There is talk in Harrisburg about the situation in Tamaqua, and taking powers away from small town Mayors. It is sad that it has to come to this, but in the same respect, I think it is somewhat unneeded.
The Mayor's office is already a stripped down office which is basically a figure head position at best. Last year I gave up my seat on borough council and ran for Mayor mainly because I wanted to stay somewhat involved in the community, and knew it was an office that did not require anywhere near the time or work of a councilman.
With my career and love of traveling, I knew I just did not have enough time that is needed, or be in the area enough, to be a good, dedicated councilman. Since a small town Mayor basically already has no real power or responsibilities, other then provide support to the police department, why waste time and money in Harrisburg fighting over it, when you already have borough councils to step up to the plate when a mayor goes off the deep end.
Let's face it, if someone being a small town mayor is trying to use the position as one of power, they are either on a power trip or just have nothing better going on in their life. Throughout my travels to large cities across the country I've had opportunities to see how real Mayors handle things, and it always comes back to small towns where there seem to be the problems. I don't know if it is just the fact that they have nothing else to do, or if they are just that bored that they need to turn a $140 a month job into a full time one.
The last four years I had the privilege of working with Mayor Ron Confer, who knew he was there to lend support to the police department when needed, and not try to run or undermine it. That is why he, along with people like Don Rehrig of Lehighton, have been respected Mayors and actually have the respect and trust of their departments.
Do I think mayors should have a full ability to run a police department? No. But the good ones don't think they should either, and 99 percent of them don't try to micro-manage, because any good manager knows micro-managing leads to disaster.