Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stoffa Denies Mandatory Furloughs Under Consideration

Northampton County Finance Director Vic Mazziotti would like to spend more time with his grandchildren, more time than his vacation package allows. So he occasionally takes a day off, without pay, because his family means more to him than a job.

This got Northampton County Executive John Stoffa thinking about voluntary unpaid furloughs for similarly-minded county workers. As long as it involved no overtime for other workers, this might save money. But Northampton County is a cesspool of rumors. Somewhere along the way, this was twisted into mandatory time off. Claiming that she had received several complaints, Council Prez Ann McHale asked Stoffa what was going on at yesterday's Personnel Committee hearing.

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

That's how Stoffa responded to McHale, telling her very clearly that at no time has he considered mandatory furloughs for anyone. "Some people want to take time off without pay. Nothing is mandatory. We have not decided on anything. All we're doing is looking at it."

He explained why, too. "We're heading towards big time budget problems." But questions abound concerning voluntary furloughs. Will the county have to pay unemployment? How can it be sure it won't result in overtime somewhere else?

So Stoffa is unsure whether this will really save money, but no county worker should worry about mandatory furloughs.


Anonymous said...

Let's everybody tell Anna that we heard a rumor that Stoffa was born in Kenya and has no birth certificate and see if she falls for it and brings it up at the next meeting.

Anonymous said...

Maz was hired to do a job. If he runs out of vacation time, tough darts. As a big shot he can just not show up when he feels like it.

If he wants more time with his family, quit and let someone dedicated to the County take over.

He did this in Atown and that was a disaster. I say, "don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Stoff'a smartass remark to Ann McHale nonwithstanding, it sets a poor example of privledge for the bigwigs at the expense of line staff. This has been the way this crew has operated since day one.

Time to pack it in Mazz. The County's broke and all those "savings" your Gobells, O'Hare spews won't cover it up for long. You pissed away the $60 million that you inherited. Nice job.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 30 am...guess you never got over your public embarrassment of being exposed for double dipping after you feigned a resignation to collect unemployment benefits at taxpayer expense . What a phony you are !

Anonymous said...

I'm a union county worker and I'd gladly take a day a week off to help others from getting laid off if it came to it. It's really not a bad idea. Many municipalities have tried it. The problem is the unions usually oppose the idea and then people get laid off. This shouldn't ever be ruled out..

Anonymous said...

If the county does not participate in the State Unemployment system, employees would still be entitled to collect, However! What ever payments received by employees would then be billed back to the County, So what would be gained from the Counties Point of View?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The difference between unemployment and regular salary is what the county would gain. Is it worth it, especially if it is difficult to administer? That's a concern Stoffa expressed yesterday. If it saves money and is not a nightmare to administer to ensure that it does not result in OT, why not?

Anonymous said...

Good Point Bernie!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2

Your insults are not worthy of comment, but your misstatement re: fund balance requires correction. The General Fund fund balance as of December 31, 2008 was $68,321,520. This balance has increased since the start of this administration. To confirm, clink on this link,
scroll down to the last item on this page - “2008 GPFS” - and go to page 18.

Vic Mazziotti

NPR fan said...

I never experienced this myself but I've been hearing on NPR about a lot of companies doing this and according to the people interviewed, it has been very successful. THe employees that opted for the time off without pay all had varied, personal, unusual circumstances that I never would have thought of that made them want to take time off for whatever reason, many having to do with pregancies, young kids, older parents, school, and weird temporary situations, etc... NPR showed examples of how these voluntary timeoffs actually avoided layoffs and salary cuts for the people that wanted to stick to a full paid week yet helped the people who needed and wanted the time off at the same time. Employee satisfaction went up significantly at the companies that did this.

Anonymous said...

Obama appears to be a Kenyan national who has produced no proof, save for one of those readily recreated after the fact "Records of Birth" (I have several) that he was born in the US.

Ann might actually be right for once.

John Played for the Pirates said...

Are there any openings for me at the County?

Peace, ~~Alex

Anonymous said...

Voluntary furloughs is what has been suggested. Employee working for Nptn Cty can't even afford to live on what they make, let alone take off without pay. His letter states you can't use vac., personal, sick or FMLA. I think Stoffa should not take a paycheck for a few weeks, that would help the budget!Another idea, why don't every employee not show up for work for a week, that would help wouldn't it? Then administration can run the offices and serve the public! Get real Stoffa, what planet are you living on?

Bernie O'Hare said...

He's on earth and you're apparently on Planet Me Me Me.

Stoffa has an obligation to the taxpayers to keep their bills as low as possible. You have the right to a living wage but have the same obligation as him.

A voluntary furlough is just that - voluntary. It is for that relatively small group of people who would like more time off than their job permits, even if it means going w/o pay.

Although I am self-employed, I am among those who need more time away from the bullshit, even if it means it is without pay. What Stoffa is considering is something that will make that admittedly small group of workers more content in their job while simultaneously saving money.

Your reaction to this idea is to threaten the people of this county with interrupting county services, a childish rant from a selfish person.

Anonymous said...

It works great for overpaid Administration heads. Not so much for the rank and file.

If this was done by another Executive you and Angle would be screaming bloody hell.

You are a fraud. If Mazzioti isn't needed full time make his job part-time. No one did it before because no one had the gall or the free pass from the media.

Either it is a County Council approved policy or it is not a policy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If another county executive had considered voluntary furloughs, perhaps it would not have been necessary to lay off people, freeze wages for three years and eliminate positions. That's when i screamed bloody murder.

The only thing I can say about a county exec who is trying to save money for taxpayers while giving employees more freedom is - good job.

You can take your frickin' policies and stick them up your ass.

Stoffa is aware who pays the salary. You are not.

Anonymous said...

vol·un·tar·y adj.
1. Done or undertaken of one's own free will.

Do you get it? If you don't want a furlough, you don't have to take it.

Too complex for some of you?

Anonymous said...

Stoffa also has an obligation to the workers that run his County empire. 75% of the workers are taxpayers, or did you forget that? I just don't understand why you get so defensive when it comes to Stoffa. Are you beholding to him for something? Sure sounds that way.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The purpose of this post was to stop a malicious rumor being spread by malcontents whose only goal is to cause misery. In other words, to tell the truth. That must bother the hell out of anonymous cowards like you.

I support Stoffa bc he has integrity. I am beholden to him for restoring that to Northampton County and for always trying to do the right thing, as opposed to what is politically expedient. I am by no means alone. Spending practically no money, he was overwhelmingly selected by Democrats. Republicans refuse to field a candidate against a man who thinks good government is more improtant than party affiliation.

But there will always be people like you, slinking in the dark, who hate this guy because he won't play your games.

Prêtre Fâché dans la Formation said...

Oh yeah! And pay to play sucks, too!

By the way, in case nobody figured it out yet:

I am a drunk and a disbarred attorney.

Right about now, a few people's head should be imploding.

Peace, ~~Bernie

Anonymous said...

Hey angry priest get off this hate blog and read my Book!


I Got Your Angry Priest? said...

I don't believe your God. God has a better profile page.

Peace, ~~BOH

You Rang? said...

10:15 PM & 11:04 PM are my attempts at very poor humor. Sorry Bernie.

Bad jokes on my part. I will do some extra special and voluntary penance. Please forgive me.

Peace, ~~Alex

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't, as Prez Council, Ann have a clue that Stoffa was going to impose mandatory timeoffs if he were to do it? Wouldn't that be something he would run by Council? Why would she ask him as though it could be done without her knowing? OR is she just trying to stir up trouble like usual?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:55 He has already signed contracts in violation of the Charter. He has given a contract to an old political friend from Lehigh County for one penny under the required amount to get approval. He is running a massive deficit in Human Services, pumping millions of dollars over what was required in Chidren Services.

Yeah, right. Outside of this bizzaro world many are concerned with the Stoffa/Angle Administration.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:39 PM

You just make up lies, one after another.

Have you no shame or honor?