Monday, December 27, 2010

Gracedale Petitions To Circulate in Lehigh County

As you know, there's a push to place Gracedale's sale on May's ballot. Referendum proponents have gathered and submitted 10,774 of the 19,630 signatures needed to have the nursing home's sale decided by voters. But they only have until January 17, 2011 to seal the deal.

Last time Northampton County Council met, phony preacher Mario Martinez waved petitions at them, ominously saying "In front of you today, I have another 81. You can do the math."

OK, I will. 81 petitions signed by 107 people translates to 8,667 signatures. If you add that to the 10,774 submitted, that's 19,441 signatures. But the fake Rev. was apparently just kidding. He's now claiming he really needs 8,000 to 10,000 signatures. Good thing he's an ordained minister because he needs a miracle. Now there's a last-minute push at five different locations.

One of them is at Gracedale. Although County Council Prez Ron Angle and Exec John Stoffa are repeatedly condemned and accused of playing games, they have repeatedly tolerated the nursing home's use as a forum for the referendum movement.

What's interesting to me is that two of these five locations are in Lehigh County. That's right. Signatures will be collected at an Allentown union hall and Westgate Mall. No problem there, right?

Even if they obtain the necessary John Hancocks, I believe a Gracedale referendum is contrary to the Home Rule Charter. Northampton County's 2011 budget only funds Gracedale for six months. A referendum banning a sale will force a budget amendment as County officials scramble to find cash. But the Home Rule Charter specifically bans referenda on any matter that extends to the budget.


Anonymous said...

If in fact Gracedale is not sold or the sale is not concluded by the end of June, the County will have to do a budget amendment to cover the additional costs. Budget amendments are done all the time. In this case neither a judge nor the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will allow the County to sherk its responsibility and not fund the Home. If the County were to back off of care or funding while still responsible, every resident and family member would have a basis for a lawsuit against the County. The big payoff Angle and Stoffa are hoping for by dumping Gracedale would be dwarfed by the lawsuits.

You have been a loyal soldier for the Angle/Stoffa political machine. No one can accuse you of slacking off. You have been a loyal water carrier for their cause. Even if that cause is flawed and unjust.

The facts are as long as the petitions are signed by registered Northampton County voters they can be signed in Timbuktu.

The 20,000 signatures will be collected. They are within a few thousand right now. The Holidays really hit home with many signers wondering how the Angle/Stoffa Administration could be so callous regarding the sick and elderly poor of the County.

Fortunately, this will not be settled by what you believe to be law but by facts. Real facts not the purchased and fabricated facts of Angle and Stoffa. Once on the ballot, real information and facts will be forthcoming to voters. They will read for themselves the truth and see this for the cowardly political decision this is.

Truth over Lies!

Anonymous said...

Just sitting back and watching this episode in the demise of Gracedale (and, not being a supporter of Gracedale or this administration), I find it reprehensible that a couple of idiot local yokal politicians can do this? It is clear that in local Lehigh Valley Government that only idiots generally run and get elected. These are people that do not manage nor supervise anything or anybody in their personal lives. They seem to "get off" on having control like this at the detriment to the very same idiots that elect them. Too bad we do not have real people that have the experience and skill sets to solve problems. Maybe some of these groups are correct in that Pennsylvania needs to start consolidating all of these local forms of government.... to get rid of the obviously unqualified local politicians that can't punch their way out of a paper bag! It almost seems like these people have "munchausen by proxy syndrome"!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you shoulkd run for office? You have a good way of pointing things out that aren't correct. Any solutions?

Anonymous said...

Lets put this in perspective ... Gracedale is important to the Media and the public ... The closing of the Allentown State Hospital has been ignored ... Apparently the media does not care to report that story ...

Anonymous said...

doesn't matter were you collect them ... i live in northampton county and go to walk to the westgate mall everyday , weather permitting that is .

Anonymous said...

Half-page ad in today's Morning Call paid for by AFSCME about the Gracedale petition signings. Union trying to save its jobs at the expense of the taxpayers. Westgate Mall is the mecca of senior shoppers. Ideal location. Of course they will be presented with all of the arguments for and against selling Gracedale - NOT. This whole movement is a joke. And if successful, that money pit Gracedale will continue to cost Norco taxpayers millions of dollars to basically subsidize union wages, work rules and benefits.

Anonymous said...

A solid council majority enjoys the support of a majority of voters, seniors included.

We elected them to make sound financial decisions. Getting out of the nursing home business is a sound decision that enjoys the support of a majority of county voters.

The people's will be done. How refreshing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Maybe you shoulkd run for office? You have a good way of pointing things out that aren't correct. Any solutions?"

Even I would never vote for me. I'll be the first to admit I'd be a terrible elected official. My strength is in observing what is going on, and telling you.

My solution to this situation is to pay very close attention to the signatures obtained in these final days. I suspect we're going to have a number of bad ones.

Anonymous said...

There is no question saving the elderly poor at Gracedale from the falsehoods of the politically motivated politicians in the County is indeed God's work.

The Nursing Home only became poorly managed when Stoffa took over. What a coincidence he and Angle always wanted to dump the seniors.

God Bless those who truly do God's work here on earth.

Anonymous said...

Yeah dumb Stoffa no tax increase in 7 years except for half mill for open space to fufill a promise to voters for a referendum.Sure has been terrible hasn`t he ?

Anonymous said...

Yeah Gracedale is such a great place...60 per cent or better of the beds are four to a room not much bigger than a large bedroom.maybe 2 televisions for 4 people if your lucky. No personal furniture ,keepsakes from home,no wallpaper...great place to die with 3 strangers you don`t even know. Brag about it ? It ought to be closed down. It is an archaic instiution kept alive by selfish unions.

Anonymous said...

Unlike private institutions that increasingly drug the elderly so they are easier to care for, Gracedale is a more humane residence. Many people do not have close family or relatives left and are dependent on the care of a facility. As many private facilities are focused on the bottom line profit, they use any trick in the book to cut corners. When a very sick and old resident is prescribed large doses of barbiturates to keep them out of "pain" and "happy", no one asks questions.

Oh and as to the inspections conducted by the government. Part of your anti-government tantrums have resulted in less and less nursing home inspectors.

Yes drug them up and push them in a corner. The tea bag party has a great deal to be happy about.

This is not about unions but about the mission of county government. It is not about spineless politicians who tell you what you want to hear.

Anonymous said...

Since when is it the "mission" of county government to run a nursing home? This is ALL about the selfish unions who are trying to fill the pockets of their leaders and business agents. The many fine workers at Gracedale would do far better under private management. Instead of being hosed by the union with dues they would have a chance to be rewarded for their competence and quality care.

Anonymous said...

This is about the residents who benefit from the public facility. It is not about the unions. Sadly, the political fanatics that are so loud today can't tell the horses mouth from the horses ass. As a result they hang out behind the horse to get their facts.
The county is in the "people" business, not the farm business, not the economic development business, not the double digit salary increase business it gives itself, not the hire all your old buddies business; it is the "people" business.

To bad so many don't get that. You tolerate all the other abuses occurring in Northampton County today and focus on one of the things the county should be doing.
You are all good little Angle/
Stoffa toadies.

Anonymous said...

"My strength is in observing what is going on, and telling you."

Your strength is putting your lips on Angles ass and kissing for as long as he wants you to.....oh wait your strength is bilking clients for money and getting disbarred...wait...your strength is being a man of questionable character at best.

Oh wait your strength is bashing someone for posting Anon when it is you who allows them to post Anon.