Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gracedale In Serious Financial Trouble

Although Northampton County voters have told Council and Executive John Stoffa to keep Gracedale by a 3 to 1 margin, they were never asked whether they'd be willing to approve a tax hike to keep the nursing home in business. So the challenge has been to keep it afloat, but without any County contribution. But that's increasingly unlikely. Gracedale is in major disrepair, and a declining census means there is less revenue to cover fixed costs.
Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursemets

Today, Council has invited State Reps to explain why Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to County-owned nursing homes keep declining, putting them at a competitive disadvantage with private facilities. If Gracedale were privately owned last year, it would have received $4.3 million more money from Medicare and Medicaid, enough to show a small surplus. But what is most likely is that, every year, the County will receive a smaller and smaller reimbursement.

County Money Spent

Because the County expected to have sold Gracedale by now, only $3.5 million was budgeted for the facility. Yesterday, Council learned that $3.4 million was already spent by the end of June, leaving the facility wit just $100,000 for the rest of the year. It is hoped that new management might stop the bleeding, but a dubious Ron Angle remarked, "If they can do a better job and not spend $3.4 million thru the rest of the year, I'd like to buy Gracedale myself."

Closed Wings

Although Gracedale is a 725-bed facility, the daily census is down around 592, according to Stoffa. He and Human Services Director Ross Marcus have closed two wings, and are using the staff that would serve there to reduce overtime. They are hopeful that, once new managmwnt is installed, they can re-open those wings and increase revenue.

Council member Mike Dowd called it a triage situation, and shares the hope that new management will mean an increased census. But Ron Angle doubts it will change much. "The image of Gracedale is that it is the poor house and people do not want to send their relatives there," he reasoned.

$20 Million in Capital Improvements Needed

As Council Prez John Cusick has remarked in the past, the parking lot at Gracedale now resembles a lunar landscape. That, and 54 other projects, need urgent attention.

Pricetag? $20,140,000.

The most pressing needs are a new or upgraded sewer line and grease interceptor. Stoffa tells Council he's been threatened with a $1,000 per day fine by the Nazareth Municipal Authority if he keeps putting it off. An engineering firm presented four options. All of them are expensive.

"We smell up the joint," remarked Stoffa. "We can't delay anymore."

I go through Gracedale several times every week in the course of my daily walks. I always thought that smell was me.

One innovative idea proposed by Stoffa is getting UGI to the site, decommissioning oil burners and using a rented boiler this Winter, fueled with natural gas. Stoffa claims that could save the County as much as $600,000 per year, and those savings could finance the sewer upgrades.

But a bond will still have to be floated for other improvements. And at the current rate, the County is facing an 18% tax hike next year, which is exactly what Ron Angle had predicted.

2001 Bond Proceeds

It is hoped that some of the money left over from the 2001 megabond could be used to fund some of these projects and reduce the tax increase. But County administrators told Council they are still trying to determine what is available.

Labor Concessions

Council President Cusick is hopeful that a new management team will be able to negotiate some labor concessions. Rather than meeting with the unions now, Stoffa thinks it is more prudent to allow a new management firm to conduct those negotiations.

Sarah Cassi has a detailed report from The Express Times here. The Morning Call's Jenna Portnoy has also weighed in here.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, like no one predicted that Angle/Stoffa were going to try and invalidate the referendum by hook or by crook. Stoffa even said so in a hissy fir of anger. They are telling applicants there are no free beds, while the census drops. They had spend less than half the money up until a couple months ago and then there was a rush to push money out the door.

Sorry Benrie, neither county council nor the Stoffa Administration has any credibility regarding Gracedale.

The recall will be a damn shame. They have only themselves to blame.

The People of Northampton County!

Bernie O'Hare said...

OK, Fake Rev. Knock yourself out. Maybe you can cast a spell on them or something.

Anonymous said...

This is such bullshit. I mean how can anyone believe this is real. Stoffa angrily said he would let Gracedale die. He is really sabotaging the nursing home to prove a point.

He is a sad old man. Why doesn't he just resign and let sincere individuals do the work.

Anonymous said...

Stop whining. You knew you'd lost the Gracedale war, even as you won the referendum battle. The math is not new. It says many of you have to go in order to comply with voters' wishes. You've had plenty of time to prepare for your unemployment. And I'll bet most of you have done absolutely nothing to prepare for it.

Anonymous said...

I can believe this is real. I have been in nursing 10 years, and have seen the skilled nursing industry decline more each year. Keeping any nursing home profitable today is not an easy or friendly task.

Profit always comes on the backs of labor, and a compromise on patient care, patient safety and sometimes patient rights.

There is no perfect scenario. Its 'do more with less' strategies in every nursing home I know of. It should have been sold to stop the endless drain on the county , but the voters preferred with do things the expensive way. That has a price-tag too, and I assume not all of it will be passed on to taxpayers .

Trish

Anonymous said...

if its true that there is no profit in nursing homes, why were there so many groups that wanted to but gracedale? there is something wrong here!!

Carol said...

Morning Bernie, the phrase (The Poorhouse) is long gone. Other than perhaps my generation, Gracedale is Gracedale, not the Poorhouse. I agree there are a minion of factors involved both for and against; however, there are also innumerable avenues out there for a positive direction.

Anonymous said...

Some conglomerate companies buy struggling nursing homes to offset any profits with a loss , to avoid paying federal income tax.

Trish

Anonymous said...

Gracedale can be made profitable, just not with county management and the associated overhead of a government run facility receiving lower reimbursements.

Anonymous said...

The reality is that a modest 1 mill tax increase was and is necessary to address the reality of Gracedale.

Since our local version of govt. is so intimidated by the tri-corner tin can tea party and refused to demonstrate actual courage by enacting a realistic budget at the end of last year, we are faced with the current dilemma.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:51, As has been explained many times, including as recently as this post, private institutions receive a higher rate of reimbursement than those that are county-owned. With all of its problems, Gracedale could have turned a profit last year if it had the reimbursement rate it would hold as a private owner. Of course, labor costs would be much lower, too. Suddenly, an albatross becomes a goldmine. So, to suggest any impropriety is really low on your part, but that's the sort of thing that has happened from the beginning.

Larry Kisslinger said...

7:51 AM "if its true that there is no profit in nursing homes, why were there so many groups that wanted to but gracedale? there is something wrong here!!"

Nothing at all wrong here! It is true as Bernie says: "competitive disadvantage with private facilities. If Gracedale were privately owned last year, it would have received $4.3 million more money from Medicare and Medicaid, enough to show a small surplus.

I'm convinced many a voter did not understand, same as 7:15 AM here, that privately owned nursing homes receive millions of dollars in reimbursements while publically owned nursing homes do not. Don't understand why but is a fact nonetheless.

Personal attacks on Stoffa, his administration and Council will do nothing to help solve financial situation at Gracedale!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Stoffa angrily said he would let Gracedale die."

Please do us all a favor and point to where Stoffa has ever said anything like that. Stoffa wanted to sell Gracedale. So did Angle. So did I. But he and Angle have an obligation to implement the people's will in this matter, and are trying their best to do so. Angle even reached out to you folks to put pressure on state reps concerning reimbursements. You spurned him and you attribute evil motives to Stoffa.

We may not agree, but this is a representative democracy and the people have spoken. They voted to save Gracedale, but did not vote for a tax hike. Angle has viewed this as a challenge. He is trying to defeat his own prediction of an 18% tax hike next year, and to do it without eating the seed corn like McClure wants to do.

Chris Miller said...

Anonymous 8:41
Obviously you have not been paying a lot of attention as to what is going on. First and foremost we were told last year that we would be looking at a double digit tax increase not 1%. You chose to believe the labor unions and their lies. Warnings about what was going on were plenty yet you continue to believe.
As to the tea party, you might want to check and see how many times and how many individuals were actually there fighting the union. The local tea party is having a tough time and I will tell you they had mimimal affect on the issue primarily because their one time leaders disliked Ron Angle this despite the fact that Angle was a local symbol of what they looked for by way of small government and low taxes. So don't give any credit to the local tea party because they did nothing on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kisslinger,

8:41 is correct..WE can cry all we want about not getting the same amount as the private firms get. It is insane but understandable cause they have lobbyists to bribe our elected officials with campaign money..That aside however, Stoffa, Angle, bernie, and our two local newspapers told residents that if the referendum passed they would be facing a tax increase to pay for it..So do it already!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Be freaking responsible instead of running to bond financing..When stoffa first ran, he said he wouldbnt do that because it's irrisponsible to do so..A one mill tax increase will cost taxpayers about $1.50 a week..I believe they told Council loud and clear that they are willing to pay the price..It doesn't matter if it wasn't part of the ballot question..It was obvious to anyone paying attention that an increase would be needed..To try to run it without an increase is so freaking irrisponsible , it borders on criminal!!!!! Stoffa needs to grow the heck up and get over the vote and do what needs to be done!!

Chris Miller said...

Bernie
Certainly council realizes that there is no money unless they are counting on Obama's stash. Certainly Corbett will not be sending any money. The local governmental units, school boards, county councils, and local governments are SOL when it comes to dollars. Thus we will see an enormous increase in local real estate taxes. I do hope the folks realize what they are in store for in the immediate future. Housing is again headed into the nearest dumpster and more and more people will be looking to appeal their assessment. They will get the new rate. I predict that more jobs will be lost in the local governments sector over the next year. It is not going to be a pretty picture. Another crisis on the way.

Anonymous said...

Chris Miller for once is right..Thanks to the teabagging folks, the Feds and State Republicans are cutting back money to local governments and forcing up local government expenditures and property taxes..So, we can thank these idiots for our increases in property taxes....Either way though..The residents want Gracedale kept private...So pay for the damn thing already..Bonds for capital improvements and taxes for operation..Period! Be freaking responsible!!!

Chris Miller said...

Mr. Kisslinger
Clever you. Only $1.50 on a mill. The only question is where is the $1.50 coming from. Have you looked at the price of food and the price of gas? Have you heard that housing prices are now at the 2004 price level? Do you realize that the housing industry, an industry that supports 20+ other industries is down another percentage point and it is estimated that some 14 million people are unemployed in the nation. But it's only a $1.50. You are a funny man. Maybe you could team up with Steve Martin or Bill Murray and do comedy on TV

Bernie O'Hare said...

".The residents want Gracedale kept private."

I think you mean they want it kept public.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, Mr. Kisslinger did not suggest raising taxes. He was making the opposite argument.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it is necessary to raise taxes to operate a society. It's too bad that people are always ready to throw a neighbor under the bus to save a couple bucks.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kisslinger
Clever you. Only $1.50 on a mill. The only question is where is the $1.50 coming from. Have you looked at the price of food and the price of gas? Have you heard that housing prices are now at the 2004 price level? Do you realize that the housing industry, an industry that supports 20+ other industries is down another percentage point and it is estimated that some 14 million people are unemployed in the nation. But it's only a $1.50. You are a funny man. Maybe you could team up with Steve Martin or Bill Murray and do comedy on TV


Wait, are you seriously arguing that $1.50 is too much of a burden? You tea partiers are a joke.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's true. And if there must be a tax increase, it will happen. But Stoffa and Angle owe it to the public to minimize their tax exposure, especially during a recession. That's why Stoffa will try to use energy savings to finance sewer upgrades. It's all abut getting the biggest bang for the public buck.

As for closing wings to save money, that's not what the county wants to do. The lower the census, the less revenue coming in.

As for purposely telling people there are no vacancies at Gracedale, I just called there, disguised myself, and was told by the social services secretary that there are vacancies, and an admissions committee meets daily at 9 AM. This is still too slow a process, but the suggestion that I have read on other blogs, that workers are refusing admissions, is untrue.

Chris Miller said...

Anonymous 9:31
Two quick items for you. First off where was I wrong. Second, don't blame the buffons in DC or Harrisburg for this mess because we the people, and I mean the vast majority of us, allowed this to happen. Our Founders created a system whereby the citizens were suppose to be in charge but we opted to look in the mirror every day and see no evil. Let me tell you that I have kicked my own posterior many times for this. Not only do we need to restore order in Washington DC we need to do it at the local level too. If we begin to get our local house in order, township, borough, county council, and school boards, we will cause the boys and girls in Washington to take notice. The local Republican Party had a plan along those lines back in the '80s but the leadership changed and the plan disappeared. So think about the need to get youself immersed in local government and then run for office. Ask your family and friends to do the same. This is how you take back your government.

Chris Miller said...

Larry Kisslinger
My erro on my Mr. Kisslinger note it was meant for Anonymous 9:19AM

Tom Foolery said...

Mr. Miller,

Ive immersed myself in local government..The local districts and governments aren't to blame because the Feds and the State governments said theyd pay for education and human services through them and now are renigging on those promises...However no matter how you look at it Local taxes and state college tuitions are going up thanks to the federal and state governments cutting back money to local goverments that was promised for services. You say that local governments should then just cut these services rather than continue them by increasing taxes..However, county residents wanted Gracedal;e saved and if taxes are increased to do it then they are..You still believe in democracy, right..If you have seen national polls most people believe in balanced approaches to running government..By balanced, I mean raising revenues and reducing spending rather than just cutting everything..The tea baggers might not like this but, honestly, tough shit..The American people don't agree with them..The congressional republicans just look like a bunch of morons.

Larry Kisslinger said...

Bernie 9:39 AM said: Chris, Mr. Kisslinger did not suggest raising taxes. He was making the opposite argument.

Thanks Bernie! I said no such thing Mr. Miller 9:39AM suggested and think he should know better about me and my public service!
"An anon did say" that "only" $1.50a week would be fine! I say that much money here, there, everywhere and pretty soon we're talking about some real money! Further, that anon should run for public office as "only" a tiny tax and spend person to learn how that would fly with the public? Good luck with that kind of campaign.

Chris Miller said...

Anonymous 9:43AM
At this point in the game with the economic situation getting worse everyday the answer is yes, for some people will not be able to afford the $1.50 per mill increase. Have you looked around your neighborhood to see who might be struggling to get money together for food or medicine? Someone like that might be right under your nose and you don't know it. Keep in mind that we are looking at large increases from county, local, and school board. All of these are local taxes that are already an overwhhelming burden. Why do you think that the state is looking for another way for school boards to get money other then the property tax. How would you like to be in the position of owning your home after paying off the mortgage and losing it to horrendous taxes. Yet a lot of people are facing that situation. Wake up and smell the roses. Good Lord I'm starting to sound like O'Hare

Anonymous said...

County residents voted to retain Gracedale.

Votes have benefits and consequences. Some votes have $20 million consequences.

That's the funny thing about democracy. While the majority decides on a course of action, there's no guarantee it's the right course of action.

If the back breaking tax increase in the coming years turns off residents to labor unions, good.

Unions are always good at keeping the shotgun pointed at their feet and pulling the trigger.

Chris Miller said...

Tom
Just a few questions. Are you happy with the education that your chid received given that we are spending 13K per child per year in PA? Why does it cost so much to send a kid to college? If I saved and paid for my kid's college why should I pay for yours? Have you been to a school board meeting to see how they are spending your money? Have you been to the local government meeting to see how they are spending the money? Why was the Gracedale issue on the primary ballot and not on the general election ballot? Did you read the referrendum item and did you get by with reading it just one time? What percentage of Nortampton county voters told me they wanted to keep Gracedale? Why was it not noted that if you won it could cost jobs and/or a double digit tax increas by way of full disclosure? Am I not responsible for me and mine or should I spend like a fool and rely on others to take care of me and mine when I have an emergency or when I am old and feeble and cannot take care of myself? If the government taxed you at a low rate, say 5%, could you do a better job of taking care of yourself or do you really trust the goverment to do a better job given that Social Security and Medicare are on the verge of collapse.
As to the tea party, I was a member, I left that group because I believe the leaders were stymied on what to do next and their dislike for Ron Angle caused them to fumble the ball. I belive that the next step was to support those in and out of office who supported lower taxes, less debt, and smaller government. They want to continue to be an educational organization. Growth stopped and leadership has left. I still have friends there and I work with them at their individual meetings. I have members who assisted me in putting together the Concerned Citiens of the Nazareth Area School Distirct a group not associated with the Tea Party. You also might want to reconsider using the term 'tea baggers". We all know that is a term related to hommsexual activity. It is not cute and it is certainly not something a serious individual would do constantly in his or her post. I will wait for your response. Will you continue to rely on the government or will you decide that your are responsible for you. Have a great day.

Chris Miller said...

Anonymous 10:25AM
We need to really get an idea as to the percentage of voters who voted to save Gracedale. I would wager a different result would have occurred had the vote been taken this November. Gracedale is in serious trouble and so are the taxpayers. I don't see money flowing into the county coffers.
Let me also remind you that we have a democratic form of government known as a Republic not a democracy. A democracy is akin to majority rule with no protection of the minority voices and it can result in mobocracy. Under a Republic we become a people who live under the rule of law and we thus we support and protect minority voices.

Anonymous said...

So Stoffa bull of not updating the facility is now finally casting a black cloud on the facility maybe if he updated the place years ago the place would not have low enrollment and all the capital improvements all at once. Its called preventivive maintence dumbasses!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Look, the problems at Gracedale are not Stoffa's doing. Every admin has ignored the nursing home. It's one of the reasons why it should have been privatized.

The 2001 bond had three things for Gracedale that were taken out by Reibman and sent somewhere else. Shall I blame him for Gracedale's demise? I have even more reason than you do to blame Stoffa.

The truth, and I hope we are interested in the truth, is that a publicly entity will take money from a place like Gracedale when times are good and use that to build a bridge here or fix a prison roof there. It is why a nursing home should be separated from County government.

It is inaccurate to blame any one administrator for the problem. And instead of blaming people, t would be nice if you could work with Stoffa and Council to try to make the facility run more efficiently.

Chris Miller said...

Anonymous 10:45AM
Maybe we should have sold Gracedale years ago when it was profitable. Government does a stinko job of doing stuff like nursing homes no matter the level of government and keep in mind that these problems go back severl executives who had no problem taking the profits and putting them into their pet projects. Gracedale went from a profitable institution to a rat hole where we are now going to throw our money---maybe

Anonymous said...

"Thanks to the teabagging folks, the Feds and State Republicans are cutting back money to local governments and forcing up local government expenditures and property taxes..So, we can thank these idiots for our increases in property taxes"

I disagree with this liberal blanket accusation. Republicans at the state level are forcing the state and its local governments to live within their means like every household in the state must do.

They have cut education funding and passed a law that will make school tax increases subject to voter referendum. They have also passed new laws that will favor business enterprise instead of taxing business clear out of this state.

Their policies will foster a friendly business environment which will bring more jobs to PA. If local governments and counties raise taxes, its because they dont want to make the tough decisions that are necessary to keep taxes in line. Its not the fault of state repubs.

Trish

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, these declining reimbursement rates have been going on for some time, before the tea party even existed.

Chris Miller said...

Bernie
At 9:32AM I noted that I had mistakenly critisized Larry Kisslinger and identified the proper individual

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, you did, sir, and I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
We are not letting your political friends off the hook. Yes, as you stated, Gracedale has been ignored by County Executives, starting with Reibman. Stoffa is in office more than six years now. He can't continue to blame other administrations for his short comings. He is honest (no one will argue with you there), he is principled (some of us refer to it as thickheadedness), and he is the poorest excuse we have ever had (next to Reibman) serving as County Executive of Northampton County. Name me one of his major accomplishments. That's simple NONE. He sat on a windfall of tax money and watched the County go down the tubes. He and his nine member Council should all be thrown out of office. I as a taxpayer am sick and tired of these politicos and their rhetoric. They increased my taxes to pay for land preservation and then used the money somewhere else. This is the most embarrassing bunch of office holders this County has ever had. Go to bed with these poor excuses for public servants. You deserve each other. We as taxpayers deserve better.

Anonymous said...

Actually the 2001 bond did in fact do work at Gracedale. Please Mr. O'Hare do not let your over powering love of John Stoffa and Ron Angle cloud reality.

John Stoffa has been around over five years. He owns the county problems at this point. Unless of course he blames Bill Clinton like some tri-cornered still do.
The referendum was in May. In two months they have got to the point of saying, "we have a problem". John Stoffa is competent at one thing, stating the obvious.

Maybe he should leave so people who actually do more than state the obvious can fix the very fixable issues at Gracedale.

Now there is a trust issue that has occurred because of all the dis-information from this Administration in their haste to sell Gracedale to pay Abe Atiyah's 20 year lease. All county dollars I might add.

Keepn it Real!

Anonymous said...

Chris Miller is right about the education crisis.
Grade school education in Bethlehem is coming apart at the seams.
Colleges at undergraduate level are more and more populated by Chinese, Indians, Eastern Europeans, Middle Easterners, Africans.
The Scandanavians, French, Germans,etc. attend American colleges in statistically irrelevant numbers because their own college systems are much better, and much much much more accessible to the average joe than ours.
The joke used to be 'what do you call someone who thinks America has the best college system in the world ? An American......but that isn't even half true anymore when so many colleges are out of the reach of the average citizen. I suppose it's a new form of American exceptionalism.

Anonymous said...

By the way, County Executives have been taking money out of Gracedale for other things since the days of Gene Hartzell. Stop the nonsense of rewriting history.

there have been many fathers to this situation. Right now there is only one, John Stoffa. If he can't handle the responsibility he was given he should leave. otherwise stop whining and do the job you were elected to do.

Mr. History

Anonymous said...

We'll get to see who's right on this issue when the November Election comes around. If Ron the Godfarter is still here I may change my opion of him. If he is voted out, I call that a good start.

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:54,

" I as a taxpayer am sick and tired of these politicos and their rhetoric. They increased my taxes to pay for land preservation and then used the money somewhere else."

Are you for real? Have you been hiding under a rock? The voters of Northampton County slit their own throats by approving a tax hike for land preservation and saving Gracedale. Get the facts straight, before you start spouting off.

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting that the union members/employees at Gracedale think that a management firm is going to come in and "fix everything" and save the day. Most likely, a professional management firm will be the "save Gracedale" movement's worst enemy. Gracedale hemorrages money not because of toilet paper brands or admission, but because 80% of the profits go to incredible benefits and salaries protected by unions. I would be shocked if the magical firm doesn't become the unions' next target.

Anonymous said...

Cusick is naive thinking he can get union concessions now.

Without the threat of sale, why would the unions concede a thing?

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I hope you will publish what the answer is as to why private institutions get more Medicare. I would be interested to know what happens today.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa refused to meet with Mr. James of the union. Mr. James begged to meet with Mr. Stoffa anytime in June and Stoffa stonewalled him. We know the agenda of Mr. Stoffa. he is untrustworthy and incompetent.

I realize the baggers want to continue to play the "let it die" game despite the voters wishes. However, if that is the Angle/Stoffa strategy the voters will have to make a few changes this November. Getting rid of Mr. Dowd and Mr. Angle will be good starts. They are more concerned with giving the Chamber of commerce money than following the wishes of the taxpayers.

People United!

Anonymous said...

"Keepn it real" - let's really keep it real. The unions created the bloated, inefficent workforce at Gracedale and now it will take outsiders to clean it up. The laundry, housekeeping, dietary and maintenance operations should all be privatized. Give current workers the first right of refusal for positions that will not pay 65%benefits in addition to annual pay raises that exceed the industry. That is the only way that Gracedale will cease to be a burden on Norco taxpayers. Come September there will be new management out there who will call it as they see it. The union goons who used scare tactics to win the referendum will lose the war. That is reality.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:21, actually most people agree with part of your ideas. People suggested outsourcing quite a few services to Stoffa. In fact that was part of a fact finding study he inherited. he threw the study and the ideas out. He engineered a disaster at Gracedale.
An outside firm should run Gracedale. the real problem is that the outside firm will not tell it like it is, they will tell it like Stoffa says it is.

Trust and respect has been lost by the is Administration and its rubber stamp county council.

A change of management at Gracedale and a change of Administrations at the courthouse is not needed.
Of course if you want to be guided by your extreme hatred of unions then you will never be able to logically find the path to fixing some of the issues at Gracedale.

Keepn it Real!!

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is certainly incompetent. But he is not dishonest. The scrotally obsessed are just frustrated their goldbrick jobs are going away. Now, they'll have to work for a living; most, for the first time in their adult lives. Life sucks when you can't read the tea leaves because you've been hit in the face with more balls than Johnny Bench. Watching these dregs lose their jobs will be a rare moment of pleasure in the economy of hope and change.

Anonymous said...

At tonight's county council meeting Mr. Stoffa stated that his Gracedale, absolute must do priority list was more of a "more or less do" list.

The bullshit from this Administration gets deeper every day. Mr.McClure offered a motion to immediately fund the must do list Stoffa screamed to the Press about. Stoffa and the rest of county council said no. The bullshit just got even deeper.

Ross Marcus got up and just nodded agreement to whatever was said. It was clear the guy has no clue of what the Hell is going on.

What a lesson in lies and deceit. Northampton County government is in serious trouble.

Anonymous said...

By the way Stoffa is as dishonest as they come. If he is not dishonest he is certainly intellectually challenged. Otherwise, dishonesty wins out!

Bernie O'Hare said...

As opposed to the "honesty" of someone who anonymously attacks others.

Anonymous said...

The Angle/Stoffa bullshit meter was off the charts tonight!

Anonymous said...

Wow, more than half way through the year, and there is still money left. Just imagine what would have happened had the genius Angle budgeted for the entire year instead of half.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:43AM
At this point in the game with the economic situation getting worse everyday the answer is yes, for some people will not be able to afford the $1.50 per mill increase. Have you looked around your neighborhood to see who might be struggling to get money together for food or medicine? Someone like that might be right under your nose and you don't know it. Keep in mind that we are looking at large increases from county, local, and school board. All of these are local taxes that are already an overwhhelming burden. Why do you think that the state is looking for another way for school boards to get money other then the property tax. How would you like to be in the position of owning your home after paying off the mortgage and losing it to horrendous taxes. Yet a lot of people are facing that situation. Wake up and smell the roses. Good Lord I'm starting to sound like O'Hare


You know, I hear these stories from the tea party crowd all the time. And then out of the other side of their mouths, they want to get rid of social security and medicare. So you either care about elederly and indigent people or you don't.

Anonymous said...

Actually, these declining reimbursement rates have been going on for some time, before the tea party even existed.

The state legislators are spineless weasels hell bent on reelection. They will never raise taxes to save nursing homes and struggling schools. They'd much rather pass that down to the local level.

Anonymous said...

County nursing homes get lots of tax dollars up front. They should receive lower reimbursemnts.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Kisslinger,

You've been around long enough to know that in a small county, school board, or city race a candidate could easily talk about a moderate increase to save Gracedale or the like and certainly get elected..Look at the open space issue..County residents would have certainly agreed to a $1.50 a week increase to keep Gracedale functioning. In fact in 2013 you can bet your old Republican butt that this Gracedale issue will sweep out most of these "strangle Government guys" and replace them with responsible folks..And I'm sick and tired about how unions have supposedly hurting gracedale or anyone else..Any contract they have or will have is negotiated. It has to be approved by the County Administration and county Council..

Anonymous said...

Agreed, even my 85 year old father, who doesn't have much said he would pay a little more in taxes to save Gracedale.

He said all the nonsense government wastes money on but the only thing they seem to be able to cut are things to help the old, very young and the poor.

I gave him a tea party leaflet.

Zorn said...

9
;07 - it's time for the has been larry to check in then out.

Zorn said...

9:39 Kissinger doesn't know from one moment to the next what he means - such is the nature of his disease

Zorn said...

10:02 a prime example of a rambling
and wasted mind

Zorn said...

4:47. I love it when someone actually tells the truth. the greedy union pukes are what's making this laughing stock of a poor house even worse.

Zorn said...

5;07 did you get sexually excited when your dumb anon comment ended with "people united"? what a frigging norco dem union puke joke you are.

Anonymous said...

Hey 2:32 PM.....Wake up you bumbling idiot....That is exactly what the jerkos did. Get your head out of your ass and pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie aka Zorn, you really allow this annon drivel while deleting others. You are truly the hypocrite everyone says you are.

Chris Miller said...

Anonymous 10:58 AM
I really hate to tell you this but Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Plan D for dental under Bush are all going to go away and none of us will be able to do a thing about it. Social Security was meant to be and is nothing but a slush fund for Congress. The same can be said for Medicare. I would suggest you take a look at how much money government takes and has taken from you over the years. Look at the hidden taxes that you pay and tell me that you are happy with the way the government has spent your money. Tell me that you couldn't have done a better job with your money. Tell me that you are happy that Social Security and other programs including the wars are off the books. Question for the balanced mudget crowd, will the unfunded programs now show up on the books. For God's sake wake up and look at what has happened to us as a nation. Are you happy about that? Would our forebearers be proud of us? Do we want to leave this to our offspring and their offspring and unto 5 more generations or more? I just had my second great grandchild, a beautiful little girl named Lillian Paige. She is at this point in her life quite helpless. She doesn't know who I am, just some old guy who coddles her and loves her with all my heart. I will not let this burden fall on her shoulders.

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Anonymous said...

10:26, I really hate to tell you this but the only dental care a senior will get now is what they pay for.

Anonymous said...

Chris that is a high and might speech from a guy living off a taxpayer funded pension.

Jason Long, public employee!

Anonymous said...

Actually, most people are not as good as saving and making their money work for them. if that were true the nation would have no poor. No one is poor because of taxes, they are poor because they aren't good with money.

without social security, we would be walking over people in the street. if you are OK with that, go for it.