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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, September 05, 2014

The "A" Team Visits NorCo Council

Ron Angle quotes Shakespeare, sort of
I was delighted last night when the A team, consisting of former Executive John Stoffa and former Council member Ron Angle, decided to drop in on a Council meeting.

John Stoffa

John Stoffa, as some of you know, was quite ill when he left office. In fact, when the new Human Services building was dedicated early this year, I was quite concerned about him. But he's now looking better than at any time I've seen him over the past few years. A huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders and is now being borne by Executive John Brown.

Though one of life's ambitions is to build 500 birdhouses, Stoffa has put that project on hold. He's hooked on Hitler. He's just finished five biographies of the man who at one time even had Gandhi fooled.

The Northampton County Bulldog

After baling hay all day, Ron Angle rushed down to the courthouse. He might claim he was there to straighten Council or Brown out, but the truth is that he was there to see Stoffa. Like me, he really admires and respects this unusual man who devoted his life to helping others. .

Though the Bulldog was there to see Stoffa, the podium beckoned, and Angle gave a short speech that pretty much hit on every problem facing the County over the past year.

"As Shakespeare said, Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated," he started, with an unlit stogie dangling from his mouth.

"Doesn't he mean Mark Twan?" I asked Stoffa,.

"Shut up, he's on a roll," answered the former Exec.

"Certain people on Council and the Controller, who I don't see here ..." he continued.

"I'm here" shouted Controller Steve Barron in the back.

"Oh he's here," Angle went on. "Generally, it's hard to miss him." 


Angle went on to point out that Barron and others on Council accused him during the last election contest of "exaggerating" the financial drain caused by Gracedale, the County-owned nursing home.

"Gracedale is still hemorrhaging the same money it was hemorrhaging before. In fact, I was correct with the numbers and there wasn't games played with the finances."

"People like Mr. Stoffa and myself were not making up fake numbers and cooking the books. ... Had it been sold, you would have had tens of millions of dollars to put into senior citizen programs which now will never be put into that. And frankly, it would hacve continued as a nursing home and nobody would have been put out ... ."

.County Finances

"[Y]ou have a financial problem here. There probably will be a tax increase unless you want to play some kind of games and make the tax increase even bigger in the future. ... You're eating the seed corn again and the $60 million that was supposed to be there in budgetary reserve ... . "

Council Plan to Insist on Approval of All Contracts Over $10,000 Instead of the Current $100,000

"He [Brown] is the Executive. It is his job basically to run the County. He's the CEO of a corporation. That was the thought on the Home Rule form of government, and you're merely the Board of Directors. ... To hamper his ability to run the County is not an answer, and if you reduce this amount, you're certainly going to hamper his ability to run the County."

On The PR Firm.

"If you're doing a good job, you don't need a public relations specialist. Let the people decide whether he's doing a good job."

Residency Requirement

"I happen to agree with you Democrats. We have a helluva' lot of people who live in Northampton County. We have a lot of wonderful deputies. I'm not saying the Sheriff selected doesn't have a wonderful resume. Frankly, it's a resume he could be an Assistant Director of the FBI. ... But the point is there is people in Northampton County that could have done that job."

Home Rule

Angle went on to suggest that Council needs to re-evaluate whether Home Rule is working.

Angle spoke about five minutes. You don't think these guys have an impact? Angle was quoted and mentioned by four different Council members, as well as the Controller. Stoffa, who just sat there, was mentioned three times. Former Exec Jerry Seyfried, who wasn't even there, was rerferred to as an authority on the Home Rule Charter by Republican Glenn Geissinger.


Anonymous said...

You are joking right? The "A" team? These guys were very responsible for the county's terrible financial situation today.

Their ego's are so huge they had to come back to try and stay relevant? if Stoffa just sat there like he usually did, why was he even there?

This is nonsense. These two guys should fade into the background were they belong. The county says thanks but no thanks!

Anonymous said...

Berni really meant the "A plus " TEAM.

Bernie O'Hare said...

And your name is?

Anonymous said...

Tim county employee. I will say no more, those guys have a long reach and a vindictive nature.

Bernie O'Hare said...

More like Tim the troll. You're no county employee. And you're too cowardly to ID yourself.

Anonymous said...

They can't let their hatred of
Gracedale go can they. Talk about angry old men.

Anonymous said...

I like Ron. Looks like sour grapes though.

Anonymous said...

Angle and Stoffa were right about the financial future of Gracedale. It is on pace to lose $8-9 million this year. Unfortunately the were flawed messengers and were outfoxed by AFSCME.

Anonymous said...

it was great to see the bulldog at the council meeting last night , it is good to know he still has his eye on the pulse of the county ,say what you want about him he is usually right about the county and it's finances...i didn't always agree with him but always knew he the best interest of the county at heart and did his best to be fair ! loved seeing him last night ..i hope he continues to show up at these meetings he keeps people on their toes!

Anonymous said...

Glad that Stoffa is doing better. His illness was very serious. He and Angle are the Odd Couple. But both care very dearly about the future of Northampton County. I would expect that both will be dipping their toes back in Norco politics in the not too distant future.

Bernie O'Hare said...

McClure and Barron hate these guys because Stoffa and Angle see through them. By now, Brown sees through those two as well. McClure always uses Barron as his "expert" on whatever point he wants to make, although Barron is so dumb he sometimes screws it up, as he did last night. He as called to claim, as an expert on health care plans - he's an expert on lots of things - that the health care plan offered to county employees is not a Cadillac plan. But after answering a fw questions from Geissinger, he was saying it might be a Cadillac plan. I'm sure he got a tongue lashing when he met McClure and Kraft at the Blue for their post-meeting cocktail.

Anyone, as Barro n made his way to the podium, Angle said, "There they go, Cheech and Chong."

Anonymous said...

Barron is a buffoon and a toadie for McClueless and Kraft. His appearance is laughingly rehearsed. It is like calling Charlie Brown off the bench to fall over when Lucy pulls the football away. He usually makes a fool of himself.

Anonymous said...

ron angle knows what he's talking about and in my view has a love for the county like no one else I've ever met ... he has my respect !

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Unfortunately the were flawed messengers and were outfoxed by AFSCME."

Yes, in hindsight, those of us who advocated the sale should have given people more time to learn about it and dispel all the rumors being spread. We rushed, but that was because that was a good climate for a sale. That climate does not exist now. The county will never get that kind of offer ever again.

Anonymous said...

AFSCME would sell their grannies into slavery if they could grab a few more bucks. AFSCME sees the elderly as a bargaining chip. Gracedale will continue to provide far worse care than private homes and it will cost taxpayers increasing tens of millions in the years to come. The county isn't running a nursing home. It's running a budget-busting, subsidized union jobs program for people who provide consistently poor care to our county's elderly. Most of the county's elderly are on fixed incomes; trying to pay their taxes, and don't reside at Gracedale. AFSCME is pure evil.

Bernie O'Hare said...

First, the people have spoken. A majority of Northampto County voters decided against selling Gracedael. I respect majority rule. Second, your statement about the quality of care at Gracedale is simply untrue. I saw myself how much the employees care for the residents. The evil AFSCME made big concessions in an attempt to make the facility work. Also, the feds have upped the rating for quality of care to four stars. Very few nursing homes, public or private, can boast that rating.

Let me add that if you think Gracedale needs to be sold, you need to do a little more than posting inaccurate comments anonymously on a blog.

Anonymous said...

I respect the Gracedale vote. But I also understand it came amid nearly historic low turnout in an off-off year primary election. Gracedale's ratings are consistently below private entities. Your anecdotal observations don't square with years of consistently poor ratings amid consistently higher ones for private homes where patients are better treated. And AFSCME's vicious treatment of the honorable John Stoffa was unmitigated evil. They'll need to give back a lot more to offset the cruel burden they've placed upon the 99% of county seniors who aren't in Gracedale and are struggling to pay for AFSCME. I don't expect Gracedale will be sold anytime soon. The county will continue to ignore a host of other necessities because of Gracedale's financial drag. Gracedale and AFSCME are why the county can't have nice things.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Whether the turnout was low or high is of no import. The voters spoke. I believe in majority rule.

My observations of Gracedale workers are undeniably anecdotal. But the $2.5 million in benefits that AFSCME gave back is a reality. So is the current four-star rating on quality of care. There are few nursing homes that can make that claim.

As for the mistreatment of John Stoffa, that was not AFSCME. That was a small band I call the Gracedale Goons. People like Jack D'Alessandro, MaryAnn Schmoyer and a few others. Had we waited and given people time to see through their lies, we would have picked up more votes. But Gracedale is near and dear to many people's hearts. They want it to stay county-owned, and are willing to pick up the tab. I respect their sentiments, and the County is trying hard to make it work. It will always be a drain on finances, but in some minds, is worth it.

Anonymous said...

Angle and Stoffa were not only flawed messengers they were flawed leaders. Their family can post all the fawning reviews they want. Gracedale always had a contribution. Also they worked to run it into the ground to make their point. If the county follows the advice of the consultant and gets it to the right size Gracedale will be just fine.

Still a sham playing to the hatred of caring for people. Angle and Stoffa have no class and love to play "I told you so" even when they were wrong.

To bad their ego's won't allow them to stay away.

Two angry old men who are not missed.

Shame on Angle for making fun of Mr. Barron's weight. This from a confirmed anti-Semite and bigot.

They are finally gone and you still do puff pieces about them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is not a consultant but a private manager, and council has already ignored most of his recommendations. We will soon be paying $10 million per year of our $85 million in tax revenue to keep a nursing home afloat.

Lighthouse said...

"If you're doing a good job, you don't need a public relations specialist. Let the people decide whether he's doing a good job."


Re, lowering the $100,000 threshold to $10,000, was the 100k figure in the original 1978 admin code or by latter amendment? While I think the Sahl contract is a waste of money by Brown, is lowering it to 10k overkill in micromanaging? What would 100k--10k for that matter--in 1978 dollars be today?

Bernie O'Hare said...

In the original Admin Code, Council had oversight over contracts that exceeded $1 million. That was reduced to $100,000 in 2005 after a Controller's audit noted inconsistencies. When we drop it down to $10,000, that's micro-managing.


Anonymous said...

LOL at the micromanaging comment. That is what ALL elected Boards do and try to do even though they claim to not. The old saying of "Don't piss down my back and tell me its raining" comes to mind whenever dealing with ANY politician!

Anonymous said...

Stoffa and Angle pissed away a $60 million surplus and they are giving advice. Now that is rich.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The persons who pissed that away are Lamont McClure and Steve Barron, Cheech and Chong. It is those two who called it a "slush find" and McClure penned an op-ed about it. Angle was voted out of office,but fought against depleting what he called the seed corn. Though Stoffa agreed with Angle, he was unable to find five Council members willing to ignore Cheech and Chong.

Anonymous said...

More like the "A"(hole) tram.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Saw Bill White's column. He described the A-hole team pretty effectively.

Anonymous said...

Make fun of Lamont McClure all you want but he will probably be the next county executive. Even if Brown can clean up the Stoffa mess, Brown is a one termer.

Also Brown will not raise taxes to cover the butts of Stoffa and Angle. How dare they. When did Angle ever vote to raise taxes?

Anonymous said...

I liked Bill Whites article. I also like that Bill still has Angle's number and calls him out for the self agrandizi8ng prick that he is.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Self-aggrandizing pricks who can back up what they say, have may reSpect, whether it is the Seahawks' Sherman or Angle. You, on the other hand, are reduced to anonymous comments on a Saturday night at 9 pm. I hate to break it to you, but nobody gives a shit what anonymous cowards think.

Anonymous said...

He certainly devoted his life to numerous public pensions, that for sure.

Highest paid cabinet heads of any county executive, yet he demanded givebacks by some employees.

His motto was, ":God helps those who help themselves to public money".

Bernie O'Hare said...

What the fuck are you talking about? Angle at most has one pension worth about three cents per month. Stoffa has two and deserves two for the time he spent at two counties. Are you suggesting that people have be pensions? You can condemn defined benefit, but not the people who are entitled to some kind of retirement benefit.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Ron Angle is he has treated so many people so badly for so long. No one really thinks much of him or his opinions. Due to his money and vindictive behavior most will not confront him. He has always been a mean spirited and vindictive man. Much of the feelings about Stoffa came form his very close collaboration with Angle.

Stoffa was always quick to complain about the words and deeds of people but gave Angle a pass because it suited him politically.

Bernie O'Hare said...

And your name is? You are quick to condemn others but don't think we should notice you don't ID yourself.

Anonymous said...

"He's hooked on Hitler"

I'm sure he is, look who he hangs out with.