Friday, January 30, 2009

Run, John, Run!

He was just eight years old. It was a hot day. He was pulling ragweeds from a corn row and a grove of shade trees at the end looked might inviting. Why not take a break now and come back later? Instead, the farm boy yanked away until the last weed was gone.

That little farm boy is now Northampton County Executive John Stoffa. He's halfway through a corn row of really deep weeds left by his predecessor, more than he thought he'd ever see. For the last three years, he's been yanking away, but his job is far from over.

He's pulled away at a nasty play to pay political system, refusing to accept contributions from people looking for jobs or contracts. He has refused the temptation to respond to constant scurrilous remarks made by Council members Charles Dertinger and Lamont McClure. He shied away from partisan politics, choosing a competent staff over the usual political hacks. He has taken a county on the brink of financial disaster and restored it to sound footing, resisting the urge to "just do something" without having clear goals in mind. He even refused to accept a privileged parking spot, walking up a steep hill day after day until forced to undergo a hip replacement.

A tall and gangly man, people inside the courthouse often laughed at him, underestimating his intelligence and passion. Stoffa continued to yank away.

I'm sure those shade trees look as inviting now as they did when John was just eight. I could not blame him if he stopped now. But his successor, whoever he or she may be, will just plant more weeds.

Run, John, run!

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the promise of a better group on Council, might help decide.

Let's kick some trash to the curb this year.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let's pull some weeds!

Anonymous said...

He was left with a forty five million dollar surplus. That's a county on the brink of financial disaster..Wow

Bernie O'Hare said...

He was left with a cash surplus that only came as a result of layoffs, inability to negotiate contracts and massive tax increases that totalled nearly 70% in two years. In his first two years, Stoffa was faced with the reality that we could not do more with less and had to hire more people. Fiscal managers like Mazziotti found ways to save money, as wel as IT director Al Jordan. Stoffa stopped the endless building and building to give the county a chance to cash its breath and assess where it is at.

Anonymous said...

Didn't he champion $186,000 parking spaces?

Bernie O'Hare said...

No. He proposed a new parking deck but reversed himself, deciding to wait unil the county knows its long range plans.

Stoffa has raised no money and, to be hinest, I doubet he intends to spend any. He's been in office for four years and i think that, if he decides to run, he'll just lay his case out to the people. if you don't think he's worth keeping, dumnp him.

When the people who vote decide this race, they weill flock to Stoffa. They will see a decent and honorable man who tries to do the right thing, and who is facing a petty council that looks more idiotic with each passing day.

That ragweed is about to get yanked.

Run, John, run!

Anonymous said...

He proposed $186,000 parking spaces and rightly backed off when properly shamed. Not good enough. Time for change. Good bye.

Anonymous said...

Politicians make mistakes. Given wrong information, good ideas but bad timing, etc. Mr. Stoffa changing his mind, and acting on it, is a sign that he is always thinking of the tax payers. Not his legacy.

O_o

Bernie O'Hare said...

Also, nobody "shamed" hi,. Five council members supported the idea. Stoffa backed off on his own.

Anonymous said...

John Stoffa is the worst County Executive in the history. The employees universally despise him ! They dislike him more than Reibman if you can believe that !

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are the worst liar in county history. I know what the employees are saying, and they pretty much hope he runs. They don't want to be stuck with McHale or Heckman.

Anonymous said...

Stoffer has raised taxes and is in the process of squandering a 60 million dollar fund balance. He is the worst County Executive in history. The employees are praying for McHale.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Stoffa did raise taxes. When he ran for office, he told voters he would raise taxes a half mil to dedicate to open space. As he puts it, "The voters elected me anyway."

Stoffa did what he said he was going to do and despite a lot of resistance from Dertinger and McClure.

If he runs, he will crush whoever opposes him, and without spending a nickel.

Bernie O'Hare said...

By the way, as the incumbent Democratic county exec, I expect even the party will have to endorse him. That was the rationale when they endorsed reibman, wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

I heard that Ron Heckmen asked some people to leave him out of their blogs but you are an ass, O'Hare. Again you take a cheap shot at Heckmen. I don't know if he is going to run but since he won the poll you never mentioned again you continue to rip on him.
So Mr. Facts what did he ever do that was unethical or illegal, coming from you this should be good. Employees are ignoring their Union Leaders and asking him to run. He can actually make tough choices and decisions while treating people like people, something your boyfriend has shown he is not capable of doing.
Stuck with Heckman? you should hope he doesn't run because based on the records of those mentioned, especially Stoffa, a smart compent Executive will be a nice cahnge of pace.

Anonymous said...

He squandered a surplus; raised taxes; proposed a ridiculous bond with golden parking spaces. Not a shimmering record of fiscal responsibility. I'll agree he's the best D. But that ain't saying much. On balance he's a mess. Better than his predecessor, but still a mess.

He's a fine gentleman, but it's time for change we can believe in.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:54,

I spoke to Ron Heckman a few weeks ago and asked him about the idiots who promote his campaign by trashing everyone else. He expressly disapproves your tactics.

And asking people to leave him our of their blogs is certainly a moronic way to generate interest. You don't even make sense.

Anonymous said...

Can you still see daylight from your perch up Stoffa's ass?

Anonymous said...

Pull the weeds. Stoffa is the ultimate weed - ivy. Looks nice - ruins everything. Stoffa is an incompetent administrator. When he was director of Lehigh County Human Services it was decertified and taken over by the Commonwealth of PA because of the horribly unfortunate deaths of two childrens under Children and Youth supervision. Now as NHCO Exec. he has hired an alleged child molestor with a record to work with children. The guy is horrible at his job.

Bernie O'Hare said...

John Stoffa was widely regarded as the best Director of Human Services in the state, and thaty's according to a state appellate judge. You, on the other hand, are an anonymous coward.

Anonymous said...

What you people seem to be missing is the fact that he (the ringmaster) is working with a completely disfunctional council (the circus). How can he do his job and put on a show, when all the animals in the circus are running around worrying about their own "business" and not performing the way a well designed act should?

Come on people, open your eyes. I am not saying Stoffa is not without fault, but you have this bunch of yeha's throwing kinks into the good things he's trying to do and he gets the blame. At least he is honest and giving it his best... I can't say that for the yeha's on council!

Anonymous said...

Stoffer, honest ? His default position is to lie. As for his relations with council, he chose to partner with Angle. Their succes or failure will be judged this year. I doubt seriously the voters are going to want to give him a 20K pay raise when they learn he has two pensions from Norco and Lehigh. He is feeding at the trough.

Anonymous said...

Every Executive has to know how to deal with County Council. That is one of the challanges of the job. You can moan about this Council all you want but Stoffa ran on his ability to work better with Council, he has failed. Most of this Council will be back next year, then what?
You don't get to handpick your Council. He made a deal with the devil Angle right at the start with his silly budget handshake and forgot there are eight other members.
So Angle has given him a pass but old block headed Stoffa blew it with the rest.
Best Human Services Director in the State. Oh my God, maybe his former Cabinet mate Panella said that but no one else did. He was mediocre in Northampton and a disaster in Lehigh. You people are really clueless.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:44 LIAR

YOU ARE A LIAR.

1. County Council has already voted for the County Executive (whoever that may be) to have a pay raise. John Stoffa did not give himself a pay raise.

YOU ARE A LIAR.

2. By law, he cannot collect a pension from Northampton County while working full time. He is not collecting a pension from Northampton County.

YOU ARE A LIAR.

Get your head out of your ass and go spread your lies somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Did he sign the Ordinance that County Council passed on the pay raises ? Why didn't he oppose the twenty thousand dollar pay raise for himself ? So, he is collecting his County Executive salary and a Lehigh County Pension. He was collecting both a Northampton and Lehigh County pension before his election. What is happening to those pension payments from Norco ? Suspended in an interest bearing savings account ?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:49 your irrational hatred of Stoffa gives you zero credibility in this debate. He earned whatever pension he is entitled to receive from either county, just like ANY county employee. You are desperately grasping at straws with the comment about interest bearing savings accounts. You know full well how pension funds work. John Stoffa is the most honorable executive this county has ever had. The electorate will express this same sentiment if he chooses to run again. He will be re-elected in a landslide and whichever other "pay to play" candidate you are backing will crawl back under the rock he or she crawled from.

Anonymous said...

Run John Run - as a Republican. You Director of Admins Conklin is a Republican. Your Finance Director Mazerati is a Republican. Your Director of Court Services is a Republican. Your Director of Human Resources switched her registration from Republican to Indy to get confirmed. Your biggest Council Pal is Angle. You are obvious most comfortable with Republicans. So you should switch.

Anonymous said...

Stoffer is a Republican in sheep's clothing. He should be ashamed of his triple dipping and his horrible record on human services

Anonymous said...

Annon 4:30

Nice rant there Mrs. Stoffa but you didn't answer the question. what is he doing with his Northampton County Pension as you can't work fulltime and get one? Stoffa has been given a free ride by the media and O'Hare his next oppoent may not be as obliging.

Anonymous said...

Grucela is out, Heckman is tied to Reibman, McHale raised property taxes 70%. Stoffa has a job and a pension. He would get a raise. Big deal. He wins easily as a Republican or Democrat. Game over.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Stoffer is a Republican in sheep's clothing. He should be ashamed"

Now we come to the real objection to John Stoffa. He is fairly nonpartisan. That drives partisan hacks like Joe Long, Charles Dertinger and Bob Daday batty.

What's more, he stopped Daday's unemployment, unwilling to let him collect on a job that daday quit on his own.

Stoffa is guilty as charged. He prefers people who can do a job over political labels. in that way, he is very much like DA Morganelli, who never even asks his assistants their party.

As far as pension dipping is concerned, here's what John is doing. Right now, instead of collecting social security, he's working. So he saves the public that. Right now, he could be collected a Northampton County pension. Instead, he's working, sparing the taxpayers that expense.

Stoffa is a decent man eho represents the very best in government. The policitcal hacks and partisans want to be rid of him for obvious reasons.

Notice not one of them has the courage to identify themselves.

Snakes.

Anonymous said...

The real objection to Stoffa is Stoffa. He is in way over his head in this position and that is what Courthouse insiders will tell you. O'Hare your problem is you are an attention whore. Smart Pol's like Morganelli and Grucella act like you are a real buddy because it is insurance against your insane rants. By the way Morganelli doesn't care what Party his assistants are as long as they keep writing checks.
Stoffa tells everyone the Parking deck will fall. People were scared and then he just goes on to another topic. This is his way, it has always been his way. He is a lifelong bureaucrat that doesn't have an original or leadership bone in his body.

Anonymous said...

Burne - stop picking on Joe Long. The state Democratic Committee just endorsed Judge Panella for Supreme Court, and Joe Long was very supportive in that effort that Judge Panella worked so hard at. Ask Judge Panella what he thinks of Joe Long. He will tell you his a great guy and an great Chairman.

Anonymous said...

Judge Panella's endorsement was not made because of Joe Long. How arrogant! Judge Panella got that endorsement himself. Through intellectual ability and compassion while on the bench. Joe Long had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the endorsement. He went along with the endorsement, because if he didn't, the whole democratic party would have kicked his ass.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Judge Panella's endorsement was not made because of Joe Long. How arrogant!"

Joe Long can be a lot more arrogant than that!

Anonymous said...

If you think Joe Long has no pull with the State committee it shows how out of touch with reality you are.

Of course this is the 'Pure Spin Zone'. Or the Stoffa Mancrush Room. Hows that lap dance?

Anonymous said...

Long is a great County Chairman. Just ask Panella. He will tell you.

Anonymous said...

"If you think Joe Long has no pull with the State committee it shows how out of touch with reality you are."

Judge Panella's reputation as a great judge is a measure of himself. Not Joe Long. Joe Long is merely riding on his chairmanship of the NC Democratic Party. He has nothing to do with Judge Panella's ascending the bench. Joe Long is the one out of touch. And you too, if you don't give credit to the judge. (And nice misdirection, with the Stoffa reference. Because you can't come up with an original argument.)

Anonymous said...

He be pulling weeds and he sees the plow mule getting tired. Little Johnney puts the mule on his back and keeps pulling them weeds. Soon he sees an old woman pushing a wheelbarrow full of trunips to her cabin. He is tired and the tree looks so good but Little Johnney says get on my back I will carry you too, while I pull my weeds.
Finally on the beach he sees a troubled soul and soon only one set of footprints are visible..oh wait that was Jesus Christ, oh well no difference.

O'Hare I don;t know what is more hillarious if he told you this goofy self-serving story or you made it up in one of your alcoholic blackouts. Either way it is a creative albeit unbelievibly insane story.

Its been said before, you guys need to get a room.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is a story Stoffa told a reporter. I have a link to it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Long can’t deliver a fucking pizza, let alone the endorsement.

Anonymous said...

I think someone is at your door Boner and they are asking "was that extra cheese or pepperoni?"

Anonymous said...

It is time for Stoffa to release his tax returns. The public has a right to know how many different pensions he is collecting on top of his salary. Is he collecting one pension ? Is the number two ? Is he raking in two pension plus social security ? Release your returns Stoffa.

Anonymous said...

If you wish to attack Mr. Stoffa, perhaps you could at least spell his name correctly. Also, referring to people being "trash" or "having their head up someone's ass" makes one question the core of human decency of the writer, their command of the English language and being far too comfortable using words of hatred.
One of the most disqusting abstracts of free speech. Trust me, Mr. Stoffa, and only Mr. Stoffa will make his own decision.
The story about pulling weeds is not manufactured. Though, as we have all learned, in all aspects of politics, it is much easier to sit in the shade and sip lemonade while critizing the weed puller.
It's a national epidemic, and no exception here. Suggestions to help? Very few. Mostly just snide and caustic criticisms. Sticks and stones, people-- sticks and stones.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:04...

Where is it written that a person cannot collect legally earned pensions? The Home Rule Charter? What does Social Security have to do with his elected position?

Have you tried asking Mr Stoffa or is this more bloviating?

You and people like you are the reason we don't get more honest folks to run for office. What you are asking for is not only not required by any statue, but also none of your flippin' business.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:57, in all his ignorance, drooled....

Did he sign the Ordinance that County Council passed on the pay raises ? Why didn't he oppose the twenty thousand dollar pay raise for himself ?
Why yes he did sign it. That's a matter of public record.

If you could read, you'd also know that the raise does not take place until after the next election. While you could argue that he was approving a raise for himself, that's only the case if a) he runs for re-election, and b) he wins.

Won't you look cute with all that egg on your face should neither a) nor b) happen.

Anonymous said...

Pull those weeds. tote that bale!

I think Stoff lifted the story from the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I am beginning to understand why more folks don't get involved with Northampton County government.

Some of the comments posted here reveal not only an astonishing lack of simple knowledge, but also mean spiritness, extreme partisanship, and outright lying.

Reibman raised taxes over 60% - and one shining light here bitches because Stoffa raised taxes a TOTAL of 1/2 mil - a tax increase he promised during his campaign. Bob Daday quits and tries to collect unemployment from the county illegally yet folks here cry out that Stoffa collects Social Security and pensions TO WHICH HE IS LEGALLY entitled.

To paraphrase an expression of my Dad's - Northampton County voters don't even know what side their bread is buttered on.

Well, should Stoffa decide that his health is more important than is the County, I hope y'all get what you're asking for - another Severson-connected pay-to-play scam artist who will charge you for a parking deck but deliver a mousepad.

Anonymous said...

Ah annon 10:32 or Mr. Stoffa, whatever you prefer, Mr. Dady did collect unemployment compensation. After Stoffa illegally tried to stop it, his attorney sent a letter to the County and that idea stoped real quick. That was but one example of Mr. Stoffa notorious mean streak he hides behind the aw shucks exterior. Lehigh County knows the mean spirited Stoffa who will cutt off the head of anyone he is angry with.

Before you scream bullshit check the old clippings O'Hare, Longenbach said it was perfectly legal. Another Stoffa blopper.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa--best Director of Human Services or just a player with the papers? Why did Jane Baker dump him and he tried to get Reibman to take him? Campaign contribution and all!