The Devil and the Fake Rev ... and a Definite Tax Hike Next Year
It was a lot more subdued this time, primarily because there was no studio audience, except for the Express Times and yours truly. I snuck in a side door, evading security. Because Ron Angle was one of the guests, there were still plenty of fireworks during yesterday's taping of a WFMZ-TV69 Business Matters. And the show was about Gracedale, so the sparks would have been flying no matter who was there.
Hosted by Tony Iannelli, the show also featured Northampton County Exec John Stoffa, former Exec Gerry Seyfried, the Fake Rev, Mario Martinez.
Martinez was at one time the Gracedale Goon spokesperson, but he must have been demoted after claiming that Jesus had sent tornadoes to punish us for President Obama's Israeli policy. He insisted yesterday that he only speaks for himself ... and Jesus.
According to Martinez, all that talk about taxes and Gracedale is just a "scare tactic."
But Stoffa told Iannelli he still needs $2.5 million for nursing home Gracedale this year, as well as another $6 million for next year. As he continues to work on next year's budget, he predicts there will be a 18-20% gap between revenue and expenses. That's pretty much what Angle has been predicting all along. Although he can close some of that gap by dipping into the rainy day fund, a tax hike is inevitable. Stoffa acknowledged that Gracedale is responsible for some, but not all, of the shortfall.
"We need leadership willing to lead!" brayed Martinez.
"We need a printing press," answered Angle.
In addition to calling for Angle's ouster from office, the Fake Rev called Ron a "demon."
But he won't give the Devil his due. When it comes to Gracedale's cost, Angle has been right. When it comes to budget shortfalls, he's been downright prescient.
It is unclear whether Martinez was speaking for himself or Jesus yesterday, but he threw that name around often enough to make anyone wearing a Star of David just a tad uncomfortable.
After the show, I had lunch with Angle. Although his head began spinning around and he did speak Latin backwards, that always happens when he eats Thai food, especially papaya salad.