Friday, January 06, 2012

Parsons Foils Cusick Bid to Dump Council Solicitor

Lauer in the dock, awaiting his fate
An effort by Council President John Cusick to dump Phil Lauer as Council Solicitor has blown up in his face, thanks primarily to new Council member Scott Parsons, who smelled a rat. Let me tell you the story.

Last year, when Council President Ron Angle was deposed in favor of John Cusick, it was because Council members John Cusick, Tom Dietrich and Peg Ferraro stabbed Angle in the back. After promising Angle their support, they worked against him.

At Tuesday's reorganization, things went more smoothly. Cusick and Ferraro were both re-elected as President and VP, respectively. Although Phil Lauer was at the meeting, Cusick made no attempt to replace him and gave no indication that he wanted Phil gone.

But later that night, when he would not have to talk to him man-to-man, Cusick sent Lauer an "Dear John:email, advising him he would be replaced. His successor? Michael Gaul, Solicitor to Portland Borough and the LV Health Comm'n. Then Cusick went to work, rounding up the votes. He gave Lauer no indication whether he should even bother to show up at last night's Council meeting.

Though he knew that Cusick wanted him gone, Lauer decided he should be there because he was still Council's lawyer.

Cusick's behind-the-scenes argument for replacing Lauer was that Gaul has bond experience, which would be helpful in dealing with the swaption.

Yeah, Portland Borough must float $100 million bonds every day.

Cusick never bothered to tell the newly elected Council members (Ken Kraft, Scott Parsons and Bob Werner) that a Council Solicitor has little to do with bonds or County finances. Even worse, Cusick misled Scott Parsons into thinking that there was unanimous support for Gaul.

There wasn't.

When Cusick introduced his resolution to can Lauer, Peg Ferraro immediately expressed some doubts, while Barb Thierry slowly shook her head No.

Then, when Cusick called for the vote, he learned the hard way what happens when you try to con someone. Lamont McClure, Ken Kraft and Bob Werner still voted with him. But not Parsons. He broke ranks with fellow Dems and against replacing Lauer.

I suspect Parsons was also troubled by the complete lack of class displayed in forcing one of the County's most distinguished and well-respected lawyers to sit there and endure a vote on his termination.

I was impressed by the civility displayed by Parsons, which was in stark contrast to Cusick's petty maneuver.

"I thought I had five votes!" Cusick complained after the meeting.

"I need a beer," Parsons told me.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie I hope you can now see the Long Dem's for who they are. Scott Parsons is a good man/. while you may gate the Gracedale people, sometimes even enemies can support he same good man.

I had no doubt that Kraft and Werner would play ball with whatever McClure (ie) Walt Garvin (ie) Joe Long told them to do.

Good for you Scott. I may or may not have wanted to keep Lauer but the way Cusick handled this was not just politically stupid but ham handed at best.

Scott is a class act and I am sure he will get a lecture from Barron Von Footinmouth for his break with the new Dems'

Issac Touro said...

Integrity in norco? Shocking!!!!

c said...

Independant thinking is a very good thing.

Trudie said...

Me thinks Cusick just met his better. Ya got to love it.

Anonymous said...

"Barb Thierry SLOWLY shook her head"

Now that is news worthy! Normally it looks like her brain is having an earthquake.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has seen Mike Gaul in action at a Portland meeting or Bangor School meeting would know better than to vote for him. Where is the county's original bond counsel on this project? Don't they have an obligation to continue to serve on this issue?If not, there are many, many other good bond counsel in the Lehigh Valley. Unfortunately, Mike is at the bottom of the list, not the top.

Anonymous said...

good artcle, berbie

Anonymous said...

Ahh, a Bethlum rubberstamp moves to county council. Let's all welcome Ken Kraft to county council. Nice to see a new face, and a new rubberstamp on council.

Anonymous said...

This sucks if the Council Prez operates like this. Not even man enough to face him and talk to him.

What is the connection between Michael Gaul and Cusick? Anyone know?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't believe Cusick has any particular connection to Gaul> He just wanted Lauer gone. I could understand him wanting someone else in there, but be a man about it. I think Lauer deserved the courtesy of a face-to-face, especially since he was wit Cusick that day. Also, he should not mislead other Council members. But his entire legacy as a member of Council is as someone whose word cannot be trusted.

Anonymous said...

So why Gaul? Did he choose his name out of a hat? You mean to tell me that Cusick couldn't find a more qualified and better name than Gaul? There has to be some connection.

Anonymous said...

Well here you have most of your bloggers who have the sense to be open and fair. i agree with their remarks except for the 1 who can't resist being childish and mean. This is where most of your other commenters usually fit in . They add nothing except to make themselves look small. guess that's diversity for ya.....sounds pretty petty to me and they are almost always anonymous. Hmmm.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Where is the county's original bond counsel on this project? Don't they have an obligation to continue to serve on this issue?"

I don't think so.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hey, I supported Ron and even worked for him at the polls! I was impressed by the way Parsons handled this vote. Also, I would not rush to condemn either Kraft or Werner, who were hit with the "financial expertise" argument.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Normally it looks like her brain is having an earthquake."

Is this really necessary? If you want to attack her like this, why not tell everyone who you are?

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Mr. Parsons. Guts and integrity. I was worried that the Slate Belt would be forgotten with Ron gone, but Scott has quickly impressed me.

Keep up the good work Mr. Parsons!

danthemann

Bernie O'Hare said...

It was a pleasant surprise. Even Ron, who was there, was impressed.

Anonymous said...

What is a Long Dem?

Dave said...

My faith in and reason I voted for Scott have been confirmed..early. An independent thinker..what a concept! Us Pen Argyl kids are owned by no one. Cusick now looks like a fool.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed in Werner and Kraft. The "financial" issue is not a reason. They should have asked questions and not sat there with their teeth in their mouths. Man up! That's whay you were voted in, we don't want the same ole same ole. Phil is a great lawyer who showed not partiality since he has been appointed.............and re-appointed. HaHa Cusick.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the Republican Pres gets all the Dems to vote with him. HMMMM??

Republican party where are you?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Phil is a great lawyer who showed not partiality since he has been appointed.............and re-appointed."

He is, and has called it as he has seen it, often to the dismay of Ron Angle. In fact, I think he sided with Lamont McClure on legal issues more often than he differed.

If a majority of Council wants to replace Phil, they can. But let's not be tacky about the way we do things.

Another thing Cusick does is allow judges and district attorneys to sit with their thumbs up their asses while he reviews other matters on the agenda. Those are busy people, and as a courtesy, he should always deal with them first.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I am disappointed in Werner and Kraft."

I would not hold this against them. Neither has held elective office, this was their first meeting, and they had just listened to a very complicated financial presentation.

eckville press said...

Breaking News from the Northern Tier!!!

The human feces in the neighbors well story is now believed to be a hoax created by a few NIMBYS.

The fertilizer used was residential grade available in your local hardware store.

Here is how one informed individual explains his satisfaction with a similar product.

"I did a lot of research on organics and I am very pleased with ********. It didn't green-up as quickly as with the product I used to use, but when it did green-up, it lasted a lot longer and I didn't have to mow all the time. I didn't have to worry about timing either cuz it won't burn out the lawn. This was also recommended by my neighbor who works on a golf course - he said they use it whenever they re-work the greens. Try it - you can't go wrong."

What they use this product on golf courses, OH MY!

Thicker and wider is what golfers really want.

Safe and effective, if used as directed.

Caution: The manufacture does not recommend taking this product internally, may cause belly ache.

Mr. Delong should be reporting on the township findings at their next meeting.

You heard it here first.

Don't let facts get in the way of agendas.

Also, A big thank you to Mr. Najarian for his display of leadership on this issue.

Sorry.
Good Day.

Anonymous said...

"...it was because Council members John Cusick, Tom Dietrich and Peg Ferraro stabbed Angle in the back. After promising Angle their support, they worked against him."

Maybe I am missing something, but isn't this exactly the kind of back room deal making that was recently suggested about Bethlehem City?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It was suggested, but I've seen no evidence.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, the Gracedale Goons are already ripping on Scott Parsons becasue he bucked the Long Dem's. Even some of their supporters are upset. Mr. Parsons was elected by many people, Gracedale not withstanding.

If we thought he was just another Barron McClure cheerleader he would have recieved fewer votes.

I am proud of Scott and dispappointed that the Gracedale supporters have been taken in by Barron and his obvious pandering.

Keep up the good work Scott and stay true to yourself. You owe all of us your best judgement and nothing else. The Long Dem's didn't do a damn thing for you. They wouldn't even remeber your name if you had lost. They are users.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:29

Where r they ripping on him?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Maybe because they're nutz.

Dave said...

Berie..this is a side topic but it is relative to the conversation. I rec'd today an invite to Emrick's campaign kick off for his reelection to state rep. I turned down the offer. His non-stand on redistricting has forced me to look elsewhere. Who is gonna challenge him up here in the Slate Belt? Any idea at all? Who is the Long Dem's guy/girl in waiting? Barron? Who?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'll check it out.

Anonymous said...

Barron doesn't live in the district. He is busy convincing people he saved Gracedale. He is already eyeing other political races.

Anonymous said...

PS: I don't think the COAF are upset with Scott. It is the union people that are in Barron's back pocket.

Anonymous said...

Dave look for either Frank Scag or Joe Cap to oppose Emrick. I will vote for them also.

Anonymous said...

There will also be a primary challenge for Emrick, possibly a guy named Ron Angle. The repo's arn't too happy with Emrick .

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't think Ron will run for the state house. He likes being a civilian. He is interested primarily in local government and really enjoys his farm.

Anonymous said...

But Ron doesn't like Joe Emrick. People are turned off by his holier than thou attitude.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I doubt he'll run.

Dave said...

I will try to track down Joe Cap and see what he has in mind..

Anonymous said...

Joe is a smart guy. He did a great job as mayor. He probably doesn't want the headaches of government anymore. Frank Scagliotta is a good choice for this position. Run Scag run!

Anonymous said...

Cap is an Angle yes man, can't support him.

Anonymous said...

WHO are you to say the union is upset with scott? are you part of the union? do you have a say within the union? We the union are happy the scott is there on council. he may not vote in favor for everything that comes up, but he is a good man and will do well on council!!!
ps: and I AM PART OF A UNION!!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't understand all the silly nonsense going on with everyone over this matter. This has nothing to do with Gracedale or the unions. It also has nothing to do with sticking with the Dems. This was, after all, a Cusick-sponsored resolution. Parsons obviously did not like the way it was being handled. Apparently, he meant what he said abut civility.

I don't understand why anyone, other than Cusick, should be upset about this. I've read the baloney on the Gracedale blog, and they're all nutty.

I wrote about this bc I was impressed. That was my agenda. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Anonymous said...

"Cap is an Angle yes man"

Is this true or false? I wanted to know myself. I checked meeting minutes from 2009 and this blog. This answer is NO. Joe Cap is more of a "no" man.

If you research this instead of making false statements you will see the truth. Joe Cap voted with both parties during his one year. Often he was the lone no vote.

The most telling meetings were the december budget meeting (you can view the minutes at ncpub.org) and Bernies story on June17, 2009 (this is one of the funniest blogs he wrote). These facts show Joe to be very independent.

Just sayin

Dave said...

I would have to agree somewhat about your impression of Joe having served with him on boro council and he the mayor. Fairly conservative and supportive of cost cutting measures. He never wanted tax increases and was not a hindrance in any way to true reform leading to better gov't efficiency. Private chats told me he respected Ron but was not in awe of him or in his pocket.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That is my sense of the guy as well.

Anonymous said...

Just sayin, Joe was an Angle man. There was one very telling vote where he didn't even know who he was voting for until Angle told him who.

please we do see things.

Anonymous said...

Please tell us what vote that was.

Anonymous said...

still waiting....

Anonymous said...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
just sayin

Bernie O'Hare said...

You must be tired. Your comment comes four days after this post published. What a bored little weasel you must be!

Anonymous said...

that wasnt directed at you or the post but the question that was asked of a poster and not answered. sorry