Let me give you a small example from last night. Councilperson McHale told fellow members in passing that she was getting bids for a renovation to council chambers, which will probably cost a half mil. All the bobbleheads went up and down except one. Angle was off and running.
Angle: "The windows are leaking all over seniors in Gracedale, the cupola is rotting off the roof, the rotunda where we're going to lay Wayne [Grube] in state is leaking, and we're talking about renovating council chambers? A half million dollars for new drapes and wallpaper? Is this a priority? I just bought a house and that cost only $200,000. I kind of like this the way it is."
Grube: "Well, he [Angle] got in the papers."
Whatever his motivation, Angle is right. The courthouse cupola will probably blow right off the courthouse next time the wind kicks up. Windows at Gracedale do leak all over the place and county still doesn't know why. The brand new rotunda, where Wayne Grube probably will be laid in state after he goes to that big football camp in the sky, does leak whenever it rains. Courthouse employees have seen no raises for nearly four years. Furniture and filing cabinets still clutter hallways. These matters should have a little more priority than wallpapers and drapes for council.
Love him or hate him, he makes his points. And a little thing like that is good government.
Update: Increasing Council Absences - Historically, it is rare for a member of Northampton County to miss more than one or two meetings during the course of a year. That pattern is coming to an end. On September 22, Council squeeked by with a bare quorum, just five of nine members bothered to show up. On October 5, there were two absences at a 23 minute meeting. And last night, Dertinger was a no show.
Charles Dertinger has now missed two of the last three county council meetings. I understand he's running for Congress, but that's no excuse for failing to do the job to which he was elected. Northampton County has a $311 million budget, and needs every one of its nine elected council members. When council members develop a lax attitude towards their responsibilities, the encourage a climate in which mischief can occur.