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Greensburg Laurels & Lances

| Thursday, June 19, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

On the “Watch List”:

• Commissioners' cost savings. A proposal from Westmoreland County Democrat Commissioner Ted Kopas to hire a county manager, which would replace the commissioners' chiefs of staff, is DOA. Republican Commissioners Charles Anderson and Tyler Courtney won't go for it. But that puts the ball in the Republicans' court: What cost-saving measures do they propose to help close the county's recurring multimillion-dollar deficit?

• The Jeannette fire department ballot question. The city council has approved a resolution to ask voters in the fall whether they want to continue funding paid firefighters or switch to a volunteer department. A public vote is required to disband the paid department. But the decision is best assessed by local leaders, who (we trust) have access to more information than the average voter. And as a cost-saving measure, is it worth a “huge safety” risk, as one councilman put it, to discontinue a paid department that accounts for only 5 percent of the city budget?

Laurel: To drug-addiction treatment. The spike in drug-overdose deaths in Westmoreland County has been shocking. Yet the last county-based detox center closed in the 1980s. So news of a new treatment unit at Excela Health Frick Hospital is most welcome. Kudos to Gateway Rehabilitation of Beaver County, Westmoreland County's Drug and Alcohol Commission and everyone else who helped make this happen.

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