In 2010, Barron marched on T-Mobile's Lehigh County call center with union organizers, demanding to see the customer service VP, making sure to tell him that he's the Controller, damn it. When a security guard turned him away, Barron asked the guard to tell the VP "that if he needs anything from Northampton or Lehigh County, we're going to remember this day and we'll make sure that it will be part of the negotiations."
So he used the authority of his office to threaten someone. Barron was censured by County Council and awarded an Express Times turkey, but T-Mobile eventually decided to pull out of the Lehigh Valley, taking 600 jobs with them.
I guess he showed them.
Fast forward two years. Steve Barron is a guest on Business Matters, defending teachers' right to strike, claiming they "made me become the person that I am today."
Since he managed to fail the Pa. bar exam and was rejected as a "fraud expert" in a recent criminal case, I agree.
But amazingly, Barron acknowledged during the program that he assists union members and business agents during contract negotiations with the County. And on a publicly broadcast television show, he accused Northampton County of repeatedly lying during contract negotiations. Here it is, in his own words:
"The big problem I have is when I have union members and business agents who come to me as the Northampton County Controller, and say, 'Are we being given a fair deal? Can you open up the County books for me?'I was unaware that Barron was elected as business agent for the unions. I thought he was the people's Controller.
"And then I show them what we have in our coffers, and what we're spending, and what goes in and out, and I say, 'Boy, I think you guys can do better.'
"They were lied to by the management. They weren't told the full financial story of the County, and that disturbs me quite a bit. And it happens - several unions on more than one occasion."
Executive John Stoffa watched Barron von Footinmouth in action, and has asked for an explanation:
"Steve, last night I watched Business Matters. During this show, I thought I heard you say that this administration or someone in it had "lied" about County finances. Is this true? If so, who was it? Doran? [Director of Fiscal Affairs] Tom Harp? [Director of Administration] Pat Siemiontkowski? [Director of Human relations] When did this occur? This is a serious accusation to make against someone, especially on a local television show. Unless you can prove this allegation, you owe the accused an apology. It is so preposterous to me that you would even say something like this when all fiscal records are available for public scrutiny and are audited to death. Did I mishear what you said?"Maybe Barron von Footinmout will address it during the next Council meeting. He likes to monopolize Courtesy of the Floor, a time that should be reserved for regular citizens.