Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who Will Fill Wayne Grube's Shoes?

Nobody. Wayne Grube's death is the end of an era in Northampton County. No one will mount his riderless horse. But talk of his replacement is already in overdrive. The county's constitution, its home rule charter, establishes the procedure for filling Grube's vacancy.
If a vacancy in the office of an elected official occurs during the last two (2) years of the term of office, the County Council within thirty (30) days after the occurrence shall appoint an individual to fill the vacancy by resolution. If the County Council fails to appoint an individual to fill the vacancy within thirty (30) days after the occurrence of the vacancy, the Court, upon the petition of any member of the County Council or any five (5) registered voters of the County, shall appoint an individual to fill the vacancy within fifteen (15) days after the filing of the petition. The individual appointed to fill the vacancy shall take office immediately upon appointment and shall serve the unexpired term of office of the elected official.
Unlike Lehigh County's Home Rule Charter, which requires that the vacancy be filled by a person who belongs to the same political party as the person who vacated the office, a Northampton County Council vacancy can be filled by a Democrat, Republican, Green Party member or Whig. The only requirement is that the person appointed must have been a county resident for at least a year.

That's a problem. Can an evenly-divided Northampton County Council put aside partisan differences to agree on a replacement? Don't hold your breath. Judges will likely make this appointment. Here's a few of the names I've heard.

John Maher - In his race against Ron Angle last November, Maher disingenuously claimed to be running a positive campaign while simultaneously bad-mouthing Angle in debates and at county council. His monstrous anonymous robo-calls and sleaze mailings infuriated most of the slate belt. Maher went down in flames, 5,583 to 4,495. I'd say the people have spoken.

Tony Branco - Unable to run a positive campaign on a nonexistent record, he instead rolled around in the mud in his race against popular Peg Ferraro, hiding behind the skirts of dirty dealer Tom Severson. This dude was so lazy he failed to answer a LWV questionnaire. Peg crushed him, 18,354 to 15,113.

Bill Wallace - A recent arrival in Northampton County, Wallace refrained from the divisive politics encouraged by Branco and Maher, instead running a clean campaign focused on bringing passenger rail to the Lehigh Valley. Mike Dowd, who defeated Bill 5027 to 4082, is ironically the council member who introduced the rail transportation study. Bill is certainly worth a second look.

Bill Hall - Bill briefly toyed with the idea of running for Congress, but backed off. He is an independent-minded Democrat who detests machine politics. "Right now, I believe, that the people who run local politics, or federal politics, they don't really represent the people. They go ahead and they pick the candidates they want and they take those candidates and they promote them. They funnel money to them. They get them publicity. And then they endorse them. And I don't think that's right. I think it should be up to the people." Looks like another Bill that fits the bill.

Tom Dietrich - Tom had the guts to wage a campaign against Northampton County's Queen of Hearts, Ann McHale. He was hammered, 4,733 to 2,293. In fact, I'm surprised he's still alive. Tom, who still maintains a web page, brings youth, a level head and a much needed breath of fresh air.

Ismael Arcelay - A former AT&T employee, Arcelay served as an appointed Bethlehem City Council member for three years and is now working for Ed Pawlowski in Allentown. According to the Center for Progressive Leadership, he's a party machine guy- a member of the Northampton County Democratic executive committee. He brings much needed diversity, but I I doubt any of the Republicans on Council will support a machine Democrat.

Mark Schwartz - Coming out of nowhere, Schwartz very nearly defeated Lamont McClure in November, losing by a scant 91 votes despite spending no money. Party boss Joe Long has demanded an investigation, so I doubt any Democrats will support his bid for appointment. He has a web page and claims he's running. "We need to keep spending as low as possible to provide quality services to taxpayers without an increase in taxes."

Louis Gallucci - A former Bethlehem Township Commissioner, Gallucci was very impressive when he applied for the vacancy filled by McClure. He clearly understands municipal government.

Do you know anyone who is interested? How about one of you?

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

When comparing money spent verses votes obtained, Mark Schwartz is the most successful candidate in the recent past. Maybe he could get council to do more with less.

O_o

Anonymous said...

I would guess Maher or Wallace since they will both no doubt run next year. This way team Dert can give someone a leg up for next years race. But who knows, I just know they plan to run, but then again, isn't everyone?

Joe Hilliard said...

Bernie,

You provide the answer. It will be Ismael Arcelay. A Democrat party yes man.

I oppose "yes men" of both parties. That is what is killing our society.

A.J.C. said...

Yes, I agree with Joe. "Yes men" are harmful. Yes indeedy.

Anonymous said...

i think its time we saw council members reflect the taxpayers they serve. i would like to see an african american or hispanic concil member man or woman.

Anonymous said...

The guy isn't even in his grave!!

Anonymous said...

You forgot Ron Heckman.

Anonymous said...

Arcelay is on the exec committee b/c of his role with the latino caucus. He has no credibility in the machine. Joe Long detests him. ASk your normal party machine people. He can't even get Joe Long to return his call. That's why he works in Allentown, not in Northampton County.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The guy isn't even in his grave!!"

People, without being disrespectful to Wayne's memory, have been discussing his replacement on council since before he died.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Arcelay is on the exec committee b/c of his role with the latino caucus. He has no credibility in the machine. Joe Long detests him."

Aside from Charles Dertinger, Lamont McClure and Rodney Applegate, is there any Dem that Joe Long likes?

Anonymous said...

"Aside from Charles Dertinger, Lamont McClure and Rodney Applegate, is there any Dem that Joe Long likes?"

So, does a machine even exist? Four people? Sounds like the "machine" is a figment of Joe Long's imagination and a boogy man for anybody who wants to challenge the credibility of a Democrat in Northampton County. Neither really exist.

Oh, you forgot Tony Branco.

And didn't Baron serve as an officer for the Norco Dems... I mean for the party machine? Why not call him out?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'd agree Joe Long does not have the influence he thinks he does, but he does control the local party structure. Its influence has waned, but it's certainly still there.

Why not condemn Steve Barron? For the same reason I won't condemn William Wallace. They belog to and work with the party, but neither of them participated in the shenanigans of anonymous robocalls and sleaze mailers last November. They both ran clean, issues-oriented campaigns. Barron, in his short tenure as controller, has already established himself as a person who will work with Team Dertinger and the Stoffa adminisitration. Instead of being interested in partisan politics, he's interested in governing.

Anonymous said...

"They belog to and work with the party, but neither of them participated in the shenanigans of anonymous robocalls and sleaze mailers last November."

And neither did Arcelay. by your own standards, he works with the party but is not part of the machine antics. Your description of him as part of the machine is either disingenuous or an unevenly applied standard.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I remain dubious about Arcelay, who jumped from Beth City Council to the warm embrace of pay-to-play Pawlowski. Just what is he doing there anyway? That, combined with his machine involvement, makes me wonder whether he promotes good government or some sort of party spoils system.

I question whether he would be an independent thinker. I'm fully prepared to be persuaded I'm wrong, but I need to be persuaded.

Anonymous said...

Check mcall archives to see how he often butted heads with Callahan over police matters. And his vote on the casino was not the vote of somebody who follows the lemmings. The guy is independant thinking, but he doesn't always pursue it in the most constructive ways. Kind of like Ron Angle. People take it the wrong way.

Thank you for at least admitting your perception is based on his relationship in the Pawlowski admin. Why is he working there: b/c he believes very deeply in faith based initiatives? He is one of the deepest believers you will ever meet. Compassion is probably his greatest interest.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The guy is independant thinking,"

If this is so, he'll never be appointed. He'll have to run for the job. I'll be paying attention, for what it's worth.

Julian Stolz said...

I hope it's Schwartz. He has the experience and yet he's still a regular guy.

Anonymous said...

No minority candidates?

Anonymous said...

O'Hare you are getting old! They are getting slower pitches past you.

Joe Long personally put Deringer, McClure, Barron, Maher and Wallace in the power structure of his new party.
The ticket for 2009 for County Council was put together by Him.

He wants one of the guys he will be running to get the appointment.

The Pepublicans on Council should demand the selection of either Pary agree not to run for election to the seat.

Lets see who applies then.

Anonymous said...

Believe me, O'Hare had trouble hitting when he was younger, too.

Anonymous said...

BO did you see the Bill White oiece about the Coach? It was very nice.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, I saw Bill's tribute and agree with you. I actually posted a link to it before it was even published. Bill had written in his blog that he would do a column, so I just provided the generic link to Bill's column. It was the first thing I read when I woke up today.

The ET blew me away yesterday with all the stories, and especially those pictures.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:14, I'll have you know I was and remain a very good switch hitter. XOXOXOXO.

Anonymous said...

What size shoe you wear BO?
Stoffa shoul ask them to appoint you, as long as you agree not to run!

lighthouse said...

Bernie can't go on Council...if he were sitting on the other side of the table he'd have to suspend LVR and we'd have no "independent" commentary on NorCo doings!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Lighthouse is right. I am most effective as a citizen, doing wehat I do. I long ago decided to never seek public office and frankly, think I am unsuited to the role. It takes a special person with more patience than I possess.

Anonymous said...

How about Mike Fleck? Is Bill Hall applying or is he going for Catherine Baker Knoll's seat since he was a candidate against her. Oh yeah, he ran for president in 2000 against Gore, maybe he can be in Obama's Cabinet as Secretary of Confusion. How about Will Power, or is he going to replace Bernie kieklak on his sister Lisa's staff? How about Ron Shegda or is he going against Ferraro and Cusick because they never endorsed him for Freeman's seat? How about Lazaro Fuentes for an hispanic viewpoint? How about Boss Long? How about Joe Owens or does he have his head so far up Bernies a*s he can't decide where Bernie's going? Maybe Glen Reibman will cross the Delaware Bridge and pay a toll om the County? Pat Vulcano would be good if he can get his daughter a job in the Education Dept. at Easton High School. Billy Givens would be my choice so he could be elevated to the highest point in his life when he was chosen to light the Peace Candle in Easton's Square. Ya gotta love him Sal, he could light up the City of Easton.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I will have a post concerning Monsieur Fleck momentarily.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grube would do a better job from the grave than any of the usual suspects.

Anonymous said...

Anyone consider Will Power? The opposition spent a lot of money to squash him in last year's primary. Maybe he has something to offer?

Tom Foolery said...

Ron heckman is running for Executive next year. He has served on council already. If they gave him the seat at least it wouldn't give anyone else a head start for the council race since he has no interest in running for council..

lighthouse said...

Probably should not comment, as "you shouldn't judge a book by its cover", and I do not personally know the guy....

however, how can one be taken seriously (especially politically) who changed his name to Will Power? At least he didn't change it to Dick Tater.

Anonymous said...

pleeeeease don't let it be Fleck. I guess iof someone keeps running, no matter how bad they are, sooner or later he will win -- or more appropriately get appointed.

There is no doubt that Fleck is a Long soldier. Long supported Fleck in his run against now Mayor Panto. Fleck ran a dirty campaign and lost big time -- his recycled label for Panto didn't do well and Panto ate him up at the candidate night's every time Fleck lied or was confused with the facts.

Fleck on County Council would be worse than his four years on City Council.