Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Steve Barron, Controller or Union Organizer?

Some people never learn. Northampton County Controller Steve Barron is one of them.

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?'

"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."
I was unaware that Barron was elected as business agent for the unions. I thought he was the people's Controller.

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.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the Adminstration is stonewalling the truth, Mr. Barron as an independently elected coutny official has a responsibility to tell us the truth.

Something Mr. Stoffa and the dump Gracedale crowd don't understand.

He can also tell Mr. Stoffa were he can find his apology.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The Controller is not elected to tell unions how to handle contract negotiations. He has accused members of the administration of lying, on a publicly broadcast television show, and Stoffa is absolutely right to demand that Barron explain this strong accusation or apologize.

Anonymous said...

Unqualified, intemperate, obnoxious, and a legal liability for those he is paid to serve.

Teletubby is dumber than a rock A caricature and the troughfeeder poster child, figuratively and literally.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

Nice personal attack there,Clem???

Bernie O'Hare said...

Steve Barron is an elected official and should expect to take it on the chin, especially after he makes an ass out of himself.

Anonymous said...

You see this guy in action, read his ineptitude as illustrated in his own words and deeds. and you really want to take the exit ramp to debating that part of the comment?

Look, over there, squirrels!

-Clem

Anonymous said...

I forgot you only delete the personal attacks on Stoffa, like you did for Angle.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Go back to bed, Mr. Reibman, or you'll never stay awake at your patronage job for the Bridge Comm'n tomorrow. You can dream about swaptions.

Anonymous said...

Bernie @1:36

BURN!

g'nite...



-Clem

Anonymous said...

Clem, you lost District four.

burn.

Anonymous said...

Little Stevie Blunder is at it again!The saddest part is that he has a very dedicated, talented staff who are utterly embarassed to work for this tool.

Anonymous said...

complete compromise of the requisite impartiality of his office.

Anonymous said...

The "controller" should take a look at the tax increase that was implemented by Reibman. It was in the neighborhood of 16%. It was extremely high and not warrented. The millage rate should have been reduced the following year because of the "huge slush fund" that created (some call it the cash balance or County surplus). For the next seven years this excessive tax increase continued to build to the County's cash balance at an exorbitant rate. The proof of thst statement is in the 60 million dollar cash balance the County once had. Think of it, they were able to pay off a 27 million dollar "swaption" and still haven't raised taxes. The Stoffa Administration hasn't done one thing to promote efficiency, not one thing to promote economy and not one thing to promote effectiveness in County Government until the past year when he laid off employees. These are the things that a good Controller would have looked at to determine whether the County needed that large slush fund. Barron fails miserably in this area. So does Stoffa for not doing what was right when he took office. Instead he lived of the fat of the land.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, tax increases under Reibman were in the range of 70% over 2 years.

Anonymous said...

No one mentions the completly unqualified Lehigh County Controller.Yes, he bows to the GOP leaders in LC so his zero qualifications are accepted.

The voters just blindly pick these candidates based on no understanding of the job of "an independent auditor/accountant".

Anonymous said...

The only flaw in an otherwise stellar piece is that Barron couldn't organize a one-car parade.

He's a talentless trough slopper who couldn't find honest work if his flower bed depended on it.

Anonymous said...

Von Barron is what the people want. This is the New United States of America where people like Barron run businesses out of the LV for not being union, use his position to gain the unions, and have no accountability at all. It all starts at the top (obama) and works it way down to counties and cities. And when the pressure hits them from the people - just blame everyone else and take no responsibility for anything. Welcome to the new USofA.

Rob Hamill said...

Steve Barron needs to be fired, now.

Anonymous said...

Fired by who? The voters? They missed their chance last year. We are stuck with this buffoon for another three years.

Bernie O'Hare said...

One of Barron's defenders, Tricia Mezzacappa, says this: "At no time during this show did Steve make any accusations that the Stoffa administration has lied to unions."

This is flatly contradicted by what Barron himself said on the air, and what I transcribed. His exact words: "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."

Anonymous said...

Yikes! The WWWE and BVF allies. Politics make strange bedfellows.

Anonymous said...

Point is, Stoffa has not given the full financial information when negoiating. I think that is the point the Controller is making. Based on the mis-information given by the Adminstration during the dump Gravcedale move, it is important an independently elected office keep watch over Stoffa and his crew.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Point is, Barron flat out accused the administration of lying, several times, to several union. Point is, Barron, by his own admission, acknowledged helping unions get better deals with our tax dollars He is a union agent, not a controller. .

Anonymous said...

You rocked the Barron's world with your smackdown at county council meeting last night. Way to go BO!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Merci. He is the worst kind of public official, and is now using his office to try to interfere with my livelihood.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Pudgie Wudgie has become the darling of council. He is their lapdog and jumps whenever they call "fetch".