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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Will LV Health Comm'n Ever Meet Again?

Last week's second ever meeting of the LV Health Commission was over before it ever started. Northampton County Council failed to provide a quorum. One of the absent members, Lamont McClure, refused to attend because the very idea of a regional health department annoys him. That's fine, but how about a little courtesy? McClure not only refused to attend, but refused to tell anyone he would be absent. As a result, four Northampton County Council members and seven Lehigh County Commissioners made a trip to downtown Allentown for nothing.

The meeting has been rescheduled for June 16th, but whether it actually occurs is anyone's guess. McClure has announced he will boycott any meetings as a LV Health Commissioner. Ron Angle is boycotting downtown Allentown, too, unless he runs out of Rolexx watches. The beating readers gave him over his comedy bit has really hurt his feelings. Diane Neiper, who has previously announced her intention to resign, has apparently already flown the coop.

That leaves six. Five are needed. Any bets?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hopefully someone could be on Council who has a good knowledge base on Health Departments and understands funding and Authorities.
At least then Council could get an honest and dispassionate take on the idea. No one on Council seems to be very knowledgable about the entire health Department debate.

Anonymous said...

Bi County Health Commission is way too sophisticated for Norco. Lehigh's there but Norco, always behind everyone else, needs a few decades. No one on Council is knowledgale about County government, especially Human Services or Health. We have out of work electrician, an insurance clerk, a paralegal who spends all day commenting on blogs at work, this is way over their head.

Anonymous said...

Nice picture of the kid licking your face O'hare

Anonymous said...

It remains to be seen if the health board, which is made up of professionals, will put up with these shenanigans for much longer.

I am concerned that NorCo's Council will be obnoxious jerks to the health board next week (if enough show up for a quorum).

Lehigh will probably wind up going it alone, after the Health Board disbands due to Council's lack of professionalism.

Have to agree with Bill White on this- bunch of maroons.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
This is horrible for Northampton county officials to not go out of their way to be sure to attend.
What they really communicated through their absence (unless ill or a loved one ill is that they are more important than all those folks who took time to attend. Time away from their loved ones and activities. If they are so lazy, kick them off council! Disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of lack of knowledge or even trying to become informed,
Bernie, Did you get to read about
BASD and their bond issues?

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is why I don't, as a rule, do school boards. Someone gets a little knowledge and then starts suggesting everyone else is not even trying to be informed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do hope to become better informed this week, but don't think it's a good idea to start things off by slamming someone who is not.

LVCI said...

I'd still like my Rolexx back.
:-)

Anonymous said...

From 1:37 am through 8:35 am, this is one of the better threads I've read on this blog pertaining to a regional health department. How do we start some real, factual discussions on the impact a health department can have on the Lehigh Valley?

Who's educating the decision-makers here? If McClure still believes that a regional health department is in competition with universal health care, we're all in trouble. We must talk about the impact of a health department before we can talk about the cost. To some of the uninformed, it will always cost too much.

Bernie, right now your blog is providing the best coverage of what's happening with the regional health department. I don't always agree with your opinions, but must say that you have been reporting on this topic fairly and accurately. Please keep it up...right now you're the best we have.....Yikes!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"...right now you're the best we have.....Yikes!"

Then we're in trouble.

lighthouse said...

Lehigh will probably wind up going it alone Anon 7:07

While directed to the Health Commission this comment could also be made about the proposed Treatment Center. I know different topic and variables, but the pattern is still the same. Lehigh reaches out in offer of regional cooperation, and NorCo elements don't want to give up the power inherent in parochialism. And, in the end, Lehigh will have both while NorCo is still embroiled in politics (I almost think for the sake of politics).

Anonymous said...

It'll never happen. Norco's too provincial and xenophobic and doesn't like being a leader or trailblazer in anything. They prefer to drag behind the other counties. Lehigh needs to give up on them and just consider them for comic relief.

Anonymous said...

5:13 you may be right, but there's apparently a method to the madness. Read the recent post that shows NorCo's fiscal house to be in better order than LC's. Perhaps it's better not to enter into arrangements until LC becomes a more stable partner.

Anonymous said...

Northampton County is going to have its taxpayers bail the City of Allentown out of its Health Bureau. Norco is being conned.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't believe in killing something until we know what it is. Any attempt to kill the health Commission now is necessarily borne out of ignorance because we really don't know what shape it will take.

It might be a terrible idea once everything is fleshed out, but it might be benign. What is the argument against giving helath professionals time to come up with a plan that uses no tax dollars other than the ones McClure wasted when he permitted a meeting to be scheduled, knowing he would not be there?

Anonymous said...

Well put, Bernie. Isn't the opportunity to track communicable disease, improve food handling by local servers, improve the quality of water and air, lower the high rates of diabetes, heart disease, asthma and low birth weight, reduce tobacco use and help get our children more active (just to name a few things) worth giving these health professionals an opportunity. If that costs $500,000 of casino revenue (as per Mr.Stoffa), brings in state and federal funds (up to $7.50 per person x the # of people in Northampton County) and creates a bunch of new jobs, isn't it County Council's responsibility to investigate how a health department might improve the quality of ALL (not just the poor, Lamont)of our lives?

Anonymous said...

Politics may destroy what might have been a good idea.

Not saying it is, or was, but may be or may have been.

You gotta understand the players in this deal and what their prurient self interest is.

Anonymous said...

Two things, "Halth Professionals" and "Educate", deadly combination.

Those who wish to "educate" elected officals may need a lesson in who public officials are responsible to. A former County Councilman I respect told me how he would get ready for arrgoance as soon as some proponent of an idea came to "educate", them on an issue.
What followed was just an attempt to get taxpayer money to fund another pet project.

Please remember that while the "health professionals', on the Board are good and decent people, they all support the proposed Health Department. The Pool Trust, Twin Rivers Partnership and the Lehigh Valley Partnership all support the Health Department. The Hospitals love the idea of the health Department. They will even throw a few bucks to start it. The cost is in the operation not the start-up.

This thing does deserve a fair hearing, and I think McClure was wrong to stiff the meeting but lets be honest the group will have a plan and they will endorse it. They will say it is great, it is needed and it will pay for itself.

The job of "good" Councilmemvbers is to do their job and weigh the costs and benefits of the plan, project out real costs in the long run and make the right decision regardless of who is happy or angry.

That, is an education on elected officials for free.

Anonymous said...

And worth every penny

Bernie O'Hare said...

"This thing does deserve a fair hearing,"

Then we agree. This may be worthwhile ... or not. We don't know that until we hear them out.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:13 - I would generally agree with you but for one major exception. NorCo's EMS department is light years more advanced than Lehigh's. Besides a highly-effective reverse-911 system they now have NotifyNC which enables the public to receive emergency alerts on PDA's and computers. NorCo EMS response to the truck spill in Wind Gap was a work of art. In one major, critical area NorCo outshines Lehigh.

Anonymous said...

Angle's feelings hurt by those mean comments about his behavior on your blog? Awwwww. When he is done sulking and back to hurting everyone else's feelings we will rejoice knowing that all is right with the world.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:50, Thank you for a well thought out and interesting take on the Health Department matter.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Angle's feelings hurt by those mean comments about his behavior on your blog? Awwwww."

Actually, they aren't. I lied. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 10:05, I think he got a little to close for comfort.

Anonymous said...

I encourage every one of you to attend next Tuesday's meeting. As constituents, we need to have our voices heard.

I am curious about something....Do the taxpayers of Northampton County know that we are already paying for a county health department that we are not able to utilize? For those who do not know this it's because our council members (Ron Angle) do not bother to tell constituents the real facts about the bi-county initiative.

Please attend these meetings so you have a clear idea about what the bi-county can do for us in Northampton County.

Pennsylvania is living in the 19th century; the state is 50th out of the 50 states in offering public health services - even behind Louisiana!

We desperately need some kind of public health services in our county.

Anonymous said...

If we are paying for one already, why create a new one?

You know the answer, this is not about Public Health but Public dollare. The more the better. Elected officials please get all the facts before agreeing to this sham.