let us know if any of them routinely ignores your invitations and perhaps isn't giving taxpayers their money's worth.
• U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta. Get to know Matt Cartwright, who happens to be a Democrat from your part of Penn's Woods. He's a nice guy.
• U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright. Get to know Lou Barletta, who happens to be a Republican from your part of Penn's Woods. He's a nice guy.
• State Rep. Tarah Toohil. The honeymoon's over. In your second term, put aside your personal business and concentrate on the people's. They pay you $82,000 a year to focus on places such as West Hazleton, not the West Bank.
• State Rep. Phyllis Mundy. Capitalize on your seniority; be at the forefront of large, institutional changes within the General Assembly, a body that's been shown to be far too corruptible, far too big and far too expensive.
• State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski. You soon will be a fourth-term Democrat from Wilkes-Barre, home to the floundering Wilkes-Barre Area School District and a school board historically rife with corruption. Its current board majority has defied sensible calls for changing business as usual. Use your influence to identify reform-minded candidates for these posts; climb your bully pulpit to call for change.
• Voters. Pick an issue – any issue – that was important to you when making your Election Day decisions and become more consistently involved in the cause. If you expect your elected officials to fix all that ails this region and the nation, you need a crash course in citizenship.