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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brown Fights For Mediocrity

Some people fight for civil rights. Others battle for the homeless. Some want to improve the economy. But in his early days as Northampton County Exec, John Brown's rallying cry is his support for the mediocre.

Maybe it's his name.

He's nominated Bob Sletvold for Public Defender; Diane Donaher for Community and Economic Development Director; and Allison Frantz as Director of Human Services. These three nominations are scheduled for review by Council's Personnel Committee today at 4 pm, with a possible vote by the full Council tomorrow.

Sletvold's nomination basically handcuffs his own wife, preventing her from doing much of the work expected of a judge. Frantz' nomination indicates that Brown took little time to check into the background of his applicants. She is simply unqualified. Donaher is qualified, barely. She will likely be confirmed unanimously, but is a mediocre choice.

Of the three nominations, Sletvold is headed to certain defeat. I believe it will likely be pulled.

One of my Republican friends likens Executive John Brown to the late Senator Roman Hruska, who gave this argument in support of the nomination of G. Harrold Carswell to the U.S. Supreme Court: "Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos."

Carswell was defeated. 


Anonymous said...

I wonder if it is just bad advice or his own lack of experience? Do you think he has a chance of scoring at least one knowledgeable pick?

He may have to step out of his comfort zone or just stop listening to Party partisans and partnership douchebags.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Victor Scomillio was a good pick. But it's been downhill from there. I hope, for the sake of the County, that his early days are not an indication of what we must expect over the next four years.

Anonymous said...

Picking a cast of three-pension retreads would have been much better. Government is better administered by career insiders. This is widely known. Bernie, please do your racist number on Brown. It's time for a dose of your tried and tested character assasination. I've had enough of this Brown and these new people. He'll learn not to ignore a big player like you. Go ahead, Bernie. Let him have it on some race charges. It's your specialty.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa struggled at the start of his term as well. How can these guys run for an office for a year and then not be able to put together a cabinet in 2 months? Wasting political capital on the public defender pick and still no sheriff, director of administration, or finance. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

This is not like JB to make choices that appear to have minimal thought behind them. JB is a very methodical person but these picks are off the wall and I'm beginning to think that he is not making the picks himself. Maybe the pool of available talent is truly limited and quality individuals are not showing an interest in these positions. Trying to give him the benefit of the doubt but it's getting harder to do so.

Anonymous said...

This is the ready-for-not-prime town crew makes stoffa, reibman and seyfried look like geniuses. This is back to brackbill. Cant wait for the privatization push of everything, which might be an improvement upon this feckless, clueless lot.

No once can argue Callahan would have had cabinet picked/announced and confirmed first meeting just like Reibman and Seyfried.

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:52 is the Blog Mentor, who does not give a shit about anything except his enemy list. He claimed he would have a regular show on WAEB AM with Gunther, starting this month. You can tune it in at ... oh wait ... looks like he;'ll soon be adding Gunther.

It might be easier for this usually anonymous cyberbully to make a friends' list. Aside from his bully wife, I can think of no one who wants to be near him.

Anonymous said...

Bernie I can only imagine what his pick for director of corrections will be.Hmmm!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"This is not like JB to make choices that appear to have minimal thought behind them."

Yeah, well,it's all I've seen out of this guy. I have yet to see an ounce of transparency, either. This is just bad government.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Stoffa struggled at the start of his term as well."

Stoffa dealt with a partisan Council who rejected choices bc they were not blue enough.

This has nothing about party.

Brown is struggling bc he made bad choices. He is quickly losing the respect of Council. And I don't trust guys who do not respond to email or the phone.

Anonymous said...

Once again, the Repubs elect a stooge.

I must say, I'm amused that the blogger is already turning on one of his own.

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:17, I've had nothing to do with that loser for many years. he has turned on everyone.

Anonymous said...

6:52 wasn't blog mentor. Brown was the lesser of two evils. His main criticism originates from a single hostile source who supported his opponent.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So long as you remain anonymous, I shall conclude what I wish. And it turns out that my criticism of this guy was accurate. he is stumbling badly, and now others have joined my chorus, including the ET editorial board, Bill White and members of council. Yet you remain anonymous, post anonymous personal shots at me, and prove that you are just like the Blog Mentor, if you are not him yourself, How proud you must be!

You're exactly the kind of cheerleader i would expect for mediocrity. If not blog mentor, are you on Senator Browne's payroll? Are you the operative he sent to run Brown's campaign? Are you one of J.B. Reilly'
s lackeys? I know this much. Your only response, when Brown's flaws are noted, is to personally attack the messenger.

Fuck you.

Anonymous said...

Bernie transparency does not equal talking to you. I have noticed folks have stopped talked to you a lot lately. I think not taking to you is a positive these days for local politicians. Not a negative. Brown has been transparent. As soon as he knows the pick then he tells council and the public. Sounds like a good sound process to me.

Just because you aren't in the kitchen cabinet does not mean this is bad government. Just say in'!

Anonymous said...

I am anon, and have been for years. I also have been one of many to warn you about john Brown. To say a "single hostile source" is untrue. Come to Bangor, where Brown lost, and ask people how they feel about him. He would not have been re-elected to mayor or dog catcher for that matter. He did a mediocre to poor job as mayor, and left a mess behind. Morale during his term plummetted. Police dept was reduced by a third and dozens of VOLUNTEERs quit the fire dept. The streets are worse than they have ever been.

Is it any wonder no one ran for mayor?

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:58, let's see. I broke the story about the sheriff!s termination. I broke the story about the Sletvold conflict, and the problems it is already causing to the courts. I broke the story that his economic development pick is a vpice over artist. I broke the story that his human services pick mismanaged a manor program. I have done all of that without kissing his ass, and don't intend to start.

Brown is not transparent. You lie when you state he made his picks and then disclosed them to the press. That is not true. He disclosed it to one media outlet while excluding others. That is not transparency. That's playing games with access, hoping to get favorable coverage in exchange for exclusivity.

He is not in Bangor anyone. When he plays games, he will be called on them.

As for being a member of his kitchen cabinet, I thank God I'm not part of that array of people who know nothing about the county or good government. That is quickly becoming apparent.

I am having a field day with Brown, not bc I supported his opponent, but bc he has no idea what he is doing. When he starts acting responsibly, I'll be more supportive.

Anonymous said...

oh poor bernie

Brown wont return your calls or email. which is a good thing.

you have a well establish history of telling half-truths, outright lies, race-baiting, and outright harassment .

your blog is nothing but a hateful gossip column, and anyone with .25 brain matter would stay the hell away from you. youre nastiness and flip-flopping in the wind speaks for itself.

if you acted like a human being, maybe you'd be treated like one. but you're not, and are being ignored, as you should be.

your days of being an insider are now gone, and we have a chance at a professionally run county, for the first time in 8 years. thank god!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Um, it is not just me. He even ignores emails from county staff. But it's nice to see him get a round of support from pistol packin ' Tricia Mezzacappa, who is all for delivering death threats to elected officials and even defended the murders in Ross Tp. It is cRazies like her who support a patriarchal form of government, as long as her side is in charge.

Anonymous said...

"So what if he is mediocre? There are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they? We can't have all Brandeises, Cardozos, and Frankfurters and stuff like that there." Senator Roman Hruska, Nebraska.

maverick said...

Why all the personal attacks against Bernie? I've known Bernie for at least 25 years- although we never agreed on every topic, he always listened to my point of view- it was never personal. Has he always been right? No, but when he was wrong, he admitted it- I respect that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

They come from one or two sick people. Nothing new.

Anonymous said...

He is wrong about Ron Angle and John Stoffa and never admitted that.

Anonymous said...

Scomillio is clueless You will conclude that soon enough. He has apparently told council that his new staff has been instructed that their pt position takes precedence over their ft practice. Right. He must have bumped his head when he fell off that turnip truck. Better service through absence. The county will suffer while john brown applies his metrics. What a joke.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I;'m watching him on line right now and am simply amazed. He is pretty much dead wrong.

Anonymous said...

Even when I defend BOH's journalistic integrity, he deletes my post. What the fuck, dude?