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Looks bad to me!
 

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"Given the financial difficulties frequently expressed by both agencies, and the reality that other states’ wildlife agencies can operate efficiently under one umbrella, I believe now is the time to take a more serious look at combing the two commissions into one more streamlined, efficient agency."

Really?!? That's the political solution. Why not let them fund themselves with a license increase.... ohhh that would be inconvenient.
 

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This is long overdue, IMO. The bill preserves the independence of the merged agency and excludes DCNR.


I plan to introduce legislation to merge the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Game Commission into one independent agency, based on the results of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) study on the issue.

The LBFC study examined the feasibility, impact, costs and savings of combining the agencies and explored a range of options with regard to how to structure a new agency to best manage the wildlife and aquatic resources of the Commonwealth. Currently, Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation with two separate, independent agencies with management and oversight of fishing, boating and wildlife activities.

The study found that a merger of the commissions is feasible and would save the Commonwealth at least $5 million annually, primarily through elimination of redundant upper level positions and duplication of services.

Given the financial difficulties frequently expressed by both agencies, and the reality that other states’ wildlife agencies can operate efficiently under one umbrella, I believe now is the time to take a more serious look at combing the two commissions into one more streamlined, efficient agency
 

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"This is long overdue, IMO. The bill preserves the independence of the merged agency and excludes DCNR."

If you mean "preserves the independence of the merged agency and excludes DCNR but places both under the political control of the legiscritters" then there is no way we as hunters should support this HB. This is just an attempt to get the commissions gas, oil and timber royalties to prop up the budget deficit.
 

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They all (DCNR, DEP, F&BC, GC) should be consolidated and adjust fringe benefits for employees of those organizations as well while they are at it....it's out of control. The employees pay next to nothing for health care and the pensions are rediclious. Those of us in private and federal sector delt with this over the past 15 years with pensions discontinued, 401k matches reduced, and employee contributions sky rocketed. In additon there was layoffs, furlongs, and sites closed.

When are legislators and agencies like PFBC and PGC make the hard decisions going to do their part?
 

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They all (DCNR, DEP, F&BC, GC) should be consolidated and adjust fringe benefits for employees of those organizations as well while they are at it....it's out of control. The employees pay next to nothing for health care and the pensions are rediclious. Those of us in private and federal sector delt with this over the past 15 years with pensions discontinued, 401k matches reduced, and employee contributions sky rocketed. In additon there was layoffs, furlongs, and sites closed.

When are legislators and agencies like PFBC and PGC make the hard decisions going to do their part?
The benefits are have been set by the legislature. No amount of consolidation will change the benefits. The PGC The PF&BC, or any other agency has no control over the health care or the pensions. That my friend must be done by the legislature & we know they are not going to change anything that will affect themselseves.
 

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If you mean "preserves the independence of the merged agency and excludes DCNR but places both under the political control of the legiscritters" then there is no way we as hunters should support this HB. This is just an attempt to get the commissions gas, oil and timber royalties to prop up the budget deficit.
Where in the bill does it contain language that provides more political control of the agencies? The bill, as written, is strictly a bill to merge two independent agencies into one independent agency.
 

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Well aware my friend...it needs changed for all the agencies, and is in my opinion, why us outdoorsman have seen less fish and birds stocked, license fees rise, and genrally a drop off in the programs that benefit us and the wildlife.

The consolidation also makes sense but I feel is a #2 on the list. I think Pennsylvania is the only state now to have seperate agencies for fish and game.

They all (DCNR, DEP, F&BC, GC) should be consolidated and adjust fringe benefits for employees of those organizations as well while they are at it....it's out of control. The employees pay next to nothing for health care and the pensions are rediclious. Those of us in private and federal sector delt with this over the past 15 years with pensions discontinued, 401k matches reduced, and employee contributions sky rocketed. In additon there was layoffs, furlongs, and sites closed.

When are legislators and agencies like PFBC and PGC make the hard decisions going to do their part?
The benefits are have been set by the legislature. No amount of consolidation will change the benefits. The PGC The PF&BC, or any other agency has no control over the health care or the pensions. That my friend must be done by the legislature & we know they are not going to change anything that will affect themselseves.
 

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And combining two flat broke agencies into one fixes what problems?

Anyone who thinks combining the Game and Fish Commission into one agency will save money is simply delusional and wishful thinking. At the very best it is simply applying a band aid where a tourniquet is needed.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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It's the right thing to do...but you are probably right, it wouldn't fix anything without changing how leadership is selected (no business experience) and then overall the state dealing with their benefit cost for employees for health care and pensions.

The system of appointees made sense 100 years ago...now these agencies are multi-million or billion dollar businesses, you can't have the leadership selected by a popularity contest and expect there not to be significant issues.
 

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It's the right thing to do...but you are probably right, it wouldn't fix anything without changing how leadership is selected (no business experience) and then overall the state dealing with their benefit cost for employees for health care and pensions.

The system of appointees made sense 100 years ago...now these agencies are multi-million or billion dollar businesses, you can't have the leadership selected by a popularity contest and expect there not to be significant issues.
What makes you think combining the agencies would be the right thing to do? Do you think they can just remove the upper level supervisors? They can’t because for the most part they too are union protected. So you will still have the same upper management numbers and issues you had before and very likely even worse.

The pension and benefit costs will not change because they are dictated to both agencies by the state contract that effects pretty much all state employees. So nothing is going to improve there.

What will change is though is that ALL officers will require much additional cross-training to be adequately trained for covering the sister agencies duties. Heck even just changing the letter heads, stationary, vehicle decaling, etc. will eat up more than what any savings might come from the handful of duplicate functions they would might have saved a tiny bit of money on.

Anyone who thinks there will be a reduction in employee costs simply has no idea what Game and Fish WCOS do, how busy they are and that there is simply no way they could get their respective job done by reducing the number within either agency. In fact I suspect they would soon find that they were getting even less done and needed more WCOs because with a bigger bureaucratic agency I could see officers refusing to donate hours just because they to get the job done, as happens so frequently with the WCOs today.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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What makes you think combining the agencies would be the right thing to do? Do you think they can just remove the upper level supervisors? They can’t because for the most part they too are union protected. So you will still have the same upper management numbers and issues you had before and very likely even worse.

The pension and benefit costs will not change because they are dictated to both agencies by the state contract that effects pretty much all state employees. So nothing is going to improve there.

What will change is though is that ALL officers will require much additional cross-training to be adequately trained for covering the sister agencies duties. Heck even just changing the letter heads, stationary, vehicle decaling, etc. will eat up more than what any savings might come from the handful of duplicate functions they would might have saved a tiny bit of money on.

Anyone who thinks there will be a reduction in employee costs simply has no idea what Game and Fish WCOS do, how busy they are and that there is simply no way they could get their respective job done by reducing the number within either agency. In fact I suspect they would soon find that they were getting even less done and needed more WCOs because with a bigger bureaucratic agency I could see officers refusing to donate hours just because they to get the job done, as happens so frequently with the WCOs today.

Dick Bodenhorn

There is always cost with a merger. However in time it would save money. There is alot of duplicate costs in running dual agencies.
 

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Where in the bill does it contain language that provides more political control of the agencies? The bill, as written, is strictly a bill to merge two independent agencies into one independent agency.
Who do you think appoints the new executive director ?
 

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Dick with all due respect...this isn't an issue that had to due to how hard the WCO work. Your comment on the benefits being dictated by the Comonwealth as a whole is very true...a merger won't help that. Doesn't mean it still doesn't need done and is LONG overdue.

However, I will flip your comment back on you...who ever thinks won't be a reduction in expenses annually that will pay for the initial in a few year simply doesn't understand how business (profit or non-profit) run. It's not a matter of what the WCO do It's a matter of redundancy between agencies. The management positions at both agencies up to the executive director are not union and they would be reduced. Also, facilities, fleet, and indirect costs would be consolidated.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!


What makes you think combining the agencies would be the right thing to do? Do you think they can just remove the upper level supervisors? They can’t because for the most part they too are union protected. So you will still have the same upper management numbers and issues you had before and very likely even worse.

The pension and benefit costs will not change because they are dictated to both agencies by the state contract that effects pretty much all state employees. So nothing is going to improve there.

What will change is though is that ALL officers will require much additional cross-training to be adequately trained for covering the sister agencies duties. Heck even just changing the letter heads, stationary, vehicle decaling, etc. will eat up more than what any savings might come from the handful of duplicate functions they would might have saved a tiny bit of money on.

Anyone who thinks there will be a reduction in employee costs simply has no idea what Game and Fish WCOS do, how busy they are and that there is simply no way they could get their respective job done by reducing the number within either agency. In fact I suspect they would soon find that they were getting even less done and needed more WCOs because with a bigger bureaucratic agency I could see officers refusing to donate hours just because they to get the job done, as happens so frequently with the WCOs today.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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Anyone who thinks combining the Game and Fish Commission into one agency will save money is simply delusional and wishful thinking.

Dick Bodenhorn

Are you back to using that tired angle again? That folks simply have no clue how things work within the agency. The fact is many folks are well aware of how things work in the business world. Many manage business and or employees as part of their daily job. Consolidation of two entities that are essentially performing the redundant tasks has significant long term advantages to the bottom line. That is how it works in the real world.


Yes, middle and upper positions within both entities are usually affected. I understand the desire to want to protect those. In the private sector, those positions are the ones that hang from the thinnest threads most times. This is nothing new.


At the very best it is simply applying a band aid where a tourniquet is needed.

Do you mean like the legislature raising taxes and/or fees before addressing the pension crisis in a viable long term way?
 

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Dpms...you hit the nail on the head.

I've worked for a lot of large PA based companies that went through this over the past 20 years to stay solvent. I've personally had to make decisions to close locations, benefits, and renegotiate labor agreements. I didn't like doing it but it was necessary.

Very frustrating to watch the Commonwealth want to raise taxes, or license fees and numbers in this case, without a bit of pain on their end. The pensions and healthcare provided are just irresponsible and not sustainable.

The frustration with government and agencies that are poorly run is their private sector counter parts go bankrupt and close. Public sector that can't happen (go out of business) so they keep open and take the rest of our resources with no remorse what so ever.



Anyone who thinks combining the Game and Fish Commission into one agency will save money is simply delusional and wishful thinking.

Dick Bodenhorn

Are you back to using that tired angle again? That folks simply have no clue how things work within the agency. The fact is many folks are well aware of how things work in the business world. Many manage business and or employees as part of their daily job. Consolidation of two entities that are essentially performing the redundant tasks has significant long term advantages to the bottom line. That is how it works in the real world.


Yes, middle and upper positions within both entities are usually affected. I understand the desire to want to protect those. In the private sector, those positions are the ones that hang from the thinnest threads most times. This is nothing new.


At the very best it is simply applying a band aid where a tourniquet is needed.

Do you mean like the legislature raising taxes and/or fees before addressing the pension crisis in a viable long term way?
 

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Where in the bill does it contain language that provides more political control of the agencies? The bill, as written, is strictly a bill to merge two independent agencies into one independent agency.
HB 1919 page 54 S4311
§ 4311. Executive director.
(a) Appointment and compensation.--
(1) The commission shall appoint to serve at the commission's pleasure and, with the approval of the Governor, fix the compensation of an executive director. The executive director shall:
(i) be the chief executive officer of the commission;
(ii) attend to the commission's administrative work; and
(iii) be in charge of all activities under the jurisdiction of the commission.
(2) The executive director shall be the chief game and fish officer of the commission and shall:
(i) Be in charge of, direct, supervise and control each game and fish officer, deputy game and fish officer and employee of the commission.
(ii) Report to the commission negligence, dereliction of duty or incompetence on the part of an employee, along with each relevant fact and make further reports as required by the commission.


Again ALL members of the commission are selected/approved by the legislature for the term of office.
 

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First of all resource management and protection is not a business and SHOULD NEVER be looked at as business or in the same light as a business.

Resource management and protection is a public service. If hunters don’t understand that and are not willing to adequately fund it then it is time to turn the whole thing over to the non-hunters of this Commonwealth and allow them to both fund it and have a REAL voice in how it is done.

Since hunters have so willingly dropped the ball it is probably time to watch the hunters take the back seat on resource management in both the funding and voice.

Dick Bodenhorn
 
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