Thursday, February 21, 2013

Centralized Human Services Lease Vote Tonight

McClure Cares About Public Sector Unions, Not Vets
In late January, Northampton County Council was hesitant to vote on a lease for a centralized human services building on Emrick Boulevard in Bethlehem Township. The matter was postponed until tonight to give Council members more time to research the matter.

In this intervening period, one of their concerns has been addressed. Governor Corbett's proposed budget next year actually increases the funding available for human services, reversing two years of cuts. In addition, Council has been reminded that Northampton County's 18,000 24,000 veterans, some of them scarred emotionally and physically as a result of their defense of this nation, are very much a part of the equation. Between 25-35 veterans, some in wheelchairs, must make their way up a hill weekly to visit the VA. And according to Director Freddie Ramirez, many of them use other human services like the Area Agency on Aging.

Rather than forcing them to travel to different offices throughout the County, Executive John Stoffa has long advocated a centralized facility.

Tonight, Council makes the call.

My guess is that Lamont McClure, Peg Ferraro and Bob Werner will say No to this lease for the flimsiest of reasons - politics. Werner wants services to remain in Easton, which is his District. Ferraro wants everything out at Gracedale, where she gets most of her votes. And McClure, who wants to be the next Executive, is pretending he cares about the bottom line. He's willing to spend $7 million plus for a "moral obligation" at Gracedale, but not a dime for the vets. Not one of these three served a day in the military.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

A lot of crap throwing just to justify Stoffa's legacy Bernie. Not even close and definitly not cool.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yeah, the guy is only speaking for the veterans and those with no voice and who have no big special interest group to speak for them. You're reduced to personal attacks as usual.

Anonymous said...

It was shown there is no real need for this building. Stoffa told a reporter he saw this building as his legacy. This is an arrogant and stubborn old man who has an old idea that is no longer needed but won't let go of his dream to his own building.

The sad thing is that county council will go along with this farce. The end result will be the very people council thinks they are helpong will have less money for services. Of cousres we will only know this after the ocunty is stuck for a mullion plus a year with the Stoffa Human Suffering building. He will be long gone as is his MO. He blew iot on the swaption, he blew it on Gracedale and now he will blow it again. This time Counil is jusr as guilty.

What a farce. All your posts and other nonsense and Stoffa hacks' testimonials can't alter the truth.

What a sham and what a shame.

Bud Bundy said...

Will it really be called the Stoffa Human services building?

Anonymous said...

He would love it to be but he will deny it at least until after the lease is signed and constrtuction is started. This guy hasn't been honest since day one.

I am glad Reibman blew back the sewaption issue to the press. He let them know Stoffa dropped the ball on that deal and let the thing explode.

Glad to finally get some facts out there.

Anonymous said...

Spend, spend, spend. That's all these people need. A brand new state of the art building to make a more comfortable cushy workplace for government employees and a nice cushy place for those suckling off the system. Great.

Anonymous said...

So, it is BAD for the county to get OUT of the owning of Real Estate? It is bad to lease a building with money that comes from others NOT you the tax payer? We should Keep wolf and bechtel because they are money pits and will cost YOU the tax payer millions because you think it is the right thing to do?

Stop drinking the cool aid and get the facts straight

Anonymous said...

I like John and voted fro him twice. He's wrong here. He's been wrong on several fiscal matters. I knew this was his weak suit when I voted for him vs. less attractive alternatives. This project hasn't been properly vetted. The economy is too weak and volatile to rush into this.

Anonymous said...

How many options have been considered?

I don't know that the centralized location concept isn't a good idea, but there is a glut of existing ecommercial space and there is no need to accept less than the most favorable and flexible terms.

We don't need brand spanking new. The rest of the world settles for good enough, the County can do the same.

Can, but won't.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

Clem
if you went to a council meeting you would know the answer to that ridiculous question that you just asked.

We are doomed. When did they stoop teaching comprehension skills in schools in the Lehigh Valley?

Anonymous said...

Those union goons from the Wolfe building support this building..Those horrible public service employees you always assault support this building..Does that mean this is a bad thing? Veterans shouldnt have to go to the Wolfe building..The folks who work at the Bechtel building in Human Services go out and help the vets . They dont ask the vets to come to them...I would think those working at the Wolfe building could do the same..If they cared..So your Vet argument is just so stupid that it's beyond the pale...I personally am inclined to support this building trusting that the administration is now going to commit Human Services. Not because of any of the pathetically silly arguments you make...So, we'll see..We'll see.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the funding for County Human Services is flat at best..I got this right out of the mouths of division heads..Most of the increses in funding is going to the State hospitals and also to those who transition these folks from the state hospitals.. little investigation on your part would have shown you this..Then, of course there is the federal sequestration that can also affect future funding to a great degree. So again, your argument here doesnt hold water..What you need to say is , OK, my arguments here dont hold much water, but i'm going to trust John Stoffa's committment and Council's committment to Human Services and that is why I am supporting this building..Otherwise, your arguments are lame.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I don't know that the centralized location concept isn't a good idea, but there is a glut of existing ecommercial space and there is no need to accept less than the most favorable and flexible terms."

Clem This argument assumes a fact not in evidence. In reality, there is no glut. According to Ken Mohr and his team, there is actually a shortage.

Also buying and repurposing an existing building would actually be more expensive.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Stoffa told a reporter he saw this building as his legacy."

Cuckoo. He told a reporter he thought this was extremely important.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Will it really be called the Stoffa Human services building?"

The County does not name building after people who are still living.

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:03. OK. Do nothing and spend, spend, spend $4.3 million in capital improvements and spend another $1-2 million to house employees at Wolf while repairs are under way. Spend, spend, spend.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"This project hasn't been properly vetted. The economy is too weak and volatile to rush into this."

The project was vetted by a group that includes 2 council members for 11 months. After that, it went to Council, and they have vetted it for 2 months. It's time for an up or down vote.

Anonymous said...

I don't oppose the idea of a centralized structure. I think the problem is in the math. The county does not get a free ride on the Wolf building. They will have to throw more money into an empty structure to wait for an interested developer. Should we say a proposed transaction based on "the greater fool theory". The greater fool theory states that many prices are driven by belief that there is a person who will pay that high price when in reality there is no one. The project counts on the sale of the Wolf building which is not going to happen at the projected price.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"How many options have been considered?"

Clem, Did you read any of the other posts or Q&As on this topic? You have been told several times now that 26 properties were considered and competitive proposals were sought from 4 of the short listed properties.

There have been two Q&As going over all of the options, and detailing them.

Do some homework before opening your mouth and stop flying by the seat of our pants

Anonymous said...

If your correct the key vote is Scott Parsons, my representative. I hope Scott will vote to hold off on this til the next county executive has input. I see no rush

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Those union goons from the Wolfe building support this building..Those horrible public service employees you always assault support this building."

I don't assault the employees. I assault the public sector unions that supposedly represent them. And my real beef wit those unions is that they don't represent those employees at all. They should have been before Council, demanding that something be done about working conditions. Instead, they blackmailed Stoffa, telling him he had to agree to no future layoffs to get them to play ball.

The conduct of union leaders is despicable, and it is the employees who suffer. Unions had to be shamed into taking up the cause of two women fired over naughty emails.

These assholes will suck money for dues, but do nothing that actually helps the people they supposedly represent. And it is the workers who suffer. You will hear from them, and not their union overlords, tonight.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" They will have to throw more money into an empty structure to wait for an interested developer."

They are going to have to do that anyway. If they do capital repairs, they are going to have to get the people out of there and move them somewhere else.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"If your correct the key vote is Scott Parsons, my representative. I hope Scott will vote to hold off on this til the next county executive has input. I see no rush"

I have said that Ferraro, Werner and McClure are likely Nos. Kraft, Dietrich and Cusick are likely Yes votes. I believe they will be joined by Gilbert and Thierry. I predict Parsons will support this as well, because he has been pretty good as seeing thru the bullshit and doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

You are correct that they will throw more money into Wolf and have to get employees out of there. But, the proposed solution does not consider that number either way. You have three candidates running for exec who have stated that the decision on this should wait. I tend to agree since they will have to clean-up after the transaction. The alternatives should be debated during the election process and the desired outcome will have public support. Is not that what elections are all about anyway? Lame ducks are best remaining as lame ducks. “You know, it's just one small step from legacy to lame duck.” Bill Clinton

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You have three candidates running for exec who have stated that the decision on this should wait"

When one of them is elected by a majority of the voters, we'll wait. Until then. John Stoffa is the Executive and makes the administrative decisions. His term lasts 4 year, not 3.

The last thing we can have right now is a lame duck.

While McClure, Callahan, Browne and Reibman play politics, John DStoffa will govern with a council that s willing to listen and do the right thing.

There are bridges that need repairs. Capital improvements are needed at Gracedale. The Courthoue, believe it or not, needs repairs.

Should he wait on bridge repairs until the next exec is on office? Don't you see that yours is a ridiculous argument? Sorry, but there it is.

Anonymous said...

I Hope 100 veterans and old people in wheel chairs show up and talk for 3 hours at courtesy of the floor tonight and tell these people what a pain in the A** it is to go to two different buildings to do what needs to be done to live

Anonymous said...

I do not disagree with you and your thought that lame duck execs and councils should continue to complete business. But, some moves require more vetting than others. A centralized building is not a bridge repair. It is a new beginning for the county. And, a traumatic end for Easton. Easton served as the county seat for almost three centuries and, now the process begins to end that role. All the arguments for centralization apply to the register of wills, the courts, etc. If that is the direction then the county puts another knife into Easton. I've read too often that this centralization is just getting even with the commuter tax. If so, Easton will continue its horrendous decline thanks now to the county. Like Gracedale, such a move with great impact deserves public debate. Not a dispatch from a group of soon to be ex office holders. Yeah, fix the bridges. those courthouse repairs are not going to happen for the same reason-the hope that the county seat moves elsewhere.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Easton will remain the county seat for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Here's the bottom line. The County Council and this administration screwed the taxpayers again. They did not keep up with basic capital improvement projects and left buildings deteriate to the point of disasteer. They kept removing the dollars from the capital budgets to offset taxes. They neglected to act on the swaption costing the county 27 million dollars. Stoffa and this council is a disgrace and you protect them. Shame on you. Vote no for the new building. The republicans are in power in the congress and in Pennsylvania. Bigger cuts are coming down the road. You can't afford to gamble again on what the future holds. Vote NO

Anonymous said...

Easton will remain the county seat? In name only. Everyone else will move except the prison which no other community wants.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You're forgetting the courthouse and numerous row offices. About 900 employees. Don't be a drama queen.

Anonymous said...

I expect that they will all go eventually. Centralized along the Rt 33 corridor. Same argument justifies the move. Courthouse is an old building falling apart. Needs multi million dollar investment. Let's make it more convenient for everyone. And, centralize it. Do you realize that there are only several counties left in Pa that have not centralized their county seats. Once you open the door,

Anonymous said...

12:52
Sounds like a GREAT idea, lets run for council and move the whole damn place out of the festering stink-stie known as Easton.

We can side with Peg and move it to Nazareth and it will be so far from the population center that no one will come to a meeting and we can give ourselves fat raises and no one will be the wiser.

Anonymous said...

1. I never supported buying and repurposing. Checked as many of my previous comments on the matter as I had time for, always supported leasing as the way to go.

2. I re-read one Q & A, lots of general statements about how nothing else can work or other solutions would be about the same, not a lot of detail. Maybe in the other or somewhere else, I'll try to finish my homework later. Not that it ever really mattered. This is a done deal.

3. Consultants, private or public, usually deliver the result the client is looking (paying) for.

4. "Consider" was a poor choice. My sentiment is more "How many less expensive choices were there that could have been made to work, though they would not be the customized Cadillac dream of those who want it all. Your prior admonishment about "The perfect being the enemy of the good" may very well fit here. I'll try to find that answer in the homework.

And, sorry, 9:41, since I went to a school that "stooped" teaching...
genius...

I don't get to Council meetings, time is money when you don't slurp yours from the trough.

-Clem





Anonymous said...

They blackmailed Stoffa into agreeing no future layoffs to get him to play ball ???? How funny you are Bernie..This is hilarious.Maybe you should talk to Stoffa and see if this is the case. Now, of course, he'll be there for only ten more months, so of course he has nothing to do with future layoffs..The budget for the rest of his term is set and no layoffs are called for, making your statement rather idiotic, no?? I think the unions concern was that Stoffa would support the programs and the people these programs serve..If they were to continue to lay people of and have others serve these people, it would be pretty stupid to ask for this building , no?? These outside agencies already have their buildings..When you rail against these public sector unions you sound so freaking ridiculous it's almost laughable..Almost...They hate you, you hate them..That's what it's all about..Now that the're supporting Stoffa on his building somehow it's only cause they blackmailed him..Well if that were the truth and they were successful, that says little about his character..However, it wasn't the truth..As usual..

Anonymous said...

Clem you have good points. The secret committe had two councilmen on it the rest were Atoffa hacks. Dietrich who doesn't know anytihng that isn't told to him and Kraft who only sees a union construction job.

Ken Mohr, Stoffa's old buddy, has had numerous contracts given to him by Stoffa. His job like most consutants is to sell his clients idea. He has done a good job. Of course everytihng will lead back to what Stoffa has always wanted. This is like Gracedale. Stoffa always wanted to sell it and his consultants said it was the only good idea.

This is not at all necessary or needed immediaitely. Stoffa has let the buildings rot for seven years. He took out capital improvmeent money form budgets and now 'cares" about people.
The need for this building has been debunked by neutral and knowledgable people but we all know that is not what Stoffa wants.

Stoffa and the lameducks on county counil want a plaque with their names on it.

Easton will get screwed all the while pretending that after seven years suddenly we have babbies and veterans crawling up a hill for service.

If adult offcieholders can't see through this most basic bullshit, we as citizens anfd taxpayers have no hope.

BO has and will continue to hawk all the Stoffa projects as great ideas. After all John Stoffa cares so much, he destroyed the villages in order to save them. What a guy. He has deceived people for years, why stop now.

Dick Cheney wants his soul back John.

Anonymous said...

No one hires a consultant to hear that their idea or vision will not work. Consultants are hired to sell ideas and visions. Remember that when you vote tonight.

Anonymous said...

"Consultants are hired to sell ideas and visions. Remember that when you vote tonight."
Leader's have "Vision's"-of-their-OWN....When someone-else'e "Vision" goes awry or a'rye
of the "intended"/stated goal's...the Politico has Plauseable Denial-ability...as they "Purchased" bum advice. How 'bout those "Swaption's" ehhh?

Anonymous said...

Good point, Stoffa really srecwed up the swaption. Glenn Reibman gave a great explanation of how Stoffa dropped the ball on it. The swaption was under a million when Stoffa took office. Stoffa never managed it properly and it blew up to 30 million dollars of debt.

You trust this guy on a new building? You already let him buy an uneeded warehouse in Forks twp. that is over budget and behind schedule.

So,much for fiscally conservative "tea party" republicans. They are behind this 100%.

Who do you trust? Not county government!

Anonymous said...

@ "Who do you trust? Not county government 5:45 PM".....Should read "Whom".

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie,ww11 vets are over 85, Koren Vets are 76 minimum age and Vietnam Vets are all over 59 1/2/Most all that do not have dementia can pick up the phone and or use the internet by now. The office should have some automation because most are not incapable of the use for questions and directions. To use Vets as a stage for politics is horse crap!The office of CENTRAL SERVICES should go to Palmerton, to the old New Jersey Zink offices.That's right, I said it.We have too many people that move here from Newark, N.J. and just get on the list and the criminal relative come too.This costs us plenty . They need to take care of our people that have been here 10 -20- 50 yrs. and discourage free loaders.This will cut down on taxes and work load and hearings .

Anonymous said...

It passed, so now we just need to find out how many Human Servcies employees will get laid off by the next county executive.

Anonymous said...

@ ""You're comparing us to school districts that have unlimited budgets and just build whatever they build," Kraft said. "You're looking for utopia that doesn't exist."....How 'bout that $30,000,000.00 Cupola of slate & copper (rebar-in-dumpster) @ Union Prevaling Wage's...(as part of the Swaption)...How much for labor v.s. Materials? Buy the way....Where's the Copper when you need him? Stuck in traffic, with a deadhead not knowing which animal is going to shoot him today. Citizen's Arrest! Shenanigan's.

Peter J.Cochran said...

I loved it ,'Thank You" on the power point screen. Who say's Thank You? Kiss and hug ,I feel good all over now. It is not a new building that gives service! Take care of the people that have been here 10-20-50- years and sent the rest back to New Jersey. At the expenses that a retired steel worker pays from his pension he can not afford social work for the State of New York & New Jersey!!!!

Peter J.Cochran said...

Social Services become an attraction and self sustaining and people move her to obtain them. ASK WHAT percentage of Amish or even Vietnamese that you have in case logs? Answer-___________. Why is that?