The Express Times has a weekly feature awarding trophies and turkeys over recent events. This week, Northampton County managed to get both.
First, the good news. A trophy was awarded To Northampton County Executive John Stoffa, who had the good sense to the kill the Doe Hollow boat launch project in Upper Mount Bethel Township after supervisors called it "a total waste of money" that would be washed out by floods.
But a turkey went To Northampton County and Colonial HealthCare Inc., its health care provider, for wasting more than $100,000 in taxpayers' money in 2005 on health plan fees for ineligible employees and 47 employees who had died. Before paying administrative fees and claims, someone should have been routinely checking to make sure the costs incurred were for eligible health care plan participants. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli has launched a criminal investigation that could result in charges against anyone who knowingly took advantage of this slipshod practice. Stay tuned.
Both trophy and turkey indicate that Stoffa is moving in the right direction. The health care waste occurred before he was the county's top dog. And he has stopped an ill-conceived boat launch along the Delaware that would have become a costly environmental nightmare.