Friday, May 18, 2007

Express Times Publisher Martin Till Walks Off LVEDC

It started a few weeks ago, strangely enough, at a Northampton County Council meeting. Beth Gorin, CEO of the quasi public Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), had abruptly "resigned." Councilman Ron Angle wanted to know whether Gorin had been given a going away present after just eight months on the job.

"Around $70,000," was County Exec John Stoffa's laconic response.

Express Times reporter Sarah Cassi broke the news, and LVEDC board members exploded. Stoffa and Lehigh County Exec Don Cunningham were thereafter excluded from all information related to Gorin's unceremonious departure. To ensure the public is kept out of the loop, Elmer Gates persuaded fellow board members to adopt a broadly-drafted gag resolution barring any elected official from discussion about severance agreements.

Stoffa explained what happened last night. "My understanding is that Cunningham and I have been excluded from the Beth Gorin package because I publicly said things that upset people."

Publishers at both local papers sit on the LVEDC board. Martin Till, Express Times publisher, refuses to be muzzled. He resigned, the only real option for a newspaper that advocates transparency and accountability from public and quasi-public entitles. "To exclude board members from any discussion involving LVEDC is absurd."

Well done, Express Times!
Update: In last night's meeting of county council, Angle also claimed LVEDC will prevail upon the state legislature to remove county oversight of the hotel tax. "Buster Brown and the good ol' boys are going to Harrisburg and are going to take the hotel tax away from us forever." He also pleaded with Council Prez Wayne Grube to send him to LVEDC for just six months. "That's a mongoose you'll set loose in the snake pit. Give me six months in the snake pit."

Angle has to learn to stop beating around the bush.

Clarification: I've been asked to clarify two items. First, although the publishers of both local papers are members of LVEDC, they don't sit on its board. Second, the LVEDC is a private non-profit that accepts public money, so my use of the phrase "quasi public entities" is considered objectionable. I believe the use of that term is appropriate, but will note the objection.

7 comments:

LehighValleyHousewife said...

Kudos to the Express Times and Martin Till.

Billy Givens said...

Bernie,

I don't know when Sarah Cassi "broke the news" about Beth Gorin, but I reported on her and her abrupt departure on my blog, in a posting dated April 28, 2007, titled "The Saga of Three Seniors Named Mae and One Named Casey Kays."

I wrote that "Paul Fader, a partner in the law firm of Florio (Jim, former NJ Gov.) Perrucci (Mike),a pricipal of Sands BethWorks Gaming LLC), Steinhardt (Doug), the Mayor of Lopatcong, NJ, and Chairman of the Warren County Republican Party Com.), and Fader (Paul), a former Mayor of Englewood, Bergen Cty, NJ, and former Chief-of-Staff for former NJ Gov. James McGreevey.

"Fader is also an associate in that municipality of Beth Gorin. Gorin left her position as Englewood's Director (sic) of Community and Economic Development to replace the Executive Director of the troubled Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, Ray Suhocki, who suddenly resigned.

"His unexpected resignation shocked the Lehigh Valley - just as it was shocked by the suddent resignation of Beth Gorin after only eight months at the helm and with a severance packaged of $70,000 plus benefits."

Anonymous said...

This Just In: Billy Givens reports we have invaded Iraq

Billy Givens said...

Bernie,

A newly inducted member of Florio, Perrucci, Stenhardt, and Fader is Donald Souder, Esq., a resident of your borough of Nazareth, who's licensed to practice law in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

I met Mr. Souder in Belvedere Surrogate Court on February 2, 2007, "Groundhog Day," where I appeared at the request of Diane Kays Kitchen, the neice of Casey Kays, and Mr. Souder was there representing Diane's father in a dispute with his daughter over the custody of his mother and Diane's grandmother.

The signifcance of Casey Kays is that as the savior of Sunfish Pond in NJ's former Pahaquarry Township (since absorbed by Hardwick Township), and the ensuing battle over the Tocks Island Dam, these issues have been resurrected by the Highlands Conservancy Act of 2004.

This Act impacts seven counties in NJ counties and 13 counties in PA, several of these bordering the Delaware River and its tributaries.

I have reported extensively on the involvement of Florio, Perrucci, Steionhard, and Fader in the Highlands Act.

I have also reported extensively on the involvement of this law firm with the South Side Bethlehem Sands Casino and Doug Steinhard't involvement in the Warren County Pollution Control Financing Authority (PCFA) contretemps.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

is billy givens a robot?

Anonymous said...

Martin Till...Yawn, who cares.

Anonymous said...

No Billy Givens is just nuts