Thursday, December 27, 2012

New NorCo Council Excels in 2012 Attendance

John Cusick - 92%
Since 2006, I've been tracking attendance records for Northampton County Council members. This includes their Committee participation, where most of the real work is done. It's also where the showhorses become no-show horses. Last year, Council was introduced to three new members. They're engaged and interested in good government. As a result, they've produced the best attendance record I've seen to date. With three exceptions, they are all workhorses. Newbie Scott Parsons, a blue collar worker, was worried that he'd miss afternoon meetings. Outside of John Cusick's phenomenal 92% attendance, nobody can match him. He knows that half the battle is showing up.

What I like about this kind of rating is that it is objective. Political party makes no difference. A Council member either shows up, or not.

Northampton County Council met 32 times last year, including its 6 budget hearings.

In addition, its committees met 30 times. Each Council member is encouraged to attend those meetings, regardless whether he or she is a voting member. In addition to individual attendance, the committees that do meet are an indication of what issues concern Council members.

As might be expected, Finance and Personnel head that list. They each met twelve times last year. With smooth sailing far from over at Gracedale, Human Services became a hot Committee, too, meeting ten times. Other committees conducting meetings were Economic Development (7) and Open Space (1).

Despite numerous questions about the Home Rule Charter Lamont McClure's Legal Committee has conducted no meetings since 2009. Peg Ferraro's Intergovernmental failed to meet, too. Its had just one meeting in the past 7 years, missing an opportunity to discuss regionalism for certain services like coroner or regional police
.
Below is a table showing attendance at Committee meetings, regular meetings and budget hearings. Once again, John Cusick is the Northampton County Council workhorse. He increased his own attendance over last year by 15%, putting a little more time into the job.

Scott Parsons gives me hairy eyeball
There are three reasons for this - Scott Parsons, Ken Kraft and Bob Werner. New to Council, they are taking the time to familiarize themselves with county government. It's ironic that Scott Parsons, who was worried that he''d miss afternoon meetings, has the second highest attendance record, at 89%.

Veteran Peg Ferraro has picked up her game, too. Her 85% attendance is 18% over 2011

There are, however, three Council members who are letting things slide. Barb Thierry only attended 58% of the meetings in 2012, although she has a perfect record at budget hearings. Bruce Gilbert, who wanted to be Director of Fiscal Affairs, attended no budget hearings at all. His 48% attendance overall is less than in 2011. He's the only Council member whose attendance percentage dropped.

This poor showing by Gilbert and Thierry is an indication they have no plan to seek re-election.

Last, and certainly least, is Lamont McClure. He attended just 2 budget hearings and only went to 4 of the 30 committee hearings held in 2012.  His attendance has been abysmal since he's been on Council. It became a campaign issue in 2010, and even drew the wrath of Morning Call columnist Bill White. McClure is thumbing his nose at the people who elected him, figuring he can just buy his elections. Amazingly, he's being touted as an Executive candidate.

council member ec. dev
7 mtgs
human
services
10 mtgs
open
space
1 mtg
personnel
and finance
12 mtgs
council
26 mtgs   
budget
hearings
6 mtgs
2012    2011
john cusick 6 9 1 12 23 6 92% 77%
tom dietrich 3 10 10 25 3 84% 75%
peg ferraro 7 8 1 11 23 4 85% 67%
bruce gilbert 8 22 48% 53%
ken kraft 7 6 12 25 2 84% n/a
lamont mcclure 1 1 2 23 2 47% 41%
scott parsons 5 9 1 10 25 6 89% n/a
barb thierry 1 1 7 21 6 58% 55%
bob werner 6 7 9 25 4 82% n/a

Here are reports from the last six years: 2011, 20102009; 2008; 2007; and 2006.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are just hating on Lamont becasue he is running for county executiveagainst you boss Callahan and you hate Lamont. If someone is very familiar with all the issues they don't need to "physically" be there to know what is going on.

Mr. McClure has expossed the overtaxation of Sotffa for years. Lamont is the most knowledgable person on county council and he doesn't nmeed you top tell him how to do his job.

Anonymous said...




They need a salary increase, this will increase interest and attendance,

Anonymous said...

Lamont fought against all the odds to stop the "dump Gracedale" scheme by Stoffa and Angle. The other council memebers went alng with the plan but Mr. McClure stayed true to his word and saved Gracedale.

This is a big reason Mr. O'Hare tries to discredit him.

Mr. McClure you are a true hero.

Blog Mentor said...

I will give you credit for your diligence in compiling these figures Mr. O'hare, you are rising in stature in my eyes maybe someday we can settle our differences by a taking a trip to C.R Fannies for some debauchery. You with a wad of Washingtons, cold O'douls in hand, me with a roll of quarters and a strong harvey wallbanger.

Blog Mentor said...

Seriously B.O you have some serious journalistic chops, ever consider applying at the Easton Irregular?

Anonymous said...

"If someone is very familiar with all the issues they don't need to "physically" be there to know what is going on."

This one is my favorite. It assumes that McClure already knows all there is to know, won't hear anything at a meeting he doesn't already know, and is not capable of learning because he already knows it all.

Yep, that makes sense.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Lack of attendance for ant reason other than illness is no excuse. If ever elected Executive will McClure only show up 47% of the time? C'mon man, you who defend him on this must be him. What would happen to you if you only showed up 47% of the time for work?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:15. I agree with u.. And this is his JOB. he is being paid to BE THERE

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:15. I agree with u.. And this is his JOB. he is being paid to BE THERE

Uncle Remus said...

Callahan will kick mcnoshow's butt all the way to kansas

Bernie O'Hare said...

McClure's attendance record is pathetic, below what should be expected from a Council member. Even worse, he has conducted no hearings of the Legal & Judicial Committee for 3 years. In the meantime, changes to the HRC have been proposed concerning row offices. There is uncertainty who the Voting Registrar works for, the Exec or the Elections Comm'n. The Elections Comm'n, which makes no provision for independents or third parties, is established in violation of the US Constitution. Lots of changes are needed, and he ignores them.

Gilbert's attendance lousy, too. How disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Cusick deserves kudos but quite frankly expectations are that the President of any board should attend at least 90% of meetings. What is you prediction for next year's council leadership?

Anonymous said...

McClueless is the most obscure council member of all times. Most citizens in his council district do not even know who he is. His chances of becoming county exec are lower than his attendance record.

Anonymous said...

Since Stoffa has been mailing it in or sometimes ususally just breathing in the halls, McClure will fit right in. Stoffa proves that you don't need to ben present to be called a county executive.

Anonymous said...

Okay Big "B" OHARE......How many members of County Council have we had since the inception of Home Rule and which of them had the best attendence record? I'm willing to bet it is either of two people. Moran or Seyfried?????? Maybe Heckman? Even Reibman was a slouch on committee meetings. Grube missed some too. Naw, my money is on Moran or Seyfried. Can you get us those numbers.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, unless you are someone trying to hype a Seyfried or Moran run for some office, who gives a shit? Besides, we all know Seyfried is an O'Hare mancrush so you non relevent question raises some suspicion as to what your real motives are.

Jack

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Since Stoffa has been mailing it in or sometimes ususally just breathing in the halls, McClure will fit right in. Stoffa proves that you don't need to ben present to be called a county executive"

This is a flat out lie. Stoffa and I may disagree about some things, but he works hos ass off. Just about every night of the week, he's at a meeting. The man cares about the county, which is the only reason he ran in the first place.

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:27, I don't know. I imagine I could get them. If Reibman, Moran and Seyfried all run, those records will be relevant.

Anonymous said...

Agree, records of attendance only tell part of the story. Some people can be physically present but mentally absent. This all sounds like more teabagger gibberish. Or someone trying to get some campign issue going.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've been doing this since 2006. It is objective - you are either there or not. This year, I questioned the attendance records of two conservative Rs, in addition to Lamont McClure. I complimented a Republican and Democrat for high attendance. You are just trying to make excuses for McClure's lousy attendance. You lose. Move on.

Anonymous said...

A lot of lever pulling jersey trash in Lamont's district. Most of them don't even know who he is or what he does (or doesn't) do.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

News release states that Izzy Arcely to formally declare his candidacy for Northampton County Council on Jan 3.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes. I noted his candidacy on 11/15.

http://lehighvalleyramblings.blogspot.com/2012/11/call-him-ismael.html

Anonymous said...

Arcelay can't win crap

Anonymous said...

Pawlowski is finacing his campaign. don't know why buut he wants him elected.