Health - August 30, 2013

PA Acting Education Secretary resigns

Earlier this week another Corbett administration cabinet official resigned after being asked to do so by the Governor’s office.  Acting Secretary of Education, William Harner, resigned just three months after being appointed. Harner served as the superintendent of the Cumberland Valley School District for five years before his appoint as Acting Secretary.  While Corbett’s office declined to comment on the reasoning for the resignation.  Various media outlets report that a personnel issue came to light during the vetting process in preparation for the confirmation hearing to appoint him as Secretary of Education.  Harner was unanimously approved by the CV school board in January for a contract extension; but just months later the same board held a closed door meeting and voted 7-2 not to retain Harner due to the aforementioned personnel issue.   The Governor’s office was unaware of the second meeting until recently and upon learning of the outcome, immediately asked for Harner’s resignation.  Corbett has named Carolyn Dumaresq as acting secretary; she was the executive deputy secretary of education.  Dumaresq has experience as superintendent at Central Dauphin and Steelton-Highspire school districts.  She has also served as the executive director of the Pennsylvania State Education Association.


PA Turnpike announces all electric tolls by 2018

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission also made headlines this week by announcing all tolls will be electronic by 2018; doing completely away with toll plazas and toll employees.  All motorists will be required to have E-ZPass.  Cameras will be in place and take photos of license plates for users without an E-ZPass transponder; they will be mailed a bill for the toll to use the turnpike.  E-ZPass lanes can process up to 1,200 cars and hour whereas toll booths with workers process about 250 cars an hour.  The turnpike runs 545 miles across Pennsylvania with 76 toll plazas.  Some of the newer interchanges that have been added have been E-ZPass only.  The Turnpike Commission will begin marketing the all electronic system so that consumers will be aware of the change as it happens.  Going all electronic will reduce cost for the Commission; electronic transactions cost twenty cents versus a dollar for cash transactions.