That decision was resented by crybabies Charles Dertinger, Lamont McClure and Diane Neiper. They shook their bobbleheads in disgust at Councilman Speakerphone, before the meeting ever got started.
When it did, McClure demanded that Zito state the legal basis for permitting a council member to attend a meeting by phone.
"The Sunshine Law," Zito quietly answered. That shut McClure up because he knows next to nothing about that.
From the west coast, Angle kept saying things like, "Hey there, Booboo" and "I'm smarter than the average bear!" But he kept getting cut off. In his last call, it sounded like Angle was in a bit of trouble. In fact, I could swear he was being swallowed whole by a grizzly bear who thought Ron was a "pic-a-nic basket." Council made one last try, only to get dead silence on Angle's end. After a quick call to the National Park Service and a sad moment of silence, the meeting resumed.
"We tried," shrugged Ann McHale.
With Angle out of the way, Council unanimously adopted the American Heroes Grant. This provides a property tax rebate to veterans deployed this or next year. Solicitor Zito had suggested tweaking the language so that it could withstand a legal challenge. "We can do that after the fact," explained Dertinger. Lamont McClure smugly dismissed Zito's concerns. "Anytime a legislature acts, it invites judicial interpretation."
Don Cunningham's American Heroes Grant is a good idea. But if your own lawyer has suggestions to improve it, why not listen? Perhaps the grant could have been amended and adopted on the spot. Four members of council (Grube, McHale, Dowd & Cusick) wanted to table the matter for that reason.
Not Team Dertinger. Their unwillingness to listen sounds eerily similar to a presidential administration that refused to listen just a few short years ago.
3,702 American soldiers have paid the ultimate price for Team Bush's refusal to listen. This same stubbornness now could end up hurting returning soldiers in need.
Update #2: The Lehigh Valley Independent Press questions whether Northampton County Council is supporting our troops or just gaining political support without pain. Joe DeRaymond asserts that, if council truly wants to help veterans, "they should do it across the board, with an outright grant to every soldier who was a resident of Northampton County who qualified, not just those who owned real estate."