Friday, January 21, 2011

The Vic Mazziotti Ripple Effect

In a move that will have far-reaching consequences in both Northampton and Lehigh County, Vic Mazziotti is resigning as Northampton County's Fiscal Affairs Director, effective March 18. "Vic has saved this County millions of dollars. I hate to see him go," Executive John Stoffa reported at last night's Council meeting. His comments were echoed by the Bulldog, Ron Angle. "In all my years of being around government, Victor is one of the shining lights."

"You'll hear from him again," hinted Stoffa, with a wry smile on his face.

Yes, we shall. Mazziotti is by far the most effective Fiscal Affairs Director I've ever seen. On top of that, he's one of the most genuinely decent and interesting persons I've ever met. He can discuss complicated financial statements and quote Summa Theologica and Thomas More. But he's even happier when he talks about his grandchildren, whom he and his wife adore.

In a future post, I'll detail just some of Vic's many accomplishments. He really has saved the County millions during his tenure. But right now, I think it's more important to take note of the ripples left by his departure.

Although Mazziotti has been uncharacteristically coy with me about his future intentions, he's running for office. He has to resign because he's bound by the Hatch Act.

As an Allentown resident, he could run for City Controller and would certainly be the most qualified candidate. But Vic is a Republican, and they fare poorly in the Queen City. Even Charlie Dent has trouble winning there.

But being a Republican in a Lehigh County-wide race is a plus, and he cold run for Controller or Commissioner.

To me, the logical choice for someone with Vic's background is Controller. He has all the right skills. But I'm told he'll instead join an already crowded Commissioners' race. Incumbents Dean Browning, Gloria Hamm and Andy Roman are going to have plenty of company in four at-large seats up this year. Scott Ott, Dawn Berrigan, Bob Smith, Brent Labenberg and Norma Cusick are names I previously mentioned. I've since heard that attorney and fellow blogger Dave Najarian has decided to run.

Once Vic's name is added to the mix, some of these Republicans might change their minds.

Of course, there's that other party. They're called Democrats. I'll be telling you about their hottest prospect next week.

Vic's departure is sending ripples among possible Commissioner candidates in Lehigh County. But in Northampton County, a tsunami warning is in effect.

Who will replace Vic?

Think about that. Who in Northampton County has distinguished himself with his knowledge of finance? Who has an easy-going personality shared by Stoffa cabinet members?

That's Bruce Gilbert. I believe he's already being groomed as Mazziotti's successor. Now I've asked Stoffa all about this, batting my eyes and everything, and all the bastard does is smile at me. I've asked Gilbert, too, and he just asked me if something was stuck in my eye.

The ripples do not stop here. If Bruce Gilbert is tapped as Mazziotti's successor, the next question is who will succeed him on Council?

Gilbert has been an Angle ally, but will Peg Ferraro, John Cusick, Tom Dietrich and the Democrats team up and work out another deal?

Vic's departure is bad news for Stoffa and Northampton County residents. But it's also bad news for incumbent Lehigh County Commissioners, who have to be looking over the shoulder. Finally, it's bad news for Ron Angle, who will lose an important ally on Council.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention Jean Mateff as a replacmen t for
Vic

Bernie O'Hare said...

That;s a possibility, but I don't know that shed want to leave LVEDC for a 2 year job.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mr. Angle could leave council and run it?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of shining light candidates for public office, we've got nothing but darkness here in Allentown. I'd absolutely love to see Vic run for Allentown Controller. He should change parties or cross file, because the city needs a diligent, intelligent, competent person for this job and party affiation shouldn't matter at all. Since Mayor Pawlowski backed and funded Bill Hoffman, he can't be trusted or depended upon. Good Luck Vic!

Anonymous said...

I can tell you some Hall walker stories about old Vic from Court House insiders but O'Hare won't allow anything but sweet, sweet love.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:57: It's bad people like you, attacking good people like Vic Mazziotti, that ruins politics for me. I'm glad your self serving, no doubt partisan BS, was deleted.

Anonymous said...

Hoffman isn't running for re-election. Controller is an office that a Republican could win in Allentown. If Mazziotti ran, he would get endorsements from a few Democrats and probably win.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anonymous said...

Hoffman isn't running for re-election. Controller is an office that a Republican could win in Allentown. If Mazziotti ran, he would get endorsements from a few Democrats and probably win.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Anon -

Vic ran for City Controller a few years ago and lost. Democrat voters will not look at the candidates beyond their party affiliation.

That's sad, but is the reason why Allentown is in the sad state it's in.

That said, Vic is well-qualified for whatever office he chooses - city or county. I wish him the best.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anonymous 2:40 PM said...

"Anonymous 12:57: It's bad people like you, attacking good people like Vic Mazziotti, that ruins politics for me. I'm glad your self serving, no doubt partisan BS, was deleted."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Anon -

There is a large segment of the far Left in this country that is dedicated to attacking those who disagree with them.

These thugs don't want to debate the issues on the merits, because they know they will lose.

Their goal is to target, shout-down, smear, and isolate those who dare speak out against the Left's ill-advised policies. In short, they want to intimidate those speaking out. They want good people like you to get fed up, keep quiet, and disengage from politics.

Please realize who the Left is and what their tactics are. Ignore their comments, and continue to support good people like Vic Mazziotti.

Anonymous said...

Mazziotti is a class act and a true civil servant. He brought an air of civility to an otherwise dysfunctional political atmosphere in Norco. I wish him well in whatever endeavor he pursues.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Hoffman isn't running for re-election. Controller is an office that a Republican could win in Allentown."

I believe it is impossible for an R to win in Allentown. The person who persuaded me was Vic Mazziotti.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I can tell you some Hall walker stories about old Vic"

completely fabricated.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, there are few people i respect more tha Vic Maziotti.Not only is he highly principled but he is knowledgeable and extremely astute. He is a really decent person. He has saved Northampton County millions of dollars and is one of the big reasons we have not raised taxes for 7 years in Northampton Count (other than the half mill for open space}. His judgement is sound and he is a careful decision maker . Allentown or Lehigh County would benefit immensely from this man. He is an outstanding public servant! John Stoffa

Anonymous said...

Mazziotti does and says what Angle wants so in he eyes of O'Hare that makes him great. He is not nearly as knowledgeable as the partisans on this blog make out. He was one of the required hires by Stoffa.


Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Notice the anonymous hater. He can hurl a vicious slur but can't sign his name.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Stoffa, Thanks you for dropping by. I want to do a story about Vic's accomplishments over his years with you.

Anonymous said...

Good chance Allentown Republicans are going to make one final push to regain sanity in the city by putting up a crop of big name candidates for Mayor, Council and Controller. Mazzioti will be part of that crop.
I think its just a matter of deciding who's at the top of Republican ticket. Lot's of deal making in the works.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Angle does not call many people "shining lights." Vic would be an asset wherever he served, and for him, it would be service. Though it would be easier for him to win a County-wide office, I'd argue that the City of Allentown needs him more.

Anonymous said...

Only ever having the pleasure of meeting Vic twice, all I can see is that he is a gentlemen and probably one of the best unsung political appointments of all time in the County. Well done Vic.

Anonymous said...

What about Mazziotti for Mayor? There have been Republican Mayors elected in Allentown several times since the City went to a Mayor-Council form of government. Clifford "Chips" Bartholomew, Frank Fischl, Bill Heydt. All good mayors. Vic would have his "fiscal" hands full with Allentown's financial condition, but finance and financial management are his strong suits. He isn't a politician who would view the Mayor's office as a "job" or as a stepping stone to higher office. I think he would get some bi-partisan support. He certainly could do more for Allentown as a fiscally savvy Mayor than as Controller.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

You're going to have to ID yourself.

Anonymous said...

Once you make it public you are running you must resign as per the Hatch Act. Once he starts circulating petitions he is violating the Hatch Act, and should be reported. He must resign at that point.

That is the law.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, I am sure Vic will not violate the Hatch Act.

Anonymous said...

Is Gilbert gefinitely getting hi position? is this a done dea? I've worked for the County for years..I'm a Democrat...Can say nothing bad about Mr. Mazziotti. He's a nice guy who is very professional in his dealings..I wish him well..

Bernie O'Hare said...

I can say nothing definitely bc it won't be confirmed by anyone.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Democrat and Vic is the best person in the world. he is almost more bestest than John Stoffa who is really the most bestest person in the whole world. I am a Democrat.


A Democrat

Anonymous said...

If he is running for office, isn't March 8th the filing deadline? Wouldn't he have to resign as of that date and not the 18th?

Anonymous said...

Technically he must resign as of his announcement for the office. He certainly must resign by the time petitions are circulated. If he does not, he is in violation of the Hatch Act.

This Act got a lot of play when a Republican buddy of Stoffa used it on a Democrat who tried to run some years back.

Tell him to ask the solicitor if he doesn't think so but I am sure that is correct.

I have no doubt someone will call the Fed's and report it since it is now public knowledge. However, until he officially announces or takes any action to run, I'm guessing he is safe.

Not Sure

Anonymous said...

I don't know Mr. Mazziotti, but based on the positive comments I've read, he and Bruce Gilbert could not be more opposite. Bernie, please, please look into Gilbert's financial history and I believe you will find he has had some significant financial difficulties of his own. You may find forclosures (or near forclosures) and large Easton city utility bills that went unpaid for a long period of time. He is slick though, I believe his current home which has appeared on the sheriff's sale list, is not under his name but under the name of his deceased grandfather. Do we really want this person in charge of the county budget? Please expose this fraud.