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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Executive John Brown: I Am Here To Serve

John Brown: "I am here to serve"
On January 6, before a standing room only crowd of over 300 people and a crisply uniformed color guard, a gavel banged and Northampton County's entire bench entered into historic Courtroom One. Despite the portraits of dour jurists who are long since gone, President Judge Stephen Baratta assured his audience they were all there for a "family occasion." To be sure, dignitaries galore were in the courtroom, including state representatives, state senators and Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller. But husbands, wives and children were there too, to see the persons they love take an oath that might sometimes make service to the public take priority over family.

John Brown was sworn in as Northampton County's seventh County Executive. Mat Benol, Peg Ferraro, Glenn Geissinger, Hayden Phillips and Seth Vaughn took the oath as members of County Council. The oath of office was also administered to Magisterial District Judges Antonia Grifo (downtown Easton), Dan Corpora (South Easton), John Capobianco (Nazareth) and Pat Romig-Passaro (Bethlehem).

LC Exec Tom Muller and wife MJ offer best wishes to Brown
Courtroom One and the entire bench provided the dignity, and the pomp and circumstance came courtesy of the Corrections' Officer Color Guard, which includes a bagpiper.

Much like John Stoffa, the person he succeeds, Brown had little to say. But he stressed the need for everyone to work together.

"I am here to serve," he concluded.

President Judge Baratta reminded everyone of Theodore Roosevelt's words that "[t]he object of government is the welfare of the people." He also repeated Pope Francis' admonitions that public office requires both a love for people and humility. Finally, he cautioned magisterial district judges about the importance of being fair.

Though Northampton County has 33,000 more Democrats than Republicans, it now has a Republican Executive, a Republican County Council and even a Republican judiciary.
Corrections Officers;' Color Guard Adds Touch of Class

District Judges Dan Corpora and Antonia Grifo compare robes

Judges Craig Dally, Paula Roscioli and Ed Smith try to smile

Updated 9:25 Why was I there?: I do not ordinarily attend these formal ceremonies. For example, I never attended a John Stoffa or Ron Angle installment. But I notice that I am being called a liar for being at this one. I was there because I was assigned to cover it. And I'm glad I went because it was a very well done affair.


Anonymous said...

"Though Northampton County has 33,000 more Democrats than Republicans, it now has a Republican Executive, a Republican County Council and even a Republican judiciary."

Very true Bernie. Here are three top reasons this happens.

1. Republicans vote for Republicans or not at all.

2. Democrats split their tickets faster than Honest Abe split logs.

3. Democrats are lazy. They vote like crazed monkeys for president but other than that you can't pry them out of their hovels.

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is Stoffa hack harp is kissing up to Brown to stay on.

God help us if Brown keeps any of the clowns that have sunk the county into the hole it is in.

Anonymous said...

Old arrogant Muller must have felt at home in the country club atmosphere. We hear he has ordered that brand new corvette.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brown may be here to serve, but what about a cabinet? He was a candidate for a year and elected 2 months ago yet so far he makes 2 appointments and one is controversial.

Anonymous said...

The one female LT from the sheriffs office just told me the sheriff is done. Can you confirm?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I will check it out.

Anonymous said...

Once Sheriff Miller outfitted several deputies for an "HONOR GUARD" at the cost of $600 per deputy. Why didn't they present the colors for this ceremony? More wasted taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard who might be the Director of Human Services? That department is currently without a leader. That can't be a good thing. It seems that Mr. Brown needs to make some quick decisions.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There is nothing wrong with two different color guards in NC. They both are appreciated very much and i would like to see more taxpayer money "wasted" on these endeavors.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:29. Some say he has talked to the division heads and Stoffa. Now that is scary. For the past eight years the division heads have done anything they want and have run up the expenses big time.

Mr. Mahler is acting Director and would be the only person with the needed abilities to manage that mess. That means the ability to stand up to some strong egos.

Brown should really seek a great deal of input on this one. He has a building that will take away any increases in funding for the foreseeable future, Gracedale and a myriad of unfilled positions and feuding agendas. Good Luck!!

Anonymous said...

Get outside of that whacky Department if you want to fix it. Cause right now it is broken.

Anonymous said...

We are an honor guard. We were formed to serve during funeral services. Unfortunatley our administration likes to use us as a "dog and pony show" for county functions. I can see how this makes us look like a color guard. Also, we do our funeral sevices as volunteers. The sheriffs want to be paid. The sheriffs departments honor guard was disorganized and after the D.O.C. honor guard was asked to do certain functions while the sheriffs were out directing traffic they began to re organize their honor guard. Your guess is as good as mine as to why they werent presenting the flags.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think all this honor guard stuff is a waste of money and time. It is all a bit overdone and pompous. This is a county not the US capitol.

Stop pretending to be something you are not. Silly and pretentious to say the least.

J.P. Sousa

Bernie O'Hare said...

Color guard or honor guard, I love it. The members volunteer much of their time for this, and much iof the material they use is donated to them.

To the member who groused about being an honor guard and not a color guard and that you are only available for funerals, I suggest you resign. You have a bad attitude. It is that attitude which gives public employees a bad name. I know how proud the other members are bc I have spoken to them.

They add some dignity to the county. You don't need all 9 judges to administer the oath. You could say that is unnecessary. But people from other counties were impressed by that and the guard.

Anonymous said...

As a member myself I can say the members comments at 7:24 weren't meant to take away from what we have done. We go about each and everyone of our missions with pride and dignity. However, at times we do feel used, and have gotten negative feedback from some of our administrators pointing small errors that may have occurred during our appearance, instead of thanking us for doing what we have done or accomplished in the time we have been together with very little time for practice. And as a group l can say thank you for the support and praise you have given us Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Hey not a guy in a skirt with a baton and a few in butless chaps painted red white and blue.

O'Hare would love that too.