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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stoffa's "Nuts & Bolts" Exec Report

A new feature at Northampton County Council meetings is the Executive's Report. John Stoffa uses it as an opportunity to inform the public, as well as legislators, about the latest "nuts and bolts" operations. He also sometimes responds to comments made during Courtesy of the Floor, when the public is given an opportunity to speak. This also enables Council members to question the Exec about matters of concern to them. This is a summary of Stoffa's report from the Council meeting conducted on Thursday night.

1) New Human Resources Director. - Stoffa's pick, Patricia Siemiontkowski, a former Allentown City Solicitor, has been submitted to Ann McHale's Personnel Committee. "I hope she passes, I think she's a good candidate."

2) Foreclosure program. - 812 cases heard, 105 agreements reached, for a success rate of about 13%. Hearings are scheduled until August 1.

3) Handicapped accessibility. - A lift has been installed at the employees' entrance to help the elderly and those with disabilities. It is being tested and should be operational soon. Council Prez Ron Angle wisecracks, "Bernie wants to know why there isn't a weight restriction plate. He wanted to get on, but did't see the maximum." Stoffa reassures, "I think he'll be alright."

4) Parking Deck repairs. - CMX Engineering, which would have overseen these improvements, is out of business. Stoffa will seek council approval of a new contract with an engineering firm that has hired a CMX engineer who did all the design work for the repairs.

5) Weapons check. - Even police officers must check their weapons when entering the courthouse. They are currently stored immediately behind the screening area, but "we think that's a dangerous situation." A separate entrance and storage area is being designed for police officers and others carrying weapons.

6) Hire Vision. - Council member John Cusick asked Stoffa about the County's new contract with Hire Vision. Stoffa explained it's needed because long-time employee Bob Lasko is retiring. "He handles, unemployment, he handles workers' comp, he handles a lot of things. ... We're trying to make sure that there's no loss of footing as he leaves."

Cusick: "Wasn't there supposed to be some cross-training done there ..."

Stoffa: "Yeah, we always talk about that, we never do it."


Anonymous said...

Two points.

First Stoffa's pick for Human Resources Director, isn't she the disaster that came up with the horrible police pension package in Allentown under Afflerbach. Are you kidding me?? Stoffa can't be that tone deaf.

Second, Cusick asks about cross-training, something he said he was doing fron his first year on. So four years later he jokes that they haven't got around to it? Now hiring some company to do a job HR should be doing. Hell, Lasko was crappy at his job. So how did this company show up? Any bids? Who are they connected too? How much and how long?

I know you are a Stoffa fanatic Bernie but both of these situations are troubling.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1) She was a lawyer who worked under Afflerbach and Haydt. Don't believe she had anything to do w/ the pension, but I'm sure that question will be asked.

2) Cross-training should have been implemented by now. it should not be just intra-departmental but inter-departmental. It would enable the county to do more with less and prevent layoffs.

Anonymous said...

If she was a lawyer, what the hell does she know about HR. The word was she was involved in HR in Allentown. That means she had to be involved in the pension fiasco.

Of course County Council will let it slid. They already proved they are paper tigers, more interested in making silly partisan motions not part of County government.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Like I said, I am sure the question will be asked. If she is closely tied to that, I can't see anyone voting to confirm her.