I've got an idea! Why don't the judges dig into their own pockets? They've dug in ours long enough. How's that for something simple?
Why is a court administrator, and not County Exec Stoffa, doing all the talking? According to the court's own website, Onembo "is responsible for the long and short-term judicial planning, interaction with the other branches of county government, day-to-day operations of the Court as well as the oversight of the various court divisions and district justice offices." He's not there to decide what to do in a plaza near the rotunda. We elected someone to make those decisions. But the court is still trying to run this county.
And the sole reason for a ten or fifteen thousand dollar memorial is to placate you. They're throwing us a bone, bippy. Judges are betting that people will love that memorial so much they'll forget President Judge Freedberg's promise not to exceed $43 for the Taj Mahal. That project is now at least $3 million over budget and nearly a year behind schedule.
As veterans salute each other and give somber speeches, judges hope the public will forget about the once ample parking chewed up by their expansion. Total disregard for courthouse furniture and jackhammered slate slabs will be a hazy memory. No one will mind the judges' private dining room and private floor to which keys are denied to all, even deputy sheriffs. Employees made ill by all the Fiberglas particles and asbestos removal are just crybabies who should suck it up like our vets.
Look at our beautiful memorial!
Best of all, this memorial will be dedicated right around the time that Judge Stephen Barrata seeks retention. What a coincidinky!
Northampton County officials were not happy yesterday, when I suggested that no Northampton County judge should be retained. One of them told me I was a "little tough" on poor Judge Barrata. Admittedly, he's not President Judge and it would be difficult for him to come out against the court's official position.
But then he shouldn't be telling WGPA's radio audience that he wishes he could take them all on a tour of the new complex. He can't have it both ways. Is he prepared to state it's wrong to pay a court administrator over $102,000, and then allow him to work part time in Franklin Township and engage in a questionable real estate deal near the new courthouse complex? Will he reject a payraise when courthouse employees have gone without for nearly four years? He has taken no affirmative steps to distinguish himself from Freedberg/Moran/Onembo.
These are not questions about abortion or some other legal issue that a judge must refuse to answer. These are questions about perks and the people who work under him.
I'm waiting to see if Barrata answers these questions. If he tolerates an Onembo, he doesn't deserve retention. We deserve fair judges, not people who use political hacks to call the prothonotary to discover how I paid for my lawsuit against the county.