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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, June 20, 2008

Stoffa Withdraws Cabinet Appointment

At last night's meeting of Northampton County Council, exec John Stoffa quietly withdrew the nomination of Archie Disidore III as our new Director of Court Services. That was probably a wise move. At Wednesday's personnel committee hearing, it was evident that nomination is going nowhere. Some members of council view the position as an unnecessary duplication of work already being done by the Court Administrator, and think we should adopt a charter change to consolidate the two offices.

Despite similar sounding titles, these are two very different positions. For one thing, the Court Administrator is actually a state employee who reports to the President Judge. And Northampton County judges already have way too much power. They supervised most of the $43 million courthouse expansion, a disaster with close to $3 million in cost overruns.

But if council really wants to consolidate, they might as well merge the county executive and their own jobs with the Court Administrator, too. The judges already try their best to run the county behind closed doors. Might as well make it official.


Anonymous said...

It is unnecessary position created to accomodate the practical political needs at the time of the Charter changing the kind of government. A buck for anyone who knows who was the first one.

However, ammend the charter if u want to do it right.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The first Director was Gene Hartzell. I agree the position could be political, but no one could call the second Director of Court Services political. That was Maurice Dimmick. Nor could you call Bill Hillanbrand, the most recent director, a politician.

Like I said, the court administrator is a state employee and has quite enough on his plate w/o managing 6 row offices.

Anonymous said...

Why couldn't you have a Deputy Court Administrator oversee Court Services, much like you now have a Deputy Court Administrator oversee all Probation Services? It's all court related.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Because you'd have a state emplyee (who reports to the PJ) supervising cvounty employees, for one thing. The mundane tasks of filing complaints and probating wills is not something the courts will really want. Probation is something much different.

Anonymous said...

So is it true Angle told Stoffa to pull the guys name?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm sure he did. He made his oposition clear at the finance committee. But Stoffa did not pull the name until it was clear there were not five votes.

Anonymous said...

I like the picture you used. It does sort of resemble Stoffa, pretty good one Bern. You got a sense of humor.