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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lehigh County's 2010 Workhorse? Dean Browning

A few weeks ago, I gave you my annual attendance rating for Northampton County Council members. I looked at both Council and committee meetings, where the real grunt work is done. Lamont McClure scored a perfect zero. This is a similar report for Lehigh County's Board of Commissioners.

Like Northampton, Lehigh Commissioners are encouraged to participate in every committee, so it's a pretty accurate gauge of the time and effort each member devotes to government service. The committees that meet often are also a good indication of what is considered important.

Lehigh County Commissioners met 26 times in 2010, including two combined meetings with Northampton County concerning the Bi-County Health Department. One one member - Chairman Dean Browning - had a perfect attendance record. Two members - Percy Dougherty and Gloria Hamm - had near perfect records, having missed only one meeting. Glenn Eckhart, Dan McCarthy and Andy Roman are right behind them, having missed only two meetings during the entire year. David Jones missed four meetings, including one in which twelve Democrats from all over Lehigh County appeared for interviews to fill a vacancy on the Board. Bill Hansell, who was only appointed to the Board on February 24, nearly beat Jones.

Lehigh has eight standing committees, and they met 109 times last year, about three times as often as Northampton County. Here's the breakdown, committee by committee: Administrative (22 meetings); Cedarbrook (4 meetings); Development (12 meetings); General Services (12 meetings); Human Services (11 meetings); Intergovernmental & Appointments (18 meetings); Judiciary & Corrections (14 meetings); Planning (16 meetings).

Here's the attendance record at committees, member-by-member: Dean Browning - 109; Gloria Hamm - 98; Percy Dougherty - 95; Tom Creighton - 94; Dan McCarthy - 94; Glenn Eckhart - 84; Andy Roman - 74; Bill Hansell - 69 (not appointed until 2/24); David Jones - 65.

So who are the workhorses, show horses and jackasses?


For the second year in a row, Chairman Dean Browning has that title sewed up. As the Chief Financial Officer of an airline charter company, he's a busy guy. But he's made the time to attend every Commissioner and committee meeting for two years straight. 100%. That's leadership by example. Gloria Hamm is nipping at Dean's heels, with a 91.1% combined attendance record. Percy Dougherty (88.9%), Tom Creighton (87.4%) and Dan McCarthy (87.4%) are obvious workhorses, too.

Glenn Eckhart, who works a blue collar job, is unable to punch out and must miss some meetings, but still has a combined attendance record of 80%. He makes the effort.

The Showhorse

Andy Roman, who makes an annual bid to be Chair or Vice Chair, has a combined attendance record of just 72.6%. Maybe he'd be taken more seriously if he attended a few more meetings. This year, he can explain his absences to voters. I'm sure they'll understand.

The No-Show Horse

That's Davey Jones, whose 64.4% combined attendance record demonstrates a complete disregard for his duties as an elected Commissioner, as demonstrated by the way he thumbed his nose at 12 Commissioner candidates.

You can see last year's attendance rating here.


Patrick McHenry said...

Bernie -

If only attendance translated into results.

Maybe Dean should spend more time away from the government center, listening to the people who he represents. Most of them don't appreciate the 16% property tax hike he gave them.

Also, I believe it's Bill Hansell - not Dave as you wrote in your post.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Patrick!

Anonymous said...

I'd also prefer no-shows who are in touch with how unacceptable a 16% tax increase is in the middle of one of the worst economies of our lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

Typical of the tea party...do nothing and problems just vanish. Your boys accomplished nothing...voting against a budget alternative that would have minimized the tax increase. They knew they couldnt get the 0% increase budget so why not try to get real cuts... They voted against actual cuts, did nothing on the budget for months...you must be proud of those pension grabbing guys like roman,eckhert, creighton and percy...bunch of do nothings

Anonymous said...

Dean is not only the workhorse, but has about the only common sense on the commissioners board in the realities of the county budget.

The flap over not sending the budget back to the executive was all politics. Make cuts not talk about them.In weeks of budget discussions (and 109 committee meetings during the year) where where were the cuts?

You can't do budgets by playing tennis with the document. There is no way to resolve a budget by passing it back and forth.

PS: Jones should resign as not doing his elected job.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Also, I believe it's Bill Hansell - not Dave as you wrote in your post."

It is Bill Hansell. I thank you for pointing that out and will fix my error immediately.

Anonymous said...

Any info on Creighton?

Patrick McHenry said...

BTW, the teeth in that picture remind me of something, but I just can't put my finger on it.

Patrick McHenry said...

BTW, the teeth in that picture remind me of something, but I just can't put my finger on it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Any info on Creighton?"

He's listed. It's a pretty good record.

justme said...

With all the technology out there, is there any video conferencing at any of these meetings?

Bernie O'Hare said...

That could be done.

Anonymous said...

The teeth remind me of Glenn Beck!

The Great Tokus

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:18, and Patrick---

That's the luxury of being a no-show. You don't have to care, or even understand, how government is run.

It's easy to just vote "no," with no eye toward any possible repercussions.