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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Comm'r No Defends His Attendance Record

Yesterday, I posted LC Comm'r Andy Roman's explanation for his poor meeting attendance. He failed to make the sale with me. But recently re-elected Glenn Eckhart, known affectionately as Comm'r No, was more persuasive. I think I was wrong to have called him a showhorse. Here's what he tells me.

"Bernie, if you look at my attendance, I have a 96.3% at regular board meetings which puts me tie for second. I am tied for second as committee chairs go on attendance at 94.4%. The others committees on which I sit - Planning as Vice Chair 66.7%, Development 61.1%, and Judicial 50% - are a more accurate account of my attendance because in other committees, I have no vote.

"My full time job as a Service Manager for Scotts Lawn Service is a job at which I wear no suit. I have to come home and take a shower before every meeting. My job requires that I go to customers with lawn problems. I also spend time training and working with pesticides. I am unable to leave work before 5:00 or 5:30. You aren't discriminating against me for working in a blue collar field are you? In fact, the blue collar Democrats who elected me this year and every time I am up for election tell me all the time I am one of them. That is what they like about me. They like where I come from.

"I would make it to every committee meeting if I could just leave my job and come straight to the government center. But I can't and am sometimes delayed. I am sorry you feel that I am just a show horse but I do what is best for my constituents, my family and my full time job, which I have to have to pay my bills. I am extremely engaged in my job as a commissioner whether you like it or not, and my attendance at committee meeting does nothing to change that.

"The meetings that count most are the regular meetings. I missed just one, and that was only because I was in training for my full time job out of state. I even held a press conference explaining my position on an important vote last year before I left town so everyone knew how I felt about it."


Anonymous said...

You go Glenn. Good for you for standing up for yourself. You will get no truth or justice from Ohare.

He is a wanna be Bully like his idol Angle, so you have to call him on his character assinations and lies.

Anonymous said...

It's the perfect time of year for County Commissioners to begin
to live broacast their meetings for those individuals unable to attend. Why aren't the meetings televised?

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

Nice clarification about Eckhart. He's always come across to me as taking the job very seriously.

On a related note, I just read Bill White's column complaining that the Northampton Council officer elections were decided ahead of time, and (while technically legal) violated the spirit of the Sunshine Law.

Since you blogged about the Browning-McCarthy election DAYS before the vote actually happened, perhaps you could tell us everyone who was involved in violating the spirit of the Sunshine Law over here in Lehigh County.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am unaware of any meetings of any kind among LC officialas deciding on leadership positions. I am aware that, individually, Comm'rs were lobbying other comm'rs and sending out emails. When I arrived for the meeting on Monday night, I was not really sure whether Dean or Dan would be elected.

Now in NC, there was apparently a meeting among all the Rs to discuss the Presidency. This would have included the four R Council memers (Angle, Ferarro, Cusick & Dowd) as well as three electees (Thierry, Gilbert & Dietrich). The Sunshine Act applies to any back door meeting of a quorum of council members. You may say seven members constitutes a quorum. But what Bill White does not get is that 3 of these Rs were not on council, so how the hell can the Sunshine Act supply to them? There's no violation, and I'm not even sure that the Spirit of the law was violated, but I get nervous when a collection of council members meet behind closed doors to discuss county business.

Anonymous said...

First, Bernie, I like Glenn's response. He reinforces the challenges associated with opening gov't up to those who don't hold flexible jobs. Glenn's explanation brought that to light.

As far as the comments about Sunshine Law in Norco: on a legal basis, no laws were broken, but it was a back room deal. I will allow you and other lawyers to debate the spirit of laws and such, but from my perspective, it was a backroom deal. That is bad gov't.


Bernie O'Hare said...

I am reluctantly forced to agree.

Anonymous said...

Glenn is the real deal, we are lucky to have him in office in Lehigh County.
Bernie, thanks for posting his response.

Anonymous said...

Hey Geoff, Bernie's not a lawyer anymore. The Pa supreme court saw to that.

Anonymous said...

Actually anon 5:23, Bernie saw to it, still does!