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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

NorCo's Bloated DCED

Diane Donaher
When John Brown became Northampton County Executive in 2014, he refused to fill vacancies in departments like the Civil Division, Criminal Division or even at the jail. He wanted to be really sure these positions were needed. They were, and his delays resulted in serious backlogs in the row offices and lots of mandatory overtime at the jail. He created a manpower crisis that was complicated by delays built into the hiring process. While many county workers were struggling to keep their heads above water, Brown did not hesitate to pack the Department of Community and Economic Development with nine people, apparently believing this would create and retain jobs in the private sector. That never happened.

The problem with NorCo's DCED

John Orsini
What Brown has instead achieved is a bloated and top-heavy department that has repeatedly rebuffed Council requests for a report about what exactly it is doing to create or retain jobs. Director Diane Donaher did establish a loan and grants program for the smaller communities, but it's too soon to say whether that program is anything more than a facade to match the facade grants being offered.

Donaher became known for a rather imperious attitude. The most glaring example of this was the decision, which she apparently made on her own, to take control over nearly $500,000 in tourism grants awarded by Council each year. She knew better than the people's elected representatives, and even went so far as to contact grant recipients and tell them there would be no money.

When her grand plan became known, Council exploded. Brown quickly reversed her, although it was by then too late to award any grants last year. Brown assured Council that they, and not she, would have final say over hotel tax revenue.

Unfortunately, there are other examples of someone who seemed more focused on creating her own little fiefdom than in creating jobs or providing affordable housing. Like taking Bryan Cope out of Open Space, where he belongs. Or trying to take control over departments like the Conservation District, whose interests might at times be averse to hers  Or scheduling a private meeting of all the authorities for the purpose of hiring a consultant, in blatant violation of the Sunshine Act.

Enter Timmy Herrlinger, a John Brown crony

It's no surprise that Donaher has resigned. In fact, when Brown decided to bring Deputy Director Timmy Herrlinger on board, she was among the last to know. She found out when IT called her about his phone. The writing was on the wall.

Herrlinger is a John Brown pal. Soon after his hire, he placed a sign over his office saying, "Do Not Disturb unless you are bleeding." He was writing. Perhaps he's doing his memoirs. When people ask him about different matters, his stock answer is, "I'll check this out with my friend, John."

LVEDC Morphs From Whipping Boy to Breath of Fresh Air

While all of this was going on, Don Cunningham and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) came into Northampton County recently like a breath of fresh air. For years, LVEDC has been Council's favorite whipping boy. Whether it has been Ron Angle or Wayne Grube, whether fair or unfair, LVEDC has always been blamed for driving development to Lehigh County. But after Cunningham's most recent report, I thought Bob Werner was wiping tears from his eyes. Cunningham presented a fact-driven speech demonstrating exactly what LVEDC has been doing over the past 18 months. He has even prepared brochures and videos to market the Slate Belt, Easton, Bethlehem and Northampton County.

The winds have shifted.

Brown himself seems uncertain whether he wants to continue with a bloated DCED department whose economic development function appears to be redundant with the work being performed by LVEDC. On May 11, he informed Council that his new Deputy Director Tim Herrlinger is now the Acting DCED Director, but has not increased his salary beyond the $72,623 at which he was hired, which is $3,000 more than Deputy Director Lori Szywensky was making when she left the County for Turning Point. Brown has not nominated Herrlinger as Donaher's successor.

While I have no idea what Brown is thinking, Council member Bob Werner has made pretty clear that he is disgusted by the County DCED. In his email to fellow Council members, he makes this specific complaint and request:
"[T]here has been little presence, if any, at our council or committee meetings and we have had little or no updates as to what has been accomplished or what the committee as a whole has done or is working on. I respectfully requested the Economic team 's presence at our May 5th council meeting.and no one showed. I am now requesting, with ample time in advance, to have all Economic team members at our next council meeting to respond [to] unanswered questions and concerns that still are open."
Enter John Orsini the Meanie

I told you about this on Monday and yesterday. This was more than NorCo DCED Specialist John Orsini could bear. At 9:19 am, during business hours, he posted this personal attack, which even includes Council::
As one who works within this "bloated department", I have to say that the "bloat" is non-existent. The department is a consolidation of past functions that have been brought under one roof, and in fact has the same number of people that it had before the consolidation. I've been hearing from Bernie's trolls since I joined the department over a year ago, and have never been subjected to such lies, attacks and gossip. Bernie's trolls all have plenty to say that is not based on fact, only on innuendo, rumor, and unsubstantiated claims from people in various levels of the county and the community, and some I suspect, who may sit on the very Council that governs this county.

If you're going to try to destroy someone's reputation, Bernie, at least meet that person face to face and form your own opinion. How many of us in DCED have you met? I walk past you every day in your pursuit of dirt. You don't know who I am or where I work. Why not? As an ex-lawyer, I'm sure you know that here in America, you're innocent until proven guilty.

The people of DCED are dedicated professionals who work hard every day to try and make the County a better place. If this is repulsive to some, then so be it. I would consider the source when reading this blog. So to all you anonymous cowards...IDENTIFY YOURSELVES AND BE KNOWN AS THE TROLLS THAT YOU ARE.

By the way, the only bloated thing around the county is Bernie...

(I will be surprised if you post this, in whole or in part, as it doesn't fit your style of character assassination)\

John Orsini, DCED Specialist
At about 10:30 am, while I was working on a title search, Orsini confronted me in the Recorder of Deed's Office. I took it out into the hallway, and when I told him he has a bloated and ineffective department, he began poking me and telling me that I should be trying to get him more money.

He then said he wanted to talk to me, but wanted me to agree that everything he says is confidential. I refused to give him confidentiality, but met him in a lounge so we could speak freely without disturbing others. But when I got him alone, he refused to tell me where he worked before coming to the county, how long he has worked here, or his salary. He said his comment was made from his smart phone at break time (9:15 am). He said he has flexible break times. My conversation in the lounge with him was at 10:40 am, and he said he was on break again. After the conversation was over, he came back to tell me, this time in the presence of others, that he understood why I hate government and that it must be tough to lose my law license.

Orsini is paid $46,017.30 per year, and has only been working for the county for a year. His LinkedIn page shows that he is a journeyman, never lasting very long in any one job.

And he won't be lasting that long at Northampton County. He confirmed he has given two week's notice, and may have helped himself out the door even sooner with his antics yesterday.

I hear there may be some slots open in Allentown.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, all the rats are jumping off the DCED ship. No loss. It is incredibly disgusting to learn that Brownie's crony is earning over $70 K for basically doing nothing, and earns more than Sywensky was, when she was in that position for a decade, and actually knew what she was doing. Timmy is another example of Brown padding the payroll with unqualified cronies at salaries that far exceed their predecessors. Norco voters cannot wait for the opportunity to vote Brown out of office next year. Worst county executive ever. And most corrupt as well.

Anonymous said...

WHAT $46,017.30 as a DCED Specialist and only 1 year with the County!!!!!!!!! Employees that have many more years with the County and degrees for their job don't make that. How did that happen!!!!

Anonymous said...

You're a pitiful man, Bernie. I truly feel sorry for you. Get some help.

Anonymous said...

It is well known that O'Hare has no ability to "poke" anyone, unless its from his safe zone of keyboard anonymous cyberbullying. 99.9% of the Anonymous remarks here are penned by O'Hare himself. Sad that his lilliputin friend in Whitehall won't give him the proper legal advice. Lies and character assassination are not protected forms of speech.

Anonymous said...

Someone calls you on your ugliness and you lash out with revenge. Nobody really believes what you write, only your cronies, many of whom I believe are really you yourself commenting on your own posts. You can keep it up and dig yourself deeper, or you can become the man that MUST be hiding in that frightened shell somewhere. I know you believe you got stiffed and must be extremely bitter over losing your law license, now relegated to "Title Searcher". We all get stiffed at one time or another, myself included. You either deal with it and move on or you do what you do. Life is too short to do the latter. I commend you for admitting on your LinkedIn page that you were "guilty as hell" and that you're a recovering alcoholic. Takes balls to do that. I'm hoping you did that on you own and not as a result of someone "outing" you. It also takes balls to man up and stop trying to bring people down with you. Rise up Bernie.

I know this will never see the light of day, because you delete everything that makes you look bad. I also know that you will read it; at least I hope you will.

BTW, this is from your own "Leave your comment" blurb: "You own views are appreciated, especially if they differ from mine.... I will delete personal attacks or off-topic remarks at my discretion...If you attack someone personally, I expect you to identify yourself.", BUT it's ok for you to personally attack someone, AND it's ok for all the ANONYMOUS posters to do it as well. Hypocritical? I guess the key words here are "at my discretion"

Try to have a good life...over and out.

(You know who this is)

Anonymous said...

O'Hare simulates multiple personalities on his blog, chats with himself all day, and then cannot keep his identities straight. He is a classic poster person of "DID" (Disassociative Personality Disorder) which bloomed in his deluded mind years ago, after failing, and being rejected from everything and everyone....from his own family, to his career, and every civilized member of society.

He is so toxic and radioactive that he has to hide behind a computer, troll facebook pages and linkedin, and make up horrific lies about those he hates (everyone). He engages in "projection" (a psychological defense mechanism) to justify his sadistic behviour, as a "service to the community" to "Expose Corruption"...when in reality, O'Hare loves corruption in government when there is a direct benefit for himself or his one and only crony Ron Angle.

Send him to a polygraph test and it would blow up. Placing his hand on the bible to swear to tell the truth , would cause the great book to ignite on the spot. Tell him to look in the mirror, and it will crack. It is a fact that O'Hare is a messenger of Lucifer, who is never interested in repenting for his multiple sins.

Let's all have a prayer for O'Hare!

Anonymous said...

Orsinus Maximus a large Forrest dwelling simian/hominid who is well known as a serial scat flinger both in captivity and the wild.

Anonymous said...

O'hare was only "stiffed" for a period of 2 years in a suspension from the practice of law. The condition he faced to get his law license back, was submitting a mental and physical exam proving he was emotionally and physically capable of resuming the duties of his profession. Meaning, he had to PROVE he was not still NUTZ and a danger to his clients. He cannot meet that requirement, hence his repulsive antics from a computer. He was never rehabilitated and remains unlicensed because you cannot fix CrAzY!!!

Anonymous said...

Attempting to smear the blogger are pitiful responses to the truth. I for one am not a fan of the blogger here but I do respect his right to give voice to issues that are ignored by the local rags. No one else does investigative journalism in the region so Bernie is all we got. You want to refute his take..come out of hiding and state your case.

Anonymous said...

Say a prayer for Brown and his minions. What a mess he has made of county government. He is and remains the worst county executive we have ever had to endure. A BS artist of the highest caliber.

Anonymous said...

O'Hare is not , in any sense of the word , and "investigative reporter." He engages in character assasination for sport, makes up lies, and gets a great deal of pleasure out of his unbalanced and unhinged personal attacks . His rage is displayed here, when some unsuspecting person "slighted " O'Hare in some way...no matter how small, or insignificant. These perceived "slights" are what fuels his outrageous libel, with no respect for facts or truth, hence , no legit news source will touch this sadist with a 10 foot pole.

He does not contact anyone , does not seek the truth, does not provide a fair account of his gripe, rather, just makes up his lies as he moves along, with no regard for anyone, except his own narcissistic desire to lash out at good people.

If you think this is admirable, I really pity you.

Anonymous said...

Opinions are like...

Anonymous said...

Everybody got one!

Anonymous said...

BTW 7:44 am, the local rags do a great job at smearing people in public office. They do cover all elected officers at each level of government. They have written dozens of stories about the corruption in Allentown, even more about Nazareth and its continued legal problems, the City of Easton and its parking problems/ code problems, and the way tickets are issued, and many more

Dozens of stories on the Gracedale saga, grand jury reports about the Bethlehem Museum. EASD covering up crimes, Bethlehem elected official in "Fox Environmental Center scandal" , several stories about the fray going on over Martin Tower redevelopment, and many more stories that are very critical of the County Executive himself.

The difference between the local rags and O'Hare is that they work with facts, not fiction. Sad that you fail to see this, and cheerlead the actions of the disgraced blogger. The blogger would not know the TRUTH if it hit him like a freight train. Its the least of his concern...only petty personal attacks that are based on emotion / rage, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

I thought the word "Orsini" is the latin term for anus in the dictionary and I think Im right.

The stretchy part of the rectum and can work for DCED and known for stupidity and loud mouth........ Isn't that why Brown brought him to the Courthouse?

Orsini is an asshole in English and anus in Latin and definitely a walking courthouse rectum-

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

I am surprised at your praise of the Lehigh valley economic development corporation, which is a private group of fixers, who will use government to assist them in making millions by re zoning land that was purchased as agriculture and turning it into industrial. by waving the government magic wand they are able to turn lead into gold.

Anonymous said...

You really touched a live nerve here. The push back from this Orsini guy is very obvious otherwise there would be little comment on what we already know is a county DCED office that does nothing and gets paid well to do it.

JoAnn Kennedy said...

Remember that conversation ? The one about the $25,000 grant that was given to DCED to see if Northampton County needed an animal shelter. Remember there was some controversy about where the money originally came from? Casino gambling proceeds ? Well I called the DCED - they stammered and stalled and told me they needed tracking numbers or a contract number. I gave her dates when the money might has been expended, from the minutes and from completed white paper report. Alicia could not find it or help me, so much for DCED. OFf to the governor's office, where I get to speak to Brenda - who tells me it's not up to me to look for the information-it's up to DCED to track all expenditures coming out of the State and into the Counties.apparently their is a list of all monies sent to each county. HMMM anyway if you want Brenda's email is brrios@pa.gov. Thanks for reminding me I have to follow up with her today

Anonymous said...

Bernie THANK YOU FOR your Blog and putting the truth out there. Why wasn't this county paid for on my tax money working instead of slithering the hallways looking for you?

Please let the little man with his "two week notice" that he should get to work instead of lurking the hallway and thinking about his next 2 places of employment.

Why doesn't he tell us his last two places he worked and why he is no longer there? The county tax payer does have a right to know! He cant tell you where and why he isn't there- Why?? LOL He and I know why and so does the Brown Administration.

The future employer I'm sure doesn't realize what a gem this tool is.

And please capitalize the word LOSER for this scub.

Anonymous said...

LVEDC is not the enemy here. An inoperable county office who is paid very well has done..NOTHING!

Anonymous said...

Bernie, looks like your fan club was up early this morning to spew their ugly comments. Actually, seems like the same person regurgitating his/her venom. My bet would be that it is our latest psycho employee Orsini shooting his load before he begins his busy day of coffee breaks at the courthouse. So sad he has given his notice. A tremendous loss to the county.

Anonymous said...

And they have done nothing because of the county executives mandate to do..NOTHING!

Anonymous said...

That's what R's do best...NOTHING!

Anonymous said...

8:25 right on! But there is a typo in you comment. He is a SCRUB. A bench player who would miss an easy layup if ever given a chance to come in the game. A journeyman at best. He may have a future as a greeter at Walmart. That is, as long as he doesn't poke and argue with customers.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
It sounds to me like the spinkter triad reprehensible infections have infiltrated one of your first class informative pieces today with the ra ra section of failiar and losing?!(? I am very sure that soon there will be smoke were there is fire, creating another smokescreen for these infections to pop in triboro failiar for the people put to print as positives on spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations that are all part of the circus rape robbery and pilliaging?! ($
I am beginning to think blinda the good witch of the north should wave here wand so the nightmare of the triboro by design will come to an end, and the descriptive yet indescriptive people that are in this storybook will be melting like the wicked witch of the west?! ($
Re:publican redd

Anonymous said...

So much constructive insight! The scholars are at it again. I find it quite entertaining actually.

Anonymous said...

Learn to write

Anonymous said...

My employee Orsini should be working instead of harrassing people in the courthouse. He has no business even talking to you. He is a public servant and his pay is paid for by you and I- the taxpayer.

Why isn't this man working? Im paying for him to be there WORKING.

Anonymous said...

Consultants don't work and neither do they create anything. Nature of the beast.

Anonymous said...

You folks should go into comedy.

Anonymous said...

Never in Norco county government history has good will been squandered so badly by a department. Donaher was council's darling when she started. She used her charm and oratory skills to bamboozle council about the efficacy of her department. Eventually she poo-pooed DCED's job creation responsibilities. She was able to hire staff when other departments were not. She was given every resource to succeed. Full staff at bigger salaries. Was allowed to gobble up other divisions. Given every latitude to show results. But no results came. Instead, DCED approved a grant to creating jobs in LEHIGH COUNTY. They tried to unilaterally change the process of awarding hotel tax grants, to council's fury. They stopped showing up for council meetings. They began to stonewall council with job creation reports. Now Donaher is gone, and Timmy is in charge. Other staff have left or are leaving. Brown's big dream of a first-class DCED program is a bitter memory. Talk about a fall from grace! When Brown is out in 2018 there will be an opportunity to reorganize or abolish this department. Can't come too soon.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps DCED is a dead issue for the county. Award the grant/casino monies thru council and be done with it. LVEDC has stepped up and is now the lead organization as to Valley wide development issues. Keep Brian Cope and flush the rest.

Anonymous said...

Must be one of your friends, Bernie

Anonymous said...

Bernie, it's time to investigate emergency management and 911. Robert Mateff has been gone to PEMA for almost a year. Those of us at the 911 center have been without leadership. Brown has refused to hire a County resident endorsed by the majority of fire & police chiefs after 3 rounds of interviewing. The individual even had PEMA and FEMA endorsements. The acting director is under investigation by HR and they won't tell us why. The 911 Center and Emergency management is rudderless. God forbid we have a repeat of hurricane Sandy or major disaster. Check it out. Brownie and crew have another mess on their hands.

Anonymous said...

This is gold, Bernie, gold! I haven't laughed this much in a long time. You reading this Orsini?

Anonymous said...

Call Cathy Allen..she is in charge due to Brown's state wide campaign schedule right now.

Anonymous said...

Should have put Cathy in charge of DCED.

Bernie O'Hare said...

JoAnn Kennedy, The money for the stray animal study came from casino table games revenue, which can be spent for anything deemed to be in the county's interest.

Anonymous said...

You deleted my reply Bernie!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I usually delete anonymous personal attacks like the ones at 6:40, 6:50, 7:25, 7:34 and 8:06. Today I decided to keep them up there since they only attack me so you all can see examples of the kinds of comments that get deleted. These comments come mostly from Tricia Mezzacappa, who often takes to LVL under various pseudonyms to launch personal attacks aimed at me. She gave herself away in several ways, including when she refers to my "lilliputian" friend. That is a reference to my attorney, Rick Orloski.

She hates him because he represents me.

I have known Rick for many years. He is known as a fighter for the little guy, though I'm not so little. I can tell you all that Rick's clients love him. I see that when i go to his office. They love him bc he does everything he can for them. To him, the practice of law is a profession in the classic sense of the word.

Rick is also well respected by other attorneys and, more importantly, the courts. He is a good lawyer known for interesting arguments.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You deleted my reply Bernie!"

If you were deleted, it is bc you engaged in an anonymous personal attack aimed at a reader or someone who is not part of this conversation.

Anonymous said...

Can the end of this administration come too soon? Please J. Brown just go away and take all your idiots with you. Go back to were ever you came from and never darken a public office with your presence again.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Sounds like you touched some nerves. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Bryan Cope was one of the county's best hires in years. It is sad to see him transfered to the dumpster fire known as DCED. I would keep him and Collis and flush the rest, including little Timmy.

Anonymous said...

John Orsini when you google your name this blog will be front and center, I suggest contacting reputation defender or some similar organization to combat the effects of this toxic and regrettable episode. John Orsini Bernie's army of trolls will defend their leader fervently while sitting in the basement of their remaining parental figures.

John Orsini you are a beautiful large man by the photo Bernie provided it seems you have some bloat going on yourself I would look into a line of work going forward where you get sufficient daily exercise such as landscaping or zumba instructor.

Good luck in moving forward John Orsini, you may not be a meanie but Bernie has verbally castrated you rendering you a eunuch.

Anonymous said...

Karma is a bitch. You get what you deserve in the end or sometimes...sooner. Don't kill the messenger when you hear something you don't want aired in public. Know who you are poking beforehand!

Anonymous said...

1:58 your suggested career changes for Mr O while well meaning would likely result in his demise due to cardiac arrest. Perhaps something less stressful I.e. Walmart greeter or usher at a movie theater.

JoAnn Kennedy said...

Bernie, no it didn't got it straight from the DCED in Harrisburg -- Bill White said the same thing.. came from the casinos. However, DCED told me different and I went diggin. Now we all know how screwed up gubbermint can be so Brenda at the Gov's office in Philly is now investigating it -- will let you know and share her findings

Bernie O'Hare said...

Joanne, I know where it comes from and you are mixing up the state and county DCED. It comes from the table games revenue at the Sands.

Anonymous said...

Please don't disrupt the trouhg feeders. They become agitated when their tax dollar feeding frenzy is interrupted. Thank you

Anonymous said...

John Orsini has a lot of connections to the "old families" of mother Italy, they don't cotton to (power) bottom feeding bloggers sullying the good name of their clan.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? The guy looks like Morty Seinfeld.

Anonymous said...

More like Jack Klampas...

Anonymous said...

The old adage "history repeats itself" is never more true than in Northampton County. What happened at DCED is now happening again in the Human Resources Department. A new head is appointed and the first thing she does is remodel the offices. Next she hires additional staff leading to the same bloat that we see in DCED. Spend more money and get no results. When are this County Executive and County Council going to wake up?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nice try. The big difference is that Donaher did not know what she was doing, and Amy Trapp does. Council has already seen that she is a knowledgeable HR pro. She will do a lot of good for most County employees, and will pull out the weeds. Long overdue.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

You know what you need to be doing for me? Getting me more money!

I would have been shocked if a public servant ever said that to me.

Can you elaborate on that more? Like what was he implying? Or what was the context that he was demanding that?

How does someone come out of nowhere and say something like that? This guy must be a real humdinger.

Anonymous said...

No more picking on Johnnie O! He needed to bloviate before bouncing out of DCED. He is history, along with Lori and DD. Betting lines are forming for the rest of the staff. Little Timmy has 4-1 odds.