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Friday, April 17, 2015

NorCo Council Losing Patience With Cathy Allen

Cathy Allen clams up
It was a good night and a bad night for Northampton County Assistant Director of Administration Cathy Allen. She had to be pleased at hearing the applause when her payraise proposal was adopted. AFSCME union agent Justus James, who represents nearly 75% of the workforces, pured on the accolades as well. But the nine members of Council, both Democrat and Republican, are becoming increasingly frustrated by what Scott Parsons calls a "lack of transparency" from the Brown administration.

Allen's 19% Payhike. - Just two weeks ago, Lamont McClure had asked Executive John Brown to provide the legal authority under which he awarded Cathy Allen a 19% payraise in her first year. That included a three-step jump, which normally requires Council approval, as well as a "temporary" raise that is apparently still in effect. Her salary jumped from $57,460 to $65,603. Brown justified the increase because Allen had assumed "significant responsibilities" for insurance programs, workman's compensation and labor negotiations.He increased her wages again when she assumed HR duties.

Brown told McClure he'd provided his authority, but never did.At Council last night, Solicitor Ryan Durkin quoted from a policy manual, but ineffectually. Council has asked its own Solicitor, Phil Lauer, to look into the matter.

Was Allen Really Planning This Raise? - That's what she told Council's Personnel Committee yesterday, and what she told Council tonight. She indicated she had been planning this for sometime, and made sure the money for these raises was in the budget before it was adopted.

Council is skeptical. Hayden Phillips believes that, if this was being planned, Council would have known about it.

In fairness to Allen, I did hear about a month ago that Allen was planning something, and that I would be surprised. So I do not think she deliberately misled anyone. But this is yet another demonstration of the Brown Administration's lack of transparency.

Allen Refuses to Publicly Address Werner. - Close to the end of the meeting, Bob Werner complained that he had asked for a report concerning the state's bridge bundling program, but that no one was present. He went on to indicate that he had asked Allen to have Public Works present, and over a week ago. Allen answered from her seat, but refused to go to the podium, so the public could hear what she was saying, in violation of the Sunshine Act. Then she just refused to respond to Werner at all.

Ironically, this infuriated Republican Mat Benol, who has been a Brown ally. He pointed out that the Council has subpoena powers, and suggested Council exercise them if the Administration refuses to respond to requests for information.

Though government is unwieldy and inefficient, it works best when the people in it are open about what they do. That is Allen's chief drawback. It is also a major shortcoming of Luis Campos and Executive John Brown.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

You keep harping on Allen's 19% pay hike yet refuse comparison to Stoffa's similar actions. John Stoffa hired his Lehigh County buddy for Dir. of Admin. at one rate because County Council said no higher. The next year he jacked up his pay by what must have been at least 19%.

It is irrelevant what people think of Allen versus the Stoffa guy, the poor decision on the raises is the same.
Instead of selectively harping on this action by Brown, why don't you discuss the Stoffa action of the same thing.

You have a double standard based on your extreme emotionalism of love and hate. OMG.

Anonymous said...

She got a pay raise for doing her job? She should have a pay cut when Sahl communications was hires and took over her duties for the county newsletter. This position reports directly to the Director of Administration not to John Brown. She is not doing the job she was hired for.

Anonymous said...

I almost felt sorry for Ms. Allen, then I remembered she is making 2X what I make and I have been at the county for 30 years. She according to John Brown put worked on my newest health care plan that has forced many good staff to leave. I guess you reap what you sow.

Anonymous said...

7:09,
If u have been working for the county for 30 years and only make 30 some thousand then u are either worthless or not smart enough to move on.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I thought you were deleting comments from the knucklehead without a life who posted at 4:31 AM. I will repeat my previous reply to this absurd comparison. Comparing John Conklin to Cathy Allen you are comparing apples to rotton tomatoes. Conklin left a very prestigious position in Miami to work for Stoffa and brought with him impeccable qualifications and education. He was worth ten times the ungodly amount that high school graduate Allen is getting paid. If indeed Conklin was given a 19% raise it was probably needed to keep him from accepting other more lucrative offers. He now works for FEMA in Washington to show how much in demand he was. Unlike Allen who when the Brown gravy boat ride is over will return to her 2 person office in the Slate Belt.

Anonymous said...

Cathy Allen can't and won't change who she is. This is what you get from her. Subterfuge and blank stares and silence. This is her MO. Always has been..always will be. This is why Brown wants and needs her. To stand in front of himself and take the blows. Everything is top secret and none of your business. She is a walking Sunshine violation. Council should be aware that this is not an aberration by now. Wake up and take action before she and Brown cost the county big time in violation of State laws.

Anonymous said...

Is Allen contributing to a retirement program? I'm curious about how long before she is vested. Many retirements base the retirement amount on the last 3 years of salary.

Anonymous said...

O'Hare's loveboat crashed into a dock, and went down in a bubbling heap of ruin when his flip flop John Callahan love crush didnt quite make it at the polls.

O'Hare is no longer given carte blanch access to every computer and drawer as he was used to on the Stoffa love-boat. No one cares what O'Hare thinks, and no one caves in to his daily demands for info and attention. Poor Bernie.

His hate for the Brown administration just mirrors his volatile and very often hypocritical view of the world, based on nothing more than personal revenge and hatred

Anonymous said...

Clams up? You have to have opened your mouth at some point to do that. Has she ever???

Anonymous said...

Where is Brown hiding?

Anonymous said...

What was Campos doing during the Allen-James love fest? Diddling with his smart phone? What the hell does the guy do besides providing disinformation? Isn't he Allen's direct supervisor? Shouldn't he also be bathing in the glorious moment?

Anonymous said...

The Brown hole. It's like the bat cave, but it's for losers and taxpayers crooks. Teaparty hypocrites who take from the little guy and give to the bloated pigs. This will come around,as karma does.

Anonymous said...

Brown and his people all act the same in front of council. Say nothing, and hope nobody realizes you are actually sitting right there. If you do say something incredibly stupid or false, follow up like you know all about the subject and are confident you are on solid ground - then go back to saying nothing.

As 7:07AM pointed out - Brown is using the excuse that she DID HER JOB to increase her salary an obscene amount? How fu$king stupid is that empty suit? Mere mortals that aren't in sales get a 3 or 5% increase when they have a good year.

Anonymous said...

4:31 STOFFA STOFFA STOFFA GRACEDALE STOFFA STOFFA yada yada yada.

Who is hating? Oh my God. Stoffa is HISTORY. You're hoping for someone to report on alleged news from years ago. Get a grip, or some sleep or something. You're living in the PAST, man.

Stop hating on BOH for going out there and reporting and informing us. If you want to report on old events that you think are news, go start your own blog.

Anonymous said...

john brown forced retirement on long time employees, paid replacements less,left vacancies unfilled ,then turned around and gave allen a pay raise far beyond what anyone who left there was earning for many years of service ,the county workers are collapsing from be overworked an far underpaid ...it seems like a feel good thing right before an election ...the county isn't a huge corporation. from where i'm sitting john brown is trying to operate like one..oh and HR employees markwith and schnitz where also compensated ...maybe buying silence it all stinks. I am happy some got long overdue raises

Anonymous said...

It is a purely political pay raise for a few deserving employees but it doesn't solve anything! Brown has now lost his own party members and has squandered his political capital sanitizing the work force with forced retirements and huge increases in health care payments. He is a one man and woman? wrecking crew. How much destruction will be allowed by council? When will council rise up and do what they know is right?

Anonymous said...

I hope you tea party trolls enjoy swallowing that pill that John Brown and Cathy Allen rammed down your throat last night. Gracedale stays and more raises coming.....keep worshipping at the altar of John Brown:)

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What was Campos doing during the Allen-James love fest? Diddling with his smart phone? What the hell does the guy do besides providing disinformation? Isn't he Allen's direct supervisor? Shouldn't he also be bathing in the glorious moment?"

Campos provides the disinformation, Allen keeps the doors closed on Council membersin bothe parties

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie, I thought you were deleting comments from the knucklehead without a life who posted at 4:31 AM. I will repeat my previous reply to this absurd comparison."

I usually delete but will let it stand since you showed this troll how full of shit he is.

Anonymous said...

John Stoffa posting a 8:01 is going crazy because he has tried to keep the BS he pulled under the rug. In the end he was just another pol.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is rich. An anonymous coward who won't identify is claiming that another anonymous poster who defended Stoffa is him. What a sick fuck!

Anonymous said...

"What a sick fuck!"

Wow Bernie! I realize Stoffa was a pretty ineffective county executive but calling him that, is a bit rough. the guy wants to defend his own record that all.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The reference was to you, anonymous coward.

John Stoffa said...

The truth is I was sleeping at 8:01 zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
John Stoffa

Anonymous said...

What do the rest of the employees get when they do there jobs, certainly not a raise what they get is increased medical,the loss of some sick time,wage freezes,and any other bullshit this administration shoves down the employees throat, certainly not a19% wage increase.I do believe when JB was saying the employee is the backbone of the county he only meant one employee and that would be Cathy Allen since he only spoke in a singular sense.

Anonymous said...

John Stoffa wasn't perfect he had his flaws and I felt a poor decision maker and judgemental, but he was never hateful to the employee's in a way that affected their livelihood in such a negative way ...give him some credit...maybe because he worked hard all his life and raised a family to ...there are no words for John Brown or his team of slimy car salesman

Anonymous said...

Stoffa had some redeeming qualities. Brown has displayed none..so far. The contrast is obvious. Stoffa wins that debate..easily.

Anonymous said...

Brown=worst executive EVER!