Allegheny County Councilman Matt Drozd is finishing up his second term, thanks to Republican voters in the primary who thought his brand of forward thinking deserved to be outward going. As one of his last gestures, he is fittingly proposing something grandly irrelevant for the future.
He wants Western Pennsylvania to secede from the rest of the state and form its own. He sees the plight of downtrodden folks hereabouts as akin to the situation that sparked the American Revolution — which will come as a surprise to them.
He explained this in a motion he wants his colleagues to support as a sense of council:
“WHEREAS, taxes imposed by Harrisburg which disproportionately benefit citizens located in the Eastern counties is reminiscent of Parliament and its taxation of the colonies while failing to represent them equally and begs the question whether the current state government has any rational jurisdiction in the Western half of Pennsylvania at all ... ”
Indeed, it is a perennial complaint that Philadelphia is favored over everyone else in Pennsylvania — and there’s something to it. On the other hand, both major-party candidates for governor last time came from Allegheny County, and Western Pennsylvania is well represented in the highest levels of the General Assembly. If they are not taking care of our business, shame on us for voting for them.
Sure, we could recreate Harrisburg-by-the-Mon, because there are hacks aplenty around here just waiting for the chance to get on the public payroll and work their patronage magic. But why would we want to make big frogs in a small pond when the bigger Pennsylvania pond allows for far more influence in the nation?
We would have to be mad to do that, Mr. Drozd, and we are not there yet.