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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

LVR Now a Poof Blog

If you follow this blog regularly, and God help us if you do, you know that I really hate when a blogger deletes or takes down a post. I pretty much follow the guidelines established in Rebecca's Pocket, which correctly observes that deleting an entry tends to destroy the integrity of the network. If someone links to one of my ditties, and I then delete it, I make a fool out of the person who refers to my story.

So I'm something of a purist about deleting posts. If I screw something up, and I do, I will add a correction and sometimes even write a separate blog asking for forgiveness. But the post stays.

Like an evangelist, I've even attempted, from time to time, to impose my Do Not Delete Rule on those sinners who sometimes delete a post. I've lectured and harangued them, and even have disparagingly called them "poof" bloggers. I've done it for their own good. For all my kind efforts, I've been slammed as the Pope of blogging, among other things.

How about that!

Well, move over, poof bloggers. I'm joining your ranks.

Earlier today, I posted a blog about three people who've applied for the position of Deputy Clerk to Allentown City Council. It's factually accurate. It reveals some political wrangling and in-fighting over an appointment that really should be made by the Clerk. In fact, I question whether City Council can make any appointment without a public meeting.

This morning, Council Prez Mike D'Amore called me and asked me to take the post down. Since these people are applying for a public position, I refused, and lectured him for about twenty minutes on everything from transparency in government to his poor track record in answering emails. I tried every trick I know to get him to open up about how he really feels about King Edwin. No dice. He really was just concerned about the possibility that these applicants could get in trouble. In a moment of weakness, I told him I'd take down the post if one of the mentioned applicants had failed to inform her current employer. But he had to be certain first.

In the meantime, I reviewed this situation out with several reporters, and every one of them told me to hold my ground. "Once it's out there, its out there," said one. Another told me that if someone applies for a position in local government, he would have to be a moron to really expect confidentiality.

This evening, Mike D'Amore called again. One of the applicants had indeed failed to notify her current employer. I kept my word and took down the post. It has not been deleted, but embargoed until City Council makes its appointment. At that time, my post will resurface in all its glory, along with the numerous comments that you made about this situation.

Even though I'm a miserable bastard, I'd hate to see someone get in trouble or lose her job because her boss learned from me that she is looking elsewhere. At least that's how I felt this morning.

It was a momentary weakness.

Consider this my Christmas present, Michael. Believe me, I will now be called a poof blogger and hypocrite, and will deserve every word of criticism I get. This is contrary to everything I believe about blogging. But it feels right for some reason.

I just hope I can still be called Pope. I kinda' like that.


Anonymous said...

You are and always have been a Poof Blog. Stoffa, Angle, Dent and some others who pay your freight could attest to that. You regularly dlete the Truth if it is an inconvenient Truth.

You spoke with reporters? What do you and reporters have in common? They are accountable and could lose their jobs if they knowingly lie. You have an electronic vanity press here and write whatever you want regardless of veracity.

Bernie O'Hare said...

And you read it all the time. Thanks for your support. Tell your friends, if you have any.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you're the best. Continue to follow your heart and gut

Anonymous said...

Bernie wrote:
"Another told me that if someone applies for a position in local government, he would have to be a moron to really expect confidentiality."

If you found out about these three candidates, others did too. No one applies for a govt. job
without recognizing it will become public information. We don't wish harm to anyone at their place of employment, but once someone makes a decision to apply for a job elsewhere, they must recognize others will find out.

Anonymous said...

You are probably right that confidentiality cannot really exist when you apply for a public position. But without it, I think, dozens of qualified people won't apply believing retaliation from their current employer. There is no question that the ultimate decision to employ someone where a vote is required cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality. I guess government must continue to get along with mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

Isn't D'Amore a college professor?
Surely he knows how the Internet works.

Anonymous said...

I guess government must continue to get along with mediocrity.

9:19 AM

Finally, a chance for me!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Isn't D'Amore a college professor?
Surely he knows how the Internet works."

Yes, Michael teaches basket weaving or something at some community college and don't call him Surely.

Chris Casey said...


We have had our differences on this, but I agree. you are protecting a third party, and you gave your word. I respect that.
I consider the circumstances you used in making your decision and I think that on this one, it is the correct call. I could give a crap about the slings and arrows.

We can agree to disagree, and be civil about it.

Anonymous said...

Right call Bernie.

The Banker

Sandra Walters Weiss said...

Good call Bernie,as one who has been tarred & Feathered and run out of town,I say,if ya can't take the heat then stay the heck out of the arena.
Or the kitchen....so everybody one more time .How do we spell accountability?When you are in the public eye,open the closet and check cause there are those of us out there who are yelling a-c-c-o-u-n-t-i b-i-l-i-t-y........

Anonymous said...

How is the South Side Neighborhood Center these days?

Anonymous said...

If this is a poof blog, what is the Mediocre Call?

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Banker & Others -

I must disagree on this one.

While I admire Bernie for keeping his word to Mr. D'Amore, Mr. D'Amore is not the one applying for the job. As others have noted, the person who applied for the job should have known that when one applies for a public position it is likely to become public information (I question their qualifications for the position if they did not know that).

The larger issue, apparently, is the attempt to politicize the clerk's office. The clerk's office is a valuable resource where the public can obtain information about what is going on in city government. While the Administration has frequently stonewalled the public (and council), that has not been the case with the clerk's office.

Mike Hanlon has been council's clerk for as long as I can remember and continues to do an admirable job. He doesn't play politics and readily shares any information available to him with the public. No one other than Hanlon should be choosing the Deputy Clerk. Hanlon's integrity is far above ANYONE on coucil or the Administration, and hopefully he can find someone for Deputy Clerk who is "cut from the same cloth".

While I sympathize that someone's employer may find out they have applied for another job, they should have expected that possibility.

It is far more important that Allentown residents know exactly what is going on with this position before any harm is done.

By keeping residents in the dark, we are allowing those who are trying to politicize the clerk's office to win.

That is precisely what D'Amore wants.

P.S. - Knowing D'More's integrity, I question whether D'Amore was being honest with Bernie when D'Amore called back. We'll never know on that one.