Commissioners from the two counties, which jointly own PNC Field and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, met in private to discuss ballpark issues — a meeting that apparently violated the state's open-meeting law.
Commissioners from the two counties, which jointly own PNC Field and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Class AAA; International League), met in private to discuss ballpark issues — a meeting that apparently violated the state's open-meeting law.
By all accounts the topic discussed was fairly mundane: giving Luzerne County a greater say over ballpark operations in exchange for a financial contribution. Currently Lackawanna County runs the local stadium authority on its own, while the two counties jointly own the team. It will take upwards of $13 million to renovate PNC Field, though a more modest renovation addressing field-drainage issues could be done for much less. The drainage issues are serious enough that the Yankees moved four games in the prime of the season to Syracuse and Allentown.
So why meet in secret? Cooperating on things isn't a big deal and makes a lot of sense. Of course, some Lackawanna County citizens won't want to give up any control of the ballpark, and some Luzerne County officials don't want to take on the expense of maintaining the ballpark. But it is in everyone's best interests to have a suitable ballpark. Meeting in secret is a red herring, really, to those larger issues.
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