Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nat'l Civic League: Gracedale Not Ballot Measure

One thing I learned when Bill Hansell was appointed Lehigh County Commissioner is that, if you let him go on long enough, he'll claim to have written the Northampton County Home Rule Charter, Federal Health Care Reform Act, Declaration of Independence and Grapes of Wrath. So it was no surprise to see him credited as a "co-author" of Northampton County's Home Rule Charter on Saturday. And given his support of every spending program he's seen, from bi-county health to a plan to add spending to what was already a 16% tax hike in Lehigh County last year, his views on Gracedale are no surprise.

In response to a request by Morning Call reporter Jenna Portnoy, County Exec John Stoffa asked Archives to look for background information concerning Northampton County's Home Rule Charter. They found about five boxes from 1975, and Stoffa made them available to all media outlets. This annoyed the hell out of Jenna Portnoy, who wanted one of those exclusives, but nobody really wanted to go through all that dusty old information. I spent about an hour looking at everything, and saw nothing that explains the intent of this single sentence.

"The power of initiative and referendum shall not extend to the budget or capital program, to the appropriation of money, to the levy of taxes, or to the salaries of elected officials, officers, or employees of the County."

That single sentence is why the County maintains there can be no initiative relating to Gracedale's sale.

Bill Hansell was a paid consultant who provided information to the real authors. At no time did he or anyone, for that matter, discuss the meaning of that sentence, probably because it's pretty clear.

But in 2011, thirty-six years after his consulting gig is over, Hansell claims the County is not "not playing by the rules." Really? Then what the hell does that sentence mean, Bill?

According to The Morning Call account, the real author is the National Civic League.

Guess what? That group does explain that the reason for this restriction on the power of initiative is to prevent the vox populi from interfering "with responsible officials striving to achieve a properly balanced long-range fiscal program."

Kinda' like what is happening here.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie did Hansell really write the constitution or was he a casual observer?

Sanctifying Grace said...

Thank you for the links to the Civic League's explanations. They were quite helpful. I enjoyed looking them over. Seems like pretty straight-forward and clear language. But I guess not?

Peace, ~~~alex+

Bernie O'Hare said...

"did Hansell really write the constitution or was he a casual observer?"

I believe he was just a mentor, but he did write the Magna Carta.

Anonymous said...

Demonize, cutoff at the knees, aye, arrrrrrgghhh, yer opponents will be learnin' the meaning of respect, er it be an eye lettin' fer ye, incur the wrath, matey.
What is it with you?
Get some help, or hit
the yo ho ho bottle of rum.

Anonymous said...

THE NAVY GETS THE GRAVY, BUT THE ARMY GETS THE BEANS


Oh, the Navy gets the gravy, but the Army gets the beans
(beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans)

Yes, the Navy gets the gravy, but the Army gets the beans
(beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans beans
beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans)
Nothing but beans

Oh, the Navy gets the gravy, but the Army gets the
(beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans)
Beautiful beans, gorgeous beans, succulent beans

Send a baloney
Yes, the Navy gets the gravy, but the Army gets the
(beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans
nothing but beans)

Loving those beans, loving those beans, liking those beans
Know what I mean, mammy I love you
Nothing but beans
(beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans)

Did you know that the Navy gets all of the gravy
Did you know that the Army gets all of the beans
Oh, a soldier's a coward if he doesn't lick the platter clean
Oh, a soldier's a coward if he leaves a solitary bean
So I say to you : "why do we got to have beans ?"
Multiple beans, ??? beans, succulent beans
Nothing but beans
(beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans,
beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans, beans)

Your reasoning and argument on the entire Gracedale issue from day one isn't worth a
HILL OF BEANS
its'
A BUNCH OF BALONEY
a double entandre if you will
anon soldier coward

Anonymous said...

Hahahahah Anonymous 1:08 I couldn't have said it better!

Bernie O'Hare said...

... and I realize that public sector unions still want the gravy.

Anonymous said...

If think they were prepared to give 3 million plus dollars worth of "gravy" back at one point. I think Ron has made a plea to some factions to get them back to the table to try to reach a settlement BEFORE the vote to keep it. I think you are wrong.
I liked that gravy song, and looked it up, Jerry Lewis wrote it.
It was from a film about the Army or Navy or something.

Bernie O'Hare said...

They were, and the County wanted 6. The union brought an inflatable rat, walked out of negotiations and carted residents to a council meeting after scaring them half to death. Union bosses refused to listen, even to their own rank and file. The only place where this will be negotiated is in Commonwealth Court.

Anonymous said...

Beany Anon 1:08- get a life!

Anonymous said...

The numbers are a lie. Do the math. County brings in around $83 million a year in county taxes. Stoffa's consultants said Gracdalde needed $6 million a year to operate. Actually it will need much less this year already.

Angle claimed if Gracedale kept the taxes would go up 18%. That would bring in about $15 million in additional revenue a YEAR!

It is sad that the entire debate regarding Gracedale has been built on shifting sand.

Only the Truth!

Anonymous said...

Yes Bernie can you clarify the 20% tax increase number. I think it was McClure who debunked it in the paper. What kind of fuzzy math are you and Angle pushing with 20%.
Please explain.

Bernie O'Hare said...

McClure's op-ed was about the fund balance, not the tax increase. And I rebutted it in my own op-ed. As for the tax hike, let's put it this way. There are around $6 MM in operating expenses. That will go up $400k bc the reimbursement rate is being diminished again. There are a good $10MM in capital projects that need to be done. I think 20% is a little low.

Anonymous said...

Up $400,000, really?? What state do you live in??
The state of Pennsylvania has made no such decision. It is not even in the governor's budget.

This is why neither the voters nor the union believe you, Angle or Stoffa. You guys just sling the shit to make a point. That is the real reason the union pulled their offer. No one trusts any of you.

Absolutely no real data or numbers to support the nonsense coming form this administration or Angle.

A damn shame to have our own local government lie this way.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It was discussed in the Human Services Committee meeting last week. That is what County officials have been told to expect. It is on the record. People can believe that or an anonymous blowhard who posts at 12:59 AM

Anonymous said...

I put my money on the anon. blowhard 12:59 a.m. B.O. anything can be discussed, but what facts support that, once upon a tome it was widely discussed the earth is flat, do u still believe?

Bernie O'Hare said...

You don't make sense. What I am saying is that what was reported at a Human Services committee meeting is far more reliable than any anonymous blowhard.

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

Bernie,
Were you at the negotiations that day?? NO YOU were not! So you don't really know what went on there,,,, As far as the union walking out, if you know the HRC as you say you do, you would know that the union does not negotiate with county council,they negotiate with the county exec and his cabinet.. so once again you don't have your facts straight!
Signed, union officer

Bernie O'Hare said...

Supposed union officer, I was at the courthouse that day. The union had given u $3 MM and Angle said he needed 6. Nobody disputes that. This meeting was scheduled at which James, instead of talking about $6 MM, demanded a clause that would require the new owner to accept the union. Angle balked and James walked. Nobody disputes that. James intended to walk all along, as evidenced by the inflatable rat. Nobody disputes that. I do know the HRC, and one of County Council's powers is to approve union contracts. It could be argued that this includes participation in negotiation. It could also be argued that Council should stay out, and I would agree with this latter point. But the HRC itself is silent on that topic.

Anonymous said...

Oh .....er....ah......
I thought that meeting was held out at Gracedale?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nope. I thought you were a union officer. If you were, you know it was at the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

Hey O'Hare instead of censoring the 'Truth' why not admit your own faults. Having an inflatable rat and stating that the union "intended" to walk out is your opinion and nothing more. Frankly, your opinion is worth less than an ounce of goat's piss.

The fact is the union found out that the numbers were bogus and soon discovered that Angle and Stoffa were playing them. The idea of the union paying $6 million for the next three years was and has not been supported by facts.

That is why people prefer anonymous posters to your so called experts.

This Administration and County Council has lost the confidence of the people of Northampton County.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Having an inflatble rat is not an opinion; it is a fact. And it is a fact that supports the opinion that, all along, the union intended to walk out.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet they drive around with the rat in their trunk. You never know when you need one of those things. I hear Ron keeps bail money is his trunk for the same reason. So what?
I'm not pro-union but I can smell a rat, and this place reeks more often than not.

Bernie O'Hare said...

On the day that a union is supposed to be bargaining in good faith, they bring an inflatable rat to the courthoose, and you find some reason for another snarky and cowardly anonymous attack on Angle. Typical. The Business Matters show, when it airs next week, will expose you for what you are.

Anonymous said...

The fact is the numbers don't add up. Stoffa and Angle were not showing good faith by misrepresenting the fiscal facts to the union.

Now no one wants to negotiate anything with Angle/Stoffa because it is clear they cannot be trusted.

An independent commission will have to be brought in to mediate this situation.

Anonymous said...

On the day that a union is supposed to be bargaining in good faith, they bring an inflatable rat to the courthoose, and you find some reason for another snarky and cowardly anonymous attack on Angle. Typical. The Business Matters show, when it airs next week, will expose you for what you are.

Set up like a bowling pin
those people encouraged the actions of the crowd and you know it
and I think you have me confused with someone else that doesn't like your antics

Anonymous said...

Don't get to upset. O'Hare is just a paid assassin for the Angle/Stoffa agenda. He does what he is told, no more no less.

Anonymous said...

Hey asshole
Could you NOW shut the fuck up and climb back under the rock you slithered out from? Leave the good people and their list of names alone and deal with your own long list of shortcomings?
You lost go away, leave the county, leave the country. And take your 3 supporters with you.