Thursday, August 30, 2007

LC Exec Don Cunningham: No Tax Increase Next Year

Lehigh County Exec Don Cunningham just demonstrated why LVRamblings rates him the second most accountable and responsive area leader. In addition to proposing a new budget with no tax increase, he discusses plans for a new 911 center, improvements to Lehigh County's work release facilities, improving public safety with regional solutions, human services increases and an affordable housing plan for working class families.

But enough from me. His office was kind enough to forward the text of his statement, and I'd like to share it with you.

At the outset I want to make clear that the Lehigh Valley is not a collection of governments with budgets and bureaucracies but it's a collection of people - people who work here, people who live here, who run our businesses, our schools, our community organizations. People who make our neighborhoods strong and our economies healthy. Our governments, if they are being run well, recognize that we exist only to do things collectively that we can't do as individuals. This is your government not mine. It belongs to each person who lives here, who pays for its operation – and it's incumbent upon those of us entrusted to run it to report to you on where we stand. The news media does that daily in small bites but - just as a company hosts an annual meeting with its stockholders - it's my belief that we need to do the same a few times a year with our stockholders - those we work for and with. Consider this a stockholders meeting.

And, this is a big operation. Next year's budget will be a little more than $400 million. We have a workforce of a little less than 2,200 employees, and another 600 plus part-timers

As you know, our county has been growing. And as with any business, growth makes the bottom line better but it also presents challenges, calls for adjustments and affords the opportunity to take care of those things that are often ignored in the tough times.

Those of you that I've worked with here in the county or in Bethlehem or when I was in state government know that I have a simple philosophy regarding fiscal management: keep your costs down, don't spend more than your making and pay attention to the little things to avoid big problems. Good tax policy comes from good spending policy. Control spending and taxes will take stay in check.

The combination of running a tighter ship and steering it through the calmer seas of a growing residential and economic base has put us on a solid course.

The budget we will officially propose to the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners tomorrow includes no tax increase. And barring any unforeseen circumstances, this county won't need a tax increase as far as our five year financial plan goes through 2011. Our tax rate will remain at 10.25 mills. In addition, next year's budget will see an increase in our cash reserves, or "Stabilization Fund," to $20 million, a growth of $1.5 million from last year.

That's the result of a well-managed operation. And, the big picture credit goes to our Director of Administration Tom Muller and our Budget Director Brian Kahler. I never thought I would meet two guys who were cheaper - er, more financially prudent, than me. And, their plans are executed and followed every day by our entire Cabinet.

Last year, I reported to you that we cut our total health care costs by 4 percent in 2007. Through a combination of thorough oversight, the cooperation of our employees and labor leaders, and the help of our partners Caruso Benefits and Capital BlueCross, next year our total health care costs will drop another 6 percent – for a savings of more than $2 million. With our four labor contracts finished and in place, all county employees - union and non-union - now contribute to their health care costs.

Just as with health care benefits, in the area of raises my goal has been parity between our union and non-union employees. Next year we will accomplish that. All employees, whether members of a bargaining unit or not, will receive a 3.9 percent wage increase.

With our reduction in health care costs, the total county general fund will grow next year by a modest 3.6 percent for Lehigh County taxpayers. The 3.6 percent increase is well below the spending limit pledge taken by me and many of our County Commissioners, which correctly says we should hold growth below the rate of inflation, which is about 5 percent in the Lehigh Valley.

Part of controlling costs and spending, requires controlling the growth of government employees. Next year, will see a slight decrease in the overall number of county employees to a total of 2,197 full-time employees. We will, however, continue to shift and strategically realign positions, reducing them in some places and adding them in our priority areas and areas of need. Next year will see 14 new positions in the area of public safety and corrections, while eliminating unnecessary administrative positions.

We continue to look for ways to save more. Under the guidance of our director of general services, Jan Creedon, all our facilities starting next year will be changed out for full energy efficiency. Working with energy savings companies, or ESCOS, our facilities from nursing homes to prisons to office buildings will be evaluated and upgraded. Things such as insulation, window replacements, HVAC upgrades and new light fixtures will be changed. The upgrade costs will be borne by the ESCOs and then paid out of the savings we realize on our utility bills. During the next ten to fifteen years, we expect to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on energy related costs. With energy costs on the rise, it's critical that this be done for Lehigh County's taxpayers now.

Now, is also the time to fix what's broken and make sure our house is in order and that never again will we let buildings leak for 40 years and bridges to be closed or deteriorate because we don't want to spend money on core responsibilities. This fall we will embark on an $85 million bond issue for that purpose, with the lion's share going for the $61 million Courthouse renovation and expansion.

At the start of my administration, I successfully fought to reduce the cost of the planned courthouse renovations by $20 million, in part, so we'd have money for other needed improvements, such as our bridges. I also didn't think we needed 20 foot courtroom ceilings and all the schmaltz. The recent bridge collapse has reinforced how important it's to maintain our roads and bridges. We have 47 of them. On my first day in office, five of them were closed and one - Linden Street in Allentown - was weight and lane restricted. We've embarked on a course that will pump $10.5 million of county taxpayer money into our bridges during these four years, including $5.5 million to replace Linden Street. Next year's budget will see the addition of nearly $2 million to the program. By the last day of this term in 2009, all five closed bridges are scheduled to be reopened and Linden Street to be replaced. This has all been done under the watchful eye of Glenn Solt, our Manager of Capital Projects, who has fit this in while building an AAA baseball stadium and starting a new Courthouse.

Next year, we also will build a new 911 emergency communication center. It will move from the Courthouse to the recently acquired Hamilton Financial Center building, next to the County Government Center in Allentown. For the first time, our 911 center will use GPS technology to locate callers through their cell phones, minimizing emergency response time. Keeping the center in downtown Allentown allows for the future possibility of merging Lehigh County and Allentown City operations. It also has given us more space for county operations and allows us to lease space to other tenants, covering the cost of operating a new building.

This year we also will fix the hodgepodge of leaky trailers that were intended to be temporary 20 years ago that we call the men's work release facility along the Lehigh River in Salisbury Township. Finally repairing these ailing structures and expanding the capacity of this facility, allows us to save precious and costly space in our main prison as we can house nonviolent offenders eligible for work release in a less-costly facility. Through the excellent oversight of Ed Sweeney, our director of corrections, we lease space in our prison to other counties, now at a rate of $90 per day, resulting in a new $1.5 million in revenue for Lehigh County.

With a focus on improving public safety with regional solutions, a new Lehigh County Central Booking Facility will open at the end of the year. By locating one centralized booking and intake center directly at the Lehigh County Prison, we will achieve two important goals. We will save time for countless municipal police officers who will have one drop off location for offenders and, perhaps more importantly, we will have better tools to identify those who may be wanted in multiple jurisdictions. Our District Attorney Jim Martin has led the way on this project.

County spending on our nursing homes will remain the same next year with only a small Lehigh County taxpayers subsidy of $1.4 million going toward the nearly self-sufficient excellent nursing homes we run for our senior citizens in need. We will also invest a much-needed $4.5 million into building upgrades and improvements, in addition to the energy efficiency and energy-savings upgrades.

The area of Human Services – about half of our total budget -- will get a big boost next year, which I will go into in detail tomorrow when we release the budget. But, while keeping the Lehigh County taxpayer contribution of $7.1 million the same next year as it is this year, we will see an increase of about $30 million in state and federal funding for everything from creating an autism resource center to providing more child day care services to get parents from welfare to work to addressing increased needs for our senior citizens and those with mental health and retardation challenges. This has all been done under the progressive leadership of Lynn Kovich, our director of Human Services.

In addition to new federal and state funding for human services, next year, Lehigh County will begin receiving $1.4 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to invest in our community. Because we've been designated an "urban county," by the federal government, we will receive twice what we'd gotten previously and we will get it directly instead of as a pass-through from the state. I'd like to thank our Director of Community and Economic Development, Cindy Feinberg, who worked a lot of very long hours to make sure that this, came to fruition.

This money will support what we're doing in Allentown, Bethlehem and our urban boroughs. We can now couple it with the grant programs we started to help with things like streetscape improvements, our borough business fa├žade grant program, our countywide housing rehabilitation program, and projects in our municipalities, such as curb cuts, sidewalk replacements and sewer and storm water renovations.

In addition, next year will see a new approach toward creating better affordable housing – not low-income housing but housing that working families can afford – so people raised here can afford to stay here and raise a family. We will coordinate our housing activities closely with Northampton County as we continue to move towards greater regional cooperation.

One of last year's great successes was the creation of our Congress of Governments, a confederation of all 25 of our local governments in Lehigh County – boroughs, cities and township, both rural and suburban. It's all about regionalism and results. It's a first in Pennsylvania and its goal is to give our local government officials a powerful forum for them to work together and have their voices heard on regional issues and solutions. So far, we are tackling new plans on emergency preparedness and response, better coordination and communication between our law enforcement agencies, regional transportation planning. It's been very encouraging. I've seen monumental progress in the Lehigh Valley since I started in this work 12 years ago in the viewpoint of local leaders toward regionalism and finding solutions to issues that reach across municipal boundaries to save all of our taxpayers' money.

We continue to move down the path of smart growth and regional cooperation. Lehigh County is a state leader in open space and farmland preservation, ranking fourth in the Commonwealth. To date, we have preserved 212 farms that total 17,346 acres. Last year, we invested a record $8 million in farmland preservation. Next year's budget will see us shift $12 million from money set-aside by the last administration for general operation of government to our Green Future Funds program to continue purchasing open space and helping to develop urban parkland.

We are combining a fiscally responsible approach with an aggressive agenda to invest in our infrastructure, our buildings, fight crime and improve public safety while we preserve our quality of life as we maintain our farmland and open space, hopefully, shifting our growth onto our brownfields and into our cities where we have the infrastructure and need the help.

Good things are happening in Lehigh County. Hopefully, we are helping by creating a stable tax rate that isn't increasing, investing in our infrastructure, fueling both economic growth and preservation and taking care of our people in need. We need the private sector to drive the economy and create jobs. You need a government that is sound financially, focuses on the basics and gives you a good value for your dollar.

But, the bottom line is that we need each other. And, this is why Lehigh County and the Lehigh Valley have emerged as a state-wide leader in growth, regionalism and quality of life. When we communicate with each other, work together and drive toward common goals we can move mountains.

Thank you for your commitment and your time and attention today.
Blogger's Note: This post was not approved by the Northampton County Democratic Committee.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.........Don Cunningham actually cooperates with bloggers and attempts to supply them information...while Joe Long tries to shut them out of press conferences.

One of these two people has a bright future in local and statewide politics, while the other continues to make a complete, total and UTTER ass of himself...I wonder which one is which........

T

Larry Kisslinger said...

How many guesses do we get? My first guess is Cunningham. Hope I'm correct. He is as sharp as the proverbial tack! The other guy is twice as dumb, in my opinion. larry@kisslinger.com

Anonymous said...

You guys make me want to throw up.

How much more disdain can you
have for the common people of
this country?

This is not anything new or special.

Centralize departments; cut jobs
recirculate services as a show to the stupid masses and declare the little man behind the curtain as a hero.

Yeah, let's send him up; he'll change everything! Not!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wow!

Someone who despises Cunningham. That's rare.

I'm sorry, but his entire approach is "new and special" and represents an important priority - the citizen. Cunningham, instead of the usual budget message to the legislative body, is reporting directly to the people. And he's telling them he works for them. Name one county executive in either county who has ever done that.

Then, when you look at the substance of the message, he tells you the direction in which he is moving the county on different issues. That's something else that's new and special.

Here's a few other things that are new for LC: (1) the energy savings contract, which sould save the county hundreds of thousands in utility bills over a few years; (2) a new 911 center w. GPS technology to trace cellphone callers; (3) getting LC classified as an "urban county," which resulted in $30 million more money from the state and feds.

Rather than treating us like the "stupid masses," he even had his office send it to a blogger so that it could be dissected by folks like you.

Yopu're pretty much just condemning Cunninghman without explaining why. Is it because he's a Dem? I like his plan, and I've explained why. It has nothing to do with his party. It has everything to do with the merits of his ideas.

joe maglioatts said...

It all sounds so good. Let me remind you that the Wizard of OZ was a l,ittle man with a very big curtain in which to hide.

Run for city council,m leave in mid term to run for mayor. Leave mayor in mid term to become Dept Secretary, leave that the become county exec.\\

Hmmm do we see a pattern?????

Bernie O'Hare said...

Joe, Sure I see a pattern. It's the same pattern followed by most people who are good in government. They accept bigger challenges. Do you fault them for that?

You haven't attacked a word Cunningham says, just Cunningham. Think about that. Most leaders who do well in one position seek greater challenges. One example of this is Charlie Dent. He served us in the state house, then state senate and now in Congress. Many view him as Specter's probable successor.

Anonymous said...

This budget notwithstanding, let there be no mistake: Don Cunningham is not afraid to tax and spend. A single budget cycle prior to a potential announcement regarding his future does not erase a career that demonstrates otherwise. Don Cunningham has a record and it's mostly tax and spend.

I'm thrilled any time politicians figure out a way to not raise my taxes, but let's get a grip here. Hats off to Don. I'll just need to see a few more spots change on this leopard.

Anonymous said...

Cunningham has a record of tax and spend? Which Cunningham have you been paying attention to exactly? In five years as Mayor of Bethlehem he raised taxes once at 5.5%, a VERY minimal tax increase particularly considering that the city just lost Bethlehem Steel. As Secretary of DGS he saved the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. And in two years as county Executive he has kept spending below the rate of inflation and never raised taxes at all.

So yeah...which Cunningham are you referring to again?

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, here's three problems with cunningham
1. illusion about saving money on row offices as i posted before.
2. illusion of saving money on courthouse, as i outlined in previous comment
3. saying in 2005 that 70% take hike by erwin was outrageous and he could cut taxes.(token cut in first budget) and now you want to give him a trophy for no tax hike, WHERES THE BEEF, THE TAX CUT

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM,

(1) I opposed the idea of consolidating the row offices under a superclerk. I agree with your point here. There will be no savings. In fact, it will probably end up costing LC money. I agree with you here. Unfortunately, the voters felt differently than you or me, and they may be right. That's the way our system works.

(2) In the case of the courthouse expansion, you're dealing with a little more than money. At issue, in addition to that, is just who runs the county. Is it the exec and his commissioners or the judges? I think Cunningham answered that question. His plan is designed with the LC taxpayer in mind. The judges' plan was designed with themselves in mind. There is a big difference. He'll spend the money that won't be spent on judges on things like bridge repair as well as a 911 center w/ important GPS features. LC would have to do that anyway, but now it will be at a savings.

3) Where's the beef? That comes in the form of $30 million from the state and feds by having LC reclassified as an urban county. That's downright visionary.

All in all, he has set forth a nice direction for the county, and has emphasized the importance of the citizen. And another feature should be music to your years - an affordable housing plan for working class families.

Anonymous said...

So Bernie, when Stoffa presents his budget for Northampton, will Comrade long request a million or two to pay for security to keep bloggers out of public buildings?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm not sure, but I know I'm requesting some money to pay my frickin' parking tickets.

Larry Kisslinger said...

I just do not know what I am missing here! A 70% tax increase under Erving was the most ridiculous tax increase I've ever heard of in my lifetime! Now, Executive Cunningham is using these funds in very appropriate ways w/o increasing taxes and taking care of business. I totally agree with him and BO not giving judges whatever they ever DEMAND. Cunningham's other goals were well spelled out in his budget message. Cunningham's priorities seem to me what citizens are looking for as most pols want to tell folks what they want to hear. Cunningham is a credit to entire Lehigh Valley as he serves in public office. Judges mean didly squat to me as they kiss our butts to get elected and then we can't ever contact them about anything b/c they are neutral about everything. Give me a break...you do know lawyers set all the rules for judges all the way to the Supreme Court, therefore you and me mean squat to any of them once they are in office. I don't see any negatives in Cunningham's service to public!
larry@kisslinger.com

LVDem said...

Cunningham never promised tax cuts when he ran for county executive. He promised fiscal responsibility and planning so we didn't have to live with a 70% tax increase again.

Anybody who expected a tax cut was just missing the boat.

Anonymous said...

i love and respect cunningham as a person and as an elected official. i also respect other's rights to disagree with that assesment. but...

just wondering. what's the over/under on how many of the neagtive, unfounded (e/g/ "tax & spend") comments are originating from allegheny county?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:32,

Onorato/Baker country? I could check but my sitemeter only gives the IP location for my last 100 visitors, and we are way past that now. But it's a good point. i respect anonymous comment, but that's a fair question.

But right now, Onorato has enough other problems. He's stumbling over a re-assessment, has alienated local unions and has broken his word to Geese Peace, authorizing the inhumane slaughter of Canada geese at some county park without first trying more humane methods to get them to move.

Anonymous said...

I'd simply add a few caveats here fellas. First, I believe that after the "70% tax hike" in Lehigh County, there were reductions in subsequent years that actually reduced the amount to something like 40% or so in the long run. Northampton county hiked its property taxes by at least that much, but did it over two years. None of the candidates for either Lehigh or Northampton county promised to decrease taxes during that election, as the revenue levels were appropriate to the need to cover the expanding scope of county government services.

As for Cunningham, I'd watch him with suspicion for this reason. He pulled the same "no tax hikes" politicking while he was Mayor of Bethlehem. He left the city grossly underfunded, causing his successor to have to raise taxes every year since, along with pulling some shady fund shifting and raiding to make it through each year.

Municipal and county governments rely on property taxes for the base of their revenue. Property taxes are not directly linked to increases in the cost of living or of doing business, therefore property taxes must be raised periodically to keep pace with inflation. In my opinion it might be prudent to suspect there might be a snake oil salesman at large here, using the old "hold the line on taxes" bull crap as a means to roll into his next campaign. I'm sure we'll see Mr. Cunningham touting this record when he runs for lt. governor or governor. It might be a good idea to examine the fiscal situations he leaves behind before we pronounce him as the Wizard of Oz in the exectutive branch of government.

Anonymous said...

While what you say is true that he switched some obligations to other entities such as the Bethlehem Parking Authority, what would you rather do? Burden the residents with an increase in taxes or take money from the BPA which had an excess balance in the hundreds of thousands of dollars? You seem to forget that the situation at the time was dire. With 26% of the tax base swept out from underneath the feet of the city, extraordinary means were required. Thank goodness there was someone who had the creativity and wherewithall to keep the city from floundering. Not only didn't it flounder, it thrived. It is only now that Bethlehem has reached the tax base that it had when Bethlehem Steel went under - and in that time, these methods kept Bethlehem a city that maintained a quality of life that is the envy of its surrounding cities. All cities in the Commonwealth are struggling - but not one other city in Pa. was designated as Money Magazine's top 100 cities to live in the Country. This kind of stuff doesn't happen by accident.

michael molovinsky said...

i cringed alittle at bohares praise of cunningham, but at least he didn't ask the underwear question like casey. people who carried less water for pawlowski now work at allentown city hall. lvdem, i have message for you under another heading.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM,

Why should you cringe when someone praises your county exec? I was very impressed at the way he reached out to the people first. That said a lot to me. And substantively, he has laid out a plan for LC's future. It's much more than a budget.

As a fiscal conservative and a person who claims Allentown has for too long been a "poverty magnet," you should be ecstatic. As someone who complained about Allentown bridges, you should be doing cartwheels. Your reservations have been addressed, yet you now come back with the suggestion that this praise must mean we are syncophants.

I can't speak for LVDem or Chris Casey, but I'll speak for myself. I don't believe party politics is particularly relevant in local government. I've seen good and bad local leaders from both parties.

Republican Jane Ervin, although a very nice lady, was in over her head at the helm in LC. Democrat Glenn Reibman, although a gentleman who was intensely loyal to his staff, was totally clueless in Northampton County. Ervin raised taxes 70% in one year, and Reibman raised taxes 66% over 2 years.

Cunningham has impressed me at LC. And it is very hard for a county leader to impress me. You have no idea how important it was for him to establish that he, and not the judges, is county exec. And you have no idea how difficult that is to accomplish. Judges are very powerful and are not above petty little games to get their wishes, which only inure to their benefit. But that is an unwritten story. Few understand the signifigance of Cunningham's moves with the court. And he did it without looking like a bully or insulting the judiciary.

It's true that he will be expanding the county into other buildings, but he'd have to do that even if the judges got their 17' ceilings and private potties. I wasn't kidding when I told you that was all for the judges. That's the way they operate.

It's good that you are suspicious. I'd rather see your criticisms dispelled than not hear them and discover later that they are true. But when Cunningham stood up to some powerful judges and a DA hinting around at criminal negligence, that told me he puts the citizens first.

His priorities are very clear, and that's why he came in at #2.

Incidentally, I start my job with LC on Monday. I'll be cleaning those judicial potties.

michael molovinsky said...

bohare, i'm not privy to the judges influence on the plans, and i can easily concede your profession and background gives you more insight into that dimension. but, i am struck by cutting the building in half, but it still costing three quarters as much., ervin plan was 8 stories, cunningham 4. i do not believe a 911 center, which is elaborate switchboard, needs a whole additional office building. i do not believe the county should be a landlord to help justify it. you deserve better than cleaning the potties, i believe the deeds office will need a separate manager under the new director of services.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM,

It is not my former profession that gives me this insight. it's what I've seen in three different counties over many years that gives me this insight.

You're into real estate. You know that a four story building can easily cost more than an 8 story building. It's not logical to say a four story building shoul;d only cost half as much as an 8 story building, especially when the exec plans to accomplishe much that was accomplished in that 8 story plan, minus the extravagances.

Now as far as the 911 center is concerned, that was a big bone of contention in NC for 8 years. In LC, there's virtually none. But I can assure you that there's a hell of a lot more involved than some glorified switchboard. It is a major operation, and out first line of defense in public saftey and security. Your telephone bill, incidentally, is already paying for it, whether you use it or not. I can tell you, from many NC council meetings, that a 911 center is very complicated and has to be done right or it will be a mess. An entire new building was constructed in NC for the 911 center. Before that, NC had the second highest radio outage in the state. NC even tried privatizing this important function, and the result was pure disaster, at least according to many emergency workers.

Believe me, we've been there. You don't want to skimp with this very important core service. If you do, you'll pay much more later, as NC did.

LC is lucky. It gets to learn from our mistakes.

Kenderski Truth Committee said...

Mr. Cunningham surely knows that the only thing DA Jim Martin is "leading the way on" is the way to the Hogan's Club.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Kenderski Smear Committee,

If you have something substantive to say, then say it. If you want to allege that the LC DA is a drunk, do so. But unless ytou identify yourself and are willing to face a defamation action if your charges are false, then I think you should stay under your little rock.

I criticized the DA for something he said, which I thought was out of line. But I'm not into calling people names. Nor do I approve vicious personal attacks from anonymous people. So identify yourself and the basis for your claim. If you can't do that, you're not worth reading and probably need mental help.

Cygnus said...

I'm neutral on Cunningham. I live in Lehigh County and is an ok guy.

But...

I agree with anon 2:13. Cunningham left Callahan in a very rough position with the underfunding of budget. Sometimes we put so much emphasis on taxes, and very little on what those taxes actually do that is of benefit.

Jane Ervin should get some credit for putting Cunningham in the position he's in.

I don't think Cunningham will win in 2010 if he runs for governor. In Pennsylvania, it's eight years and you're out relative to party.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Cygnus,

It's a long way off, but he could do it under the right circumstances.

Right now the contendors are Allegheny County Exec Onorato, aAuditor Gen'l Jack Wagner, Lt. Guv. Catherine Baker Knoll, and state senator Mellow. All but Mellow are from the western part of the state and they will draw votes from each other. Mellow, who hails from Scranton, is a noted payjacker who has opposed nearly every reform. If no one announces from Philly and if Cunnigham can pull in a lot of dough, he will run and he will win the Dem nod.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, waiting until you get a citation to pay parking tickets makes you a scofflaw. As a defrocked attorney, you should know this.

Billy Givens said...

Bernie,

You quote Cunningham as saying that the federal government has classified Lehigh County an "urban ounty."

If that's accurate, then Northampton County should be suspicious of hitching its star to LC through the alchemy of "regionalization."

Otherwise, NC will soon awaken to the fact that the federal government has classified it, like neighboring LC, an "urban county."

This Shangrla that its pols and Madison Avenue pitchmen have created as the "Lehigh Valley" through NGOs like the LVEDC, GLVCC, and GEDP are hell bent on seeing it annexed by New York City and Philadelphia under the rubric of a
"Metropolitan Statistical Area," or "MSA," which now also encompasses much of New Jersey including all of Warren and Hunterdon counties.

Perry Matlock said...

re: Kenderski Truth Committee

" ... unless ytou identify yourself and are willing to face a defamation action ..." -BOH

For a defamation action involving the still virgin territory of the internet, email, blogs, etc., I'd highly recommend the highly-connected Allentown law firm of Gross, McGinley, LaBarre, and Eaton. Not only do these people specialize in Media & Communicatios law, they represent a Who's Who of Lehigh Valley old money companies (including The Morning Call), and, they have some really handy friends among the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas judges. For example, GML&E founding partner Carol McGinley is a Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas judge and a GML&E attorney chaired the successful 2003 Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas bench-run of judge Kelly Banach. I'd imagine GML&E has influence with lots of other judges in and beyone the Lehigh Valley, the only obvious exception being Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas Judge Robert Steinberg who is nobody's fool.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 11:25, You forgot to mention that I'm an alkie and that my farts really stink, too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Perry Matlock,

Contrary to what you may think, libel laws apply to communications on the Internet. I don't know what law school you attended, but you obviously never graduated.

I can't be held responsible for an anonymous comment that defames someone, but you can. In that regard, I've logged your AOL IP. Amazingly, it's the same as the Kenderski Smear committee. What a coincidence!

The topic of this blog is Don Cunningham. It has nothing to do with your sick obsession over LC DA Jim Martin or the Labarre lawfirm. Moreover, they detract from what was an interesting discussion.

I allow people to post anonymously for many reasons. But I will not tolerate someone who hides behind a shroud of anonymity to slime someone, unless it's me. I don't mind that bc it tells me someone cares. Besides, I happens so often it's hard to keep up.

But you are not welcome here until you get more help. Yes, you're seeing a shrink, but you might need to double up on those sessions.

Take your hanging rope and go somewhere else. Start your own "I hate Jim Martin" blog.

Anonymous said...

"I will not tolerate someone who hides behind a shroud of anonymity to slime someone, unless it's me."

It always has to be about you, doesn't it ...