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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Northampton County Executive's Report

At every Northampton County Council meeting, Executive John Stoffa provides a brief report concerning different projects, and answers questions raised by Council members. This is what he told Council on March 18th. (Yes, I'm a llittle late with this one).

1) Gracedale. - There are four proposals by different consultants to study inefficiencies at the County's nursing home.

2) Archives' Needs. - The state has interviewed 58 department heads and have a "pretty comprehensive analysis of our needs. It looks like we need between 25,000 and 30,000 cubic feet of storage. Stoffa has asked that Council member John Cusick be appointed to a committee to decide how the County will address its storage needs.

3) Bethlehem Township Work Release / Treatment Center. - The County is still waiting to hear from Judge Franciosa.

4) Human Relations Department. - Interviews are being conducted, and Stoffa hopes to have someone in the next two weeks.

You can view the meeting yourself here.


Anonymous said...

Think about how much money the Stoffa Admin has blowed on consultants and the like. I mean didn't we elect these folks to make decisions??

Anonymous said...

Amen to that. I am generally supportive of Stoffa, but why do public entities - the schools are big on studies by outside parties, too - always have to go hire someone to do their work?

It's like they think the whole world functions this way. In the private sector, you look at the performance and if it isn't good, you analyze and come up with a proposal to fix it. That, or they'll find someone else to sit in your chair.

This is the type of thing that makes the public so angry. They rant about how they have to be compensated like private sector professionals, but they refuse to work like one or accept responsiblility like one. Their idea of work is, "Commission a study, hire a consultant".

Bernie O'Hare said...

I understand the criticism. I don't think a committee is necessary for the archives. Stoffa had one when he first started. He knows how much cubic feet is needed. he knows that Milides is no longer feasible, but the committee had several recommendations.

As far as gracedale is concerned, one of the big complaints is that we had a consultant who knew the ins and outs of Medicare / Medicaid reimbursement, and let that person go. There he is right. It is a very specialized area.

Anonymous said...

Heard a rumor that Franciosa's opinion was filed Friday.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Interesting. Do you know what he decided?

Anonymous said...

Supposedly another remand...but not confirmed by me.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I spoke with someone at an egg hunt who heard it from one of the ZHB Members...I believe this person, as they are trustworthy and know one of the board members well.

Catharine said...

With consultants, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. If government tried to implement a plan it developed on its own, it would be vulnerable to the suggestion that it did not know what it was doing and the plan was worthless as a result.

Ergo the consultant, who is supposed to provide legitimacy to the conclusions of the study and the recommendations.

Cannot win either way- never can make everyone happy. But the consultant provides political cover, so the easier course is to spend the money to speed the process along.

In the private sector no one second guesses your decisions and then dissects them in the local newspaper. Maybe the banking crises would have been averted had all those private sector decisions been aired before implementation. At a minimum the decision making process would have been slowed down dramatically, and maybe dragged out forever.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'll make a point to look for it first thing in the morning.

Anonymous said...

There was a company called the Zimmet Group that had bi-partisan approval who completed an exhaustive study of Gracedale. Some of the changes were implemented out here and money was saved.

Once elected Stoffa threw them out because the top Gracedale Administrators didn't like them. As well as he was mad that they were hired by the Reibman Administration. Word is Stoffa never even bothered to read their report.

Thanks Stof, another unnecessary study. I have never seen someone spend so much doing so little. Amazing!

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's utter nonsense. Stoffa kept several people who worked for Reibman in his own cabinet, to say nothing of different consultants. These constant attempts to find fault w/ Stoffa are really tiresome. He's criticized for hiring a consultant and criticized for letting one go. It's silly.

Anonymous said...

He needs to report on that rail study =700 million to build a line to connect Allentown to NYC. Taxpayers would need to put up another 11,5 million annually to make the whole show run. Marin says that this is a good first step. He should be put in charge of Allentown's budget.

Anonymous said...

Bernie does the study exist? Did Stoffa read it? If it exists and saved the County money, why hire another consultant?

I realize you love this guy but legitimate issues can be raised when it comes to constantly spending money on consultants.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am uncertain whether there ever was an actual report. My understanding was that the consultant would make recommmendations concerning billing and the county would follow them and save money. He was more like an efficiency expert.

Anonymous said...

No stop it we want another committee and another study, please!! Mr. Cusick should be on three or four committees.

Maybe while they are at it they can have a committee decide on a consultant to effectively run the County.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:16 you are correct. It was a full blown overhaul of Gracedales inadequate and inefficient procedures. The former HS Department forced Gracedale Administrators to implement the plan. When Stoffa took over the indignant Gracedale bosses got Stoffa to end the reforms and toss the study.

Imagine all the money we could have saved over the past four years.

It was much more than a billing study, it was an operational efficiency report and it has been collecting dust while the County has paid through the nose for over four years.

Of course we pay the Director, a Stoffa supporter and holdover, well over $100,00 a year to lose millions.

Good job Northampton County.

Anonymous said...

Franciosa overturned the zoning board and approved the use. Remand for imposition of conditions of approval.