Friday, August 18, 2006

Northampton County Exec Plans to Veto Norco Official Payraise

I've told you about last night's ordinance granting a payraise to Northampton County elected officials. Two highly placed sources tonight inform me that county exec John Stoffa plans to veto that folly. I don't know John's rationale, but he's certainly doing the right thing.

Proponents of this measure correctly argue you get what you pay for. But the increase is so low it guarantees that public office in Northampton County will be sought only by the wealthy, the retired or political hacks.

Even more importantly, a payraise for elected officials is a slap across the face of hardworking and long suffering county employees who've seen diddly squat for three years. Their flagging morale, made worse by massive layoffs and unhealthy working conditions, sank a little lower today. In a few short hours, four county employees complained to me about "big shots" who give themselves money without thinking of the county's backbone - its rank and file workers. Stoffa's veto might restore some of the confidence destroyed by eight long years under Reibman and an indifferent court.

Where I come from, enlisted men eat first!

Hooray for our team!


LVDem said...

I've heard the same thing... expect some main stream coverage early next week.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is considering a veto - but has not yet made a decision.

Now we can argue about who is higher-placed.

Anonymous said...

why not amend the legislation-make its passage contingent upon the ratification of the outstanding union contracts? employees get their raises, and you eventually open up the field of qualified candidates as well.

LSTresidentPIA said...

I didn't vote for Mr. Stoffa, but I think I am beginning to like him. I just hope that he shows us that he can and will do the right things as county exeuctive.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Anon,
"Stoffa is considering a veto - but has not yet made a decision.

Now we can argue about who is higher-placed."
I'm sorry, but I don't get what you're driving at here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Anon, The idea of amending the legislation is an excellent suggestion. These raises don't go into effect until the next Council and next Exec term. So why not redraft the legislation after the veto?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I read accounts in both the ET & MC today, so I know my sources were accurate.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To LSTresidentPIA: I think you'll find Stoffa is a decent and honorable man, something unheard of in Norco politics. Some people, like Bob Daday and Joe Long, are out to hurt him simply bc he's not one of their boys. That's unfortunate fro them. It's more unfortunate for the rest of us who are interested in good government.

Bernard P. Fife said...

Bernie, I’m sure you realize that the Northampton County Execs are not alone in what they are doing to the county employees. Unfortunately, this happens everywhere. I spent the last 14 years working as an employee of the state of Florida (I now live in the Lehigh Valley and work with another company). Six of those years were under the illustrious Governor Jeb Bush. All six of those years the state employees got no raises. Three of the years we got no cost of living adjustment. The other three years we only got a 2% COLA (except for the employees in the Governors office. They got hefty raises each year).

Jeb also cut our benefits, privatized some of our agencies and laid off hundreds of workers. He created a costly “brain drain” as many of our talented employees left for other jobs. He shut down the state’s personnel department, fired the state employees working there, and hired a company from “Texas” (Convergys) to take over. He signed a multi-million dollar contract with them and they promised not to use overseas companies. They (Convergys) proceeded to hire inexperienced people and paid them low wages. After a year, they were still not running up to speed and requested more money from Jeb. The Gov, without blinking an eye, gave them several more million dollars of taxpayer money.

Several weeks ago I received a letter from the state of Florida informing me that Convergys lied and did use overseas companies, in violation of the contract, and my personnel records might have been exposed. The kindhearted Governor offered us one year of free service from a credit protection company so we can monitor our private accounts to see if anyone from India, or who knows where, is stealing our identity.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. Florida is a "right to work" state and our union was powerless. Jeb knew that and refused to meet with them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Bernard P. Fife, Thanks for the Florida insight. I don't think very highly of Jeb Bush's reign as governor so it's no surprise to me that you were treated this way. But I am apalled there is no difference between a R governor who at least is following his own philosophy and a NORCO Council who, whatever they say, put themselves in front of the people who work there.