Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Brown Takes $7,650 to Be Better Mayor, Then Runs For Exec

Bonnie Labar opposed giving Mayor 7 X his annual salary
In March, I first told you about the $7,000 that Bangor Borough Council spent for its departing Mayor, John Brown, to attend a leadership course at Notre Dame University.  His annual salary is $1,000. Brown is the Republican nominee for Northampton County Executive.

Pursuant to a Right-to-Know Request, I obtained the details. At Bangor Borough Council's regular meeting on July 9, 2012, he asked for $6,950 to attend the "Executive Integral Leadership" training program hosted by Notre Dame that Fall. That fee included instruction, a 90-minute executive coaching session, a 60-minute health and wellness coaching session, leadership assessments, educational materials, lodging and meals. He also asked for an additional $700 travel expenses, making his total request $7,650.

According to the Minutes, "Brown stated the program will allow him to learn and refine additional skills relating to leadership and receive feedback and coaching on improving leadership capabilities in the areas of negotiation, collaboration, and communication allowing him to continue to provide pro-active leadership as Mayor."

Council member Bonnie Labar filed a motion to deny the request, but it died for lack of a second. But Council decided to table the matter for its July 23 Workshop Meeting to give them more time to review the matter.

The Workshop met on July 23, with no members of the public present for a meeting on a hot Summer day.

The $7,650 was authorized by a 5-3 vote of Bangor Borough Council, with Bonnie Labar, Mark Brown (no relation to John Brown) and Marino Saveri dissenting. Labar and Mark Brown asked Council to have the Ethics Commission review this matter, but their motion failed by a voice vote.

So there you have it. Bangor Borough Council paid $7,650 to Mayor John Brown, over 7 times his $1,000 annual salary, to he could attend a leadership and become a better Mayor.

But instead of being a better Mayor, as promised, Brown has decided he'd rather be Northampton County Executive. Given his own statements to Bangor Borough Council, Brown should return the money.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

meh....

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is tax fraud and deception by our local "leaders" and it should be stopped. He should pay back every cent, but as usual No One from Bangor will even chime in, to them they don't even care i guess..

Anonymous said...


When Brown was granted the money for te seminar, he had no plans other than to be Mayor. It was before he declared for County Exec. That seminar should not disqualify him from running for
Exec., nor does it make him in anyway dishonest.

He has done a fine job of improving Bangor's fiscal stability and now the entire County can benefit form the knowledge he gaiened at that seminar.

It would be nice if he repaid the Borough, but not necessary.

Dave Houser Bangor Borough councilperson said...

Either way..it was and still is a wise investment as now the entire county will benefit from his training provided by the boro of Bangor. No hard feelings at all.

Anonymous said...

John Callahan covered up the destruction of a Bethlehem city police cruiser by a family member and stuck taxpayers with the tab after lying about the incident. How much does a police cruiser cost? How much does a lying philandering politician cost all of us in public trust? When he's not being a punk and trashing wrestling officials who are paid pennies, he's wasting more money by his morning piss break than Brown has ever wasted. In the sleaze contest you've begun, nobody gets remotely close to Callahan. His after hours "business" is legendary. His during hours business is non-existent.

Anonymous said...

JOHN BROWN MADE HIS WORST DECISION IN 2010 when he had the policwe cheif fired. That cost Bangor $500,000.00 in a settlement to the cheif. He needed the training 2 years sooner than he got it. His "fiscal management" was to get rid of longtime employees and not replace them. Then hide the reasons. He would make aTERRIBLE executive, but Bangor will be rid of him either way.

Worst mayor ever!

Dave Houser Bangor Borough councilperson said...

The statement above about a settlement to the fired police chief is a bold faced lie.

Anonymous said...

And remember..John Brown is NOT running for 2 public offices at the same time.. as is King Edward of Atown.

Anonymous said...

Dave Houser said, If its a lie, please tell us how much it was.

Anonymous said...

Brown can't walk and chew gum at the same time, let alone run for 2 offices.

Dave Houser Bangor Borough councilperson said...

Identify yourself as I have and then maybe..I'll talk to you in private.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Either way..it was and still is a wise investment as now the entire county will benefit from his training provided by the boro of Bangor. No hard feelings at all."

David, I have the minutes. Brown misled you. he wanted the money to be a better mayor, but is now running for Exec. That is 7x his annual salary. It was wrong to spend this large sum of money on a person who is there part-0time. If it were for training staff or the borough manager, I could see it. But you wasted the people's money.

3 members of borough council appear to have felt that way, too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"John Callahan covered up the destruction of a Bethlehem city police cruiser by a family member and stuck taxpayers with the tab after lying about the incident."

If he covered it up, how do you know about it? Remember, I wrote quite a bit about that incident. The claim that he lied about the incident is a lie. The claim that taxpayers were stuck with the repairs is a lie. I obtained the records, remember? The damages were paid by Cantelmi's insurer, as they should have been.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"JOHN BROWN MADE HIS WORST DECISION IN 2010 when he had the policwe cheif fired. That cost Bangor $500,000.00 in a settlement to the cheif."

If this is a lie, was money paid? If so, how much? Did Bangor settle a suit filed by the Chief?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Brown can't walk and chew gum at the same time, let alone run for 2 offices"

Let's sign our names if we want to get personal. I have nothing against John Brown and consider him a gentleman. But i think he should return the $7,650 he took from Bangor for leadership training. I also think the five members of Council who voted for this during a workshop meeting were wrong.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor of a small town in PA is not an executive. Borough Council hires a borough manager who is the executive (his name is John Kasten). Mayors of boroughs like Bangor have one area of responsibility and that is to oversee the police department. It does not take executive coaching to set the schedule for the police department. If it does, then Brown had no business being elected Mayor. This isn't a knock on Browne. Any mayor in a PA borough simply isn't an executive. The borough code doesn't provide for it.

Brown appears to have used this training, which is geared toward private sector executives, to further his business talents and managed to convince borough council to pay for it. That deserves to be scrutinized. Why did borough council invest in the non-executive with executive training? Bad judgement. Next time, send your borough manager.

In other news, the Bangor website is a disaster. If Brown was responsible for anything in Borough gov't besides the police, it would be a horrible reflection on his skills.

Anonymous said...

The Chief was paid what was owed him..nothing more..nothing less. There was no settlement/agreement entered into on either side.He was fired..unanimously. End of story.

Anonymous said...

In 2012 John Brown had no intention or inkling he would be in the County Executive's Race. Callahan ran for both Congress and Mayor at the same time-and as he runs for Executive during Mayoral "City Hall" hours,no one says a word. Callahan has already been touted as a Senate hopeful in the next election....And as his days dwindle in the Mayor's office he continues to attend many functions/events on the tax payers dime. Callahan did know about his brother in laws accident,had direct knowledge and chose to order the Police Commissioner at the time to put the report in "the basket" ( for the press )for a 5 minute period and then pull it out (so if they were ever asked they could say they made the report available to the public-not lying) And although you did report on it-how was it first discovered?,through "tips' not full disclosure/accident report. As department heads have retired they have been contacted by none other than the FBI...THE FBI...that's not standard procedure as I understand,just for a small time Mayor? No-that's a tool in an investigation under way...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Your account includes several flaws.

First, there is no evidence that callahan ordered the then police commissioner to cover up his brother-in-law's accident. In fact, that has been denied by Randy Miller and Callahan. I obtained phone records pursuant to a RTK request opposed by the City, and they corroborate what Callahan and Miller both told me.

Seoond, Callahan is undeniably running for Exec while serving as mayor. But he is NOT running for two incompatible jobs simultaneously, as is Pawlowski. When he ran for Mayor and Congress simultaneously, I criticized him for it.

Third, Callahan has depleted his federal PAC. That's evidence that he has no federal ambitions.

Fourth, Callahan is a Full-time mayor and its executive. He should attend numerous events for the City. This is not at all analogous to a PT Mayor with no exec responsibility who takes more than 7 times his annual salary for an executive training seminar halfway across the country. It is not the end of the world, but I think it is wrong. I also fault the five members of boro council, including David Houser, who wasted the money for this. It was a mistake.

Anonymous said...

And Bangor is such a remarkable area and contributes so many $$ to the counties Econemy from their robust businesses portfolio. They employ so many ax paying members of NORCO, oh excuse me ,never mind, I was dreaming.

Anonymous said...

In reference to your comment at 12:58 on Callahan You know as weel as I do and You know who I am.... that You helped coverup the Cantelmi story for Your buddy John and You never reported any of his othr mis givings because You are so far up his ass.....So stop trying to bullshit everyone!!!!!!!!!!

Crash Cantelmi said...

Callahan belongs in jail. He may end up there yet. He's Reibman sleaze on steroids. Charlie Dent gave lots of fair warning about dirty John. Pay to play and closed government are coming back. And Bernie won't say a word. Good boy Bernie. Good boy. Sit. Stay. Stop licking where your balls used to be.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Notice the attempt to divert attention away from a mistake made by Brown with false allegations about a story that was first revealed on this blog. You can make plenty of criticisms of Callahan. There simply is no evidence that he or Bethlehem police engaged in a cover up. But there is plenty of evidence that Brown took seven times his annual salary to attend a leadership conference at a job he now intends to abandon.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no idea who you are. What I do know is that you are embellishing what was discovered instead of just telling the truth. Callahan can be fairly attacked for many things, but not this.

Charlie Dent maybe said...

John represents the worst example of pay to play. We know how business is done with John. I warned you just a couple of years ago. His financial record is a sham. Reprint my remarks Bernie. Tell 'em what I said.

Anonymous said...

Pay the money back Bonnie. You and your hubby can't seem to keep your hands out of other peoples pockets..can you? Wait til the DA gets this one.

Anonymous said...

She and the Authority will claim ignorance of the law. How does that work Bernie? They do have a lawyer..right?

Anonymous said...

One who is paid handsomely..125K to be exact.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Look, I suspect the same person is posting all these comments about Labar and I have a pretty good idea who that person is. Knock it off. This post is about Brown, not the inter-council squabbles in Bangor. If you feel she violated the law, don't make anonymous comments here. Contact the state ethics comm's or the DA. You are anonymously accusing another person of committing a crime. Identify yourself before you comment again or I will delete you. You are also OT.

Anonymous said...

Understood..