Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Norco Gaming Authority Has Money to Burn

$832,000, to be exact. But don't expect to see any of it going anywhere until after June, when municipal grant applications are filed. That's when the fur should start flying.

Northampton County's nine-member Gaming Authority, ably chaired by Hanover Township's John Finnigan, met last night to approve their by-laws and grant procedures.

Bethlehem Township's Thomas Nolan thinks they, and not the County, should control the gaming revenue. But when Council liaison Ann McHale pointed out they would need to be bonded, Finnigan expressed some concerns about "re-inventing the wheel."

Lower Saucon's Priscilla deLeon suggested the public should be able to address every item on the agenda. But Hellertown's Stephanie A. Hoppes-Kovas noted that if you allow "too many, it becomes a town hall meeting." And Solicitor Scott Allison, who claimed to be suffering from jet lag, solemnly told board members he "would not recommend that you run your meetings that way unless you want to bring sleeping bags."

I found all of this highly ironic inasmuch as I was the only member of the public in attendance.

Economic Development Administrator Alicia Karner has set up a webpage for the Authority, containing minutes, a meeting schedule and links to the Gaming Law, Gaming Control Board and enabling Ordinance.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? People are you serious? Just so i understand this all. Ron Angle becomes County Council president and has his attorney Phil Lauer made Council Solicitor. Mr. Angle also demands that the General Purpose Authority not be the board to approve the casino funds as Mr. Stoffa so appropriately suggested. Angle wanted a an unworkable uber-board of municipalities not even involved as per the law.

Then at the end of this sausage making deal, Ron Angles 2001 County Executive Campaign Chairman J. Finnegan is the chairman.

This is incredible. Why the Hell doesn't Stoffa and the rest of County Council resign and just let Angle run the entire show.

Are any of you people paying any attention?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The gaming authority ordinance was written by Lamont McClure, not Ron Angle. John Cusick proposed an amendment concerning its membership. Hanover Tp, as one of the casino-contiguous municipalities, must be provided membership. Finnigan was selected chair by his fellow board members, not Angle. And he ran a pretty damn good meeting.

I would have preferred to see the GPA administer the gaming revenue, but the law appears to require a separate agency. This is according to McClure, not Angle.

Anonymous said...

finnegan is a fool and a wolf in sheeps clothing. keep your eyes on this mutt

Bernie O'Hare said...

In other words, he's a Republican. I can see how Hanover Tp has gone to hell.

Anonymous said...

Can the Slate Belt get some of that there casino money? I saw some kids shooting dice in an alley in Bangor..does that qualify us for some table scraps?

Anonymous said...

Word is they are building a casino on one of the old slate quarries between Bangor and East Bangor. Any truth to that?

Anonymous said...

That's chump change. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

Iheard the slate belt casino is going on top of the coal fly ash dump.
DantheMann

Anonymous said...

Rumor does have a business concern about to make a commitment to a site off of 512 between the two boros..50 new jobs would follow. No casino but other options are on the horizon as inquiries have been made about those lands.

Anonymous said...

@BOH 7:54am

Maybe you should try living in Hanover Township. After running a $600k/ yr. deficit for years, the way Finnigan "fixed" the problem was by, first, raising the "right to work tax" (now teh emergency bs tax) to $52/yr. on guys like Sarge who clean tables at Wegmans. When that didn't work he "lower" our taxes (his words/spin, not mine) to get spending in line.

How did he lower taxes and balance teh budget you ask? He pulled the trash hauling out of the taxes and made it a seperate bill. So I guess technically taxes did go down, although the reality was he raised taxes. Here's the math:

My tax bill was $470 before the "tax cut." After, it was $425, for a savings of $45. I then received a bill from the trash collector for $290. Total out of pocket before the tax cut: $470. Total after: $715. That is an increase of approx. 52%.

And here's the thing. I live in Pointe North. If you are one of our senior residents who live in the smaller and older houses your tax bill decreased from maybe $300/yr to $270, but you still received a $290 bill for trash collection.

So first Finnigian screws the seniors who have to work in their later years in the Township and then he screws the seniors on a fixed income who live in the Township.

And BOH, before you say that he is only one vote / others had to agree, etc. he is the Alphadog and the others let him get aways with it.

Even better, after he was given the manager's job with ZERO Experience, not only did he get a full salary for almost 9 months of "training" under the previous manager, but he has continued to get pay increases for not balancing a budget and raising our taxes. Current salary is apporx. $95k/yr plus benefits.

Can't wait fo rhousing market to get better so I can GTF out of Hanover.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 1:08,

Actually, Jay has no vote. He's the township manager and reports to the supervisors there. I don't know the details about how hard life is in Hanover TP, but why not make your concerns known to the elected officials?

Bernie O'Hare said...

BTW, Thanks you for your comment. I look at a place like hanover and think those people hafve it made. But I guess everyone has problems, even in the more affluent communities.

Anonymous said...

Hanover is especially populated with those NJ raiders who scoff at paying only 95K.

You won't be truly get out of redneck status until you get your overseers er, uh, servants to six figures.

God bless you 7:54 a.m.

Anonymous said...

@BOH 2:09

He doesn't have a vote now but he is THE influence on everything that gets done. Remember, he was the Pres. of the Board of Supervisors before the Board of Supervisors gave him his current job. I say gave because they didn't interview anyone else for the job and were very quiet about the timing of the job. I pay attention and had no idea that it was happening until I read the story in the paper that he was handed the job.

There is actually the worst kind of corruptionin the townships/boros as a small group of people can, and in this case do, take advantage of the situation. Most people are not paying attention and the local newspapers do not report, or rarely report.

As a result of the closed group they pay no attention to what the public says. I know people who have left Hanover in the past few years as a result of this reality.

Anon 1:08

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:49

The problem is not that there are too many people from NJ, but that the people who have political power are the lifers and a dolt from CT (Finnigian). $95k is too much to pay someone for a little township of 10k population. When you add out the cost of benefits and payroll taxes paid by the people it is more like a $130-150k compensation package. With a $6MM budget that meas approx. 2% of the budget goes to Jay Finnigian.

And as someone who happened to grow up in NJ, I take offense to your apparent bigoted additude about transplants. The only one who made "redneck" references was you.

Anon 1:08

Anonymous said...

Finnigan is very close to Ron Angle, so the connection is there. We know what Angle is all about as evidenced by the problems over stolen cigars and phony Wills.

It is interesting that Angle is positioning all "his" people in positions of power. You have to wonder what scheme Angle is up to now.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As noted in the second comment here, Angle did ot draft this ordinance, and he did not write the gambling law requiring someone from Hanover Tp to sit on this Authority. You're over-reaching, as usual.