Friday, May 18, 2012
Bob Meyers: A True Public Servant, Who Will Be Missed
I dropped in on a prison advisory board meeting. Those are at the jail. I was right behind one of the advisory board members, and the guard must have thought I was one of them. But I wasn't. Instead of an upstanding member of society, the guard had just allowed a bottom-feeding blogger to enter the building.
I understand he was later flogged.
I now know that I also had just violated about a gazillion laws.
When the meeting started, I whipped out one of my trusty flipcams (yes, I have two) to record every pearl of wisdom. I also had a camera, cellphone and Dick Tracy wristwatch. But the second I started recording, all hell broke loose. Apparently, recording devices of any kind are a no-no inside the walls of a jail.
The penalty is twenty years in the electric chair.
Bob Meyers asked me to turn the flip cam off. I refused. He then asked me to leave. I refused. He left for legal guidance. I sat there for about ten minutes while people tried to avoid eye contact with me. I kept waiting for some trap door to open, plunging me in the murky depths with some laser-headed sharks. But noting. When Bob came back, he had a forlorn look on his face. It was apparent that the answer he received was unhelpful to him.
I relented, and shut my camera off.
Now he even lets me take his picture.
Last night was probably Bob's last appearance before County Council. He's retiring July 6, after 32 years of service. "I stand before you now a few years older, a lot wiser, but also very thankful for the career that Northampton County has afforded me," he stated. "It's allowed me to learn man valuable life lessons. It's allowed me to raise a stable family, which I'm very thankful for. it's also allowed me 33 wonderful years with my wife."
Meyers assured Council there are strong people behind him at the jail, who will pick up the slack with his departure.
In his stint as Director of Corrections, Meyers has been a strong advocate of programs designed to reduce recidivism, such as the West Easton Treatment Center.
After thanking Council and the public for an opportunity to serve, he walked up to Executive John Stoffa. Although the Executive has been hobbled by searing pain in his back for several, he stood and embraced Meyers, who was beating back tears. "I will cherish the memories of the many good people I've met along the way," Meyers concluded.