What this newcomer tells me is that, of all Council members, the one person who makes the most sense and is most prepared is none other than the Northampton County Bulldog, Ron Angle. He also criticized Council President John Cusick, who refused to entertain any discussion about how best to inform the public concerning the Gracedale initiative. Last Thursday night, Cusick talked over Angle when he attempted to arrive at a consensus. Eventually, Angle just let it go.
Now Angle has consistently maintained that Cusick is a lousy Council President because he's never there to attend meetings at the pension board, LVEDC and to perform the daytime duties expected of a Council president. Because Cusick has made arrangements for his VP to be at these functions, I think these criticisms are unfair. I also think it's a bit early to decide whether Cusick is a good or bad Council President. But there are some very bad signs.
* Cusick has abandoned the practice of inviting clerics from different areas of the County to offer the opening prayer. Angle started that last year, and it was amazing to see the diversity. My favorite was Orthodox rabbi Isaac Yagod, who actually blessed each Council member and asked them to find a way to be just.
* Cusick has re-instituted the five-minute limit on speakers during courtesy of the floor, and is clearly repulsed by the notion that he must endure comments from the unwashed masses. Angle regularly engaged these speakers. That may have led to longer meetings, but those people were heard.
* Cusick allowed the Northampton County District Attorney, John Morganelli, to cool his heels for hours at a recent meeting while going through mind-numbing appointments and ordinances. Thanks to an unusually large number of homicides, Morganelli is quite busy these days, and had a matter that would only take thirty seconds of Council's time. I actually passed a note to Cusick, asking him to recognize Morganelli out of order, but he refused. He later told me he was concerned it might irritate other people. What other people?
* Last Thursday night, when the widow of one of Northampton County's most respected jurists, attended to introduce the Easton Area Community Center, Cusick totally failed to recognize her. It was Ron Angle who had to make a point of recognizing and thanking Leonarda Grifo for the many things she still does to make Northampton County a better place.
* Instead of acting like a leader, Cusick has continued to be the same person he was as a regular Council member - evasive and unwilling to take stands. He became President as a result of back-room skullduggery, and has done nothing to enhance his image among his colleagues. Not exactly the kind of person I'd want next to me in a foxhole.