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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, January 06, 2014

Who's On First?

There's no way i can be everywhere, but the first Monday in January is always a busy day in local government. Throughout the state, including the Lehigh Valley, newly elected officials will be sworn into office and new board chairs will be selected. What's going to happen?

Northampton County Council. - It seems clear that top vote-getter Peg Ferraro will be elected Council President, a position she has always wanted. I doubt the body will confirm Executive John Brown's two new cabinet selections - Solicitor Vic Scomilio and Public Defender Bob Sletvold - until they meet during a regular meeting.

When they do meet, they should reject Sletvold's nomination as Public Defender. That's because the Court has told The Express Times it is unwilling to let her hear any case in which any Public Defender is involved. Judge Sletvold refused to speak to me about it last week. 

It creates an appearance of impropriety. 

True, she can still hear criminal cases in which the public defender's office has no involvement, but that's a relatively minuscule amount of the caseload. What this will do is create a tremendous administrative headache for a court that has other, more pressing, matters on its plate, like a speedy trial.

If Sletvold is unwilling to withdraw his nomination on his own, Council should vote against his confirmation. He is an excellent lawyer who could serve as conflicts counsel or in any of a number of other capacities. But this is one Sletvold too many.

This will be an early test for the new Republican majority on Council. Will they be more interested in party loyalty or good government?

Instead of being a political perk, the Public Defender position should be a full-time position held by a person who has made a career of criminal law. In fact, that's precisely what has just happened in Lehigh County.

Lehigh County Commissioners - Tom Creighton will be the swing vote in deciding whether Lisa Scheller, Scott Ott or Percy Dougherty is the next chair. Vic Mazziotti will have to consult with his parish priest.

Bethlehem. - There is little doubt that Willie Reynolds will be the next president of City Council. According to The Morning Call, there is some grumbling about Mayor Bob Donchez' pick for police chief - Lt. Mark DiLuzio. He may not be the person who Reynolds would have selected, but Willie's not the mayor. I've heard nothing that would disqualify DiLuzio, unless being popular with rank-and-file police officers is a disqualification.

Bangor. - Mayor Joe Capozzolo, who is succeeding NorCo Exec John Brown, is being sworn into office by Congressman Matt Cartwright. "I will have a heavy heart without my friend John Kasten [borough manager] there, but I look forward to serving the people of Bangor Borough and honoring the memory of Mr. Kasten."

Cap, as people call him, told me he needs to hire a new police chief.

Will one Council member, who by her own admission supplied a high school student with marijuana, resign? 

Upper Mount Bethel. - Though the northern tier is in the midst of a shit storm over land owner Ron Angle's plans to fertilize his farms with sludge, they have to pick a new Chair. Judith Henckel, who chaired the board last year, was voted out of office. She has been replaced by David Due. Right after they pick a new chair, the shit slinging resumes.

Bethlehem Township. - President Paul Weiss was defeated in the elections last year, though he plans to remain involved in Township business. He was defeated by Pat Breslin. Marty Zaworski plans to make a play for President, but I'm sure Tom Nolan is interested in the presidency, too. My guess is that Nolan will be elected.

The township has been actively engaged in finding a new manager to replace Howard Kutzler, who resigned late last year for a position in South Whitehall.

It is likely that a new manager will be announced tonight.

Hanover Township. - There is no intrigue here. No power games. They'll probably flip a coin.

Please feel free to fill me in with your own palace intrigues.

53 comments:

Molon Labe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

Tricia Mezzacappa, stay off this blog.

Camaro, Douglas said...

Will Dees try and out do Mezz at the WE courtesy of the floor? Will Smelly Kelly gavel down the pro se hottie for asking the tough questions? Will Edgar show up to ogle Mezz, or will he come incognito as Edweena the cross dressing P.I to seduce the new blog superstar Matty Dees "nuts"?

Anonymous said...

1. Peg will get the Norco nod for Pres, spoiling Parsons dreams of power. The VP choice is the hot question. My sources say there is a push for Phillips as it was his folks that pushed the entire Republican ticket over the top. Also Geisinger is just a bit to anxious. Your thoughts?

2. Bethlehem city council, agree it would appear Reynolds will get the nod. The backstory there is a power struggle for the future and some rifts on the council. This may show up in the Donchez replacement vote. My sources have Kelly as the favorite but due to some future mayoral trust issue, it may not be totally locked up. The south side principal is next, pushed by Dolan. One concern is even if appointed Sonia will not win in a contested primary next year. What are your thoughts on who may get the nod? Has it already been decided as some have stated. Have there been Callahan behind the scenes instructions?

Anonymous said...

Parsons, the Barney Rubble to Phillips' Fred Flintstone, is also running for state senate and wants exposure. The prediction is the state committee will ask him to drop out in favor of another candidate. They want a woman (Karner?) with business background who is better looking than MarioScavelli. Parsons is none of that.

Anonymous said...

Wondering who the new Manager in Bethlehem Township will be? Hoping its someone with a breadth of experience in leading communities who brings a lot to the table for everyone to learn from. I

Anonymous said...

karner has no leadership or management experience. she should not be confirmed in bethlum

Anonymous said...

6:30,
Word has it that the new Bethlehem Twp. manager has no experience in a municipality this size, and will not meet your expectations. It will again be someone who uses the job as a short term stepping stone.

Clinton Oxford said...

If the Court's concern is: Judge Sletvold & P.D. Sletvold would collude to create "Sweetheart" deals for criminal defendants, then the Court feels that the Integrity of their colleagues, is Insufficient to administrate Justice according to Law.

Or, Judge Barata may be a misogynist.

Earl N. Anuven said...

Poor Mezzacappa (2:38 Doug Camaro). No man. No pig. No man-pig. Just the echo of voices in her empty head.

Anonymous said...

" Just the echo of voices in her empty head. 10:12 AM"

She has enough ammunition to depopulate West Easton. We really shouldn't pick on emotionally unstable people.
We always hope for Compassion, but never show it to another.

Schadenfreude.

Anonymous said...

"She has enough ammunition to depopulate West Easton. ...emotionally unstable..."

Which is why her firearm should be confiscated. Even you see the danger of her owning one. She is a menace to every community. Schadenfreude has nothing to do with it. She created her own problems.

Anonymous said...

Dilusio does not have the smarts to be the next police chief. Do your homework yourself and then you would know.

Bernie O'Hare said...

4:08, You are nuts if you think Hayden Phillips has even an outside shot at VP. He is an extremist. He commands one vote, and that is all he'd get. Scott Parsons is in the wrong party. I can see Glenn as the likely VP. It should under no circumstances go to Kraft, McClure or Parsons. The first two are bad people, and Parsons is running for another office.

In Bethlehem, my guess is that Sonia will get the nod.

Anonymous said...

"It creates an appearance of impropriety."

Yeah. Very publicly acknowledging the potential for conflicts and detailing how they will be handled is quite sneaky and improper. Do you ever proofread the shit you write?

Meanwhile you make excuses for others who blatantly break revolving door hiring rules because they don't like them.

You are such a spurned puppy with no lap upon which to sit. Stop licking your balls, too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is actually Judge Baratta who called this an appearance of impropriety and put the brakes on what they were planning to do. Sletvold herself refused to speak to me last week. She did speak to the ET, after Judge Baratta made his intentions known. So No, neither she nor her husband have been particularly forthcoming on this point. As for the personal shots, you should direct them to Judge Baratta.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Glenn gets the VP nod on council.
As far as the lesbian giving up her position I think she digs in as she is guided my emotions instead of a conscience. That's pretty clear. No boundaries...she needs to be forced out if that what it comes to..
The 2 Stevolds will be worked out I hope. We should not be making things harder. Or more expensive. I voted for her and support her. Just hope she makes the right call here. If it is her call.
TM is a legend in her own mind and we all need to remember that. Don't get sucked into this web of hers. She is yesterday's news.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The Sletvold situation can be resolves by simply giving Bob another position that does not create a conflict.

Today was Judge Sletvold's first day as motions judge. How many bench warrants and bail matters did she have to turn down? This is going to be a problem. A completely unnecessary problem.

Borough of Chapman said...

We plan to quickly reorganize and complete our 2024 Summer Olympics bid package. Commuter tax discussions have been tabled and will likely not be discussed in 2014. FYI. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"In Bethlehem, my guess is that Sonia will get the nod."

Because she is a teacher, and there are 4 teachers and the husband of a teacher on council. Not because she deserves it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I 'd agree that far too many local boards are full of teachers. But just as it is unfair to give a teacher an edge for that reason, it is equally unfair to disqualify a teacher for that reason. From what I am told, she brings a lot to the table. If another candidate is better, so be it.

Anonymous said...

You didn't even spell his name correctly.

Anonymous said...

"They want a woman (Karner?) with business background who is better looking than MarioScavelli. Parsons is none of that."

That leaves Karner out. Really? Who thinks of this stuff? She has the [personality of a pit bull on meth.

Anonymous said...

Great another teacher and this one a token hire. A Latina woman will make the self-centered Callahaers happy. Of course it does nothing for the taxpayers, since now they have no representation. A school District employee has answers, just rise more taxes.

Why bother with the interviews if this is all decided?

She will run and lose in 2015.

Anonymous said...

Eliminate the hatch and civil service act that restricts Civil employees running for govt.

Anonymous said...

There are some excellent candidates on the list. She is certainly not the best or even in the top five. But this is Bedlam.

Anonymous said...

From someone's Facebook page...

Ken Kraft
It's amazing to me how people forget that an at large seat is only won when BOTH parties vote for you. Shame on you and your lopsided speech. You owe half the voters in Northampton County an apology...

Welcome to partisan politics, NorCo.

Anonymous said...

Who was named Pres and VP of county council??

Anonymous said...

The State Ethic Committee says that this appointment is not a problem, but Barrata feels it is. Most cases in Norco are resolved at "Let's Make a Deal" Arraignment Thursdays, so keeping her from criminal matters will not burden the Court. Maybe McFatASS will have to work some afternoons now. This is what is wrong with Norco. The judges believe they control everything. Hopefully Brown goes to elective row officers. 99% of the counties in the US cannot be wrong

Anonymous said...

Read that Mr. Kraft and Mr. McClure have already said the Republican partisan politics have begun.
Obviously Mr. Brown and company tock John Stoffa's advice. What a shame.

Clinton Oxford said...

It is a time of new beginnings.

Anonymous said...

What the hell did Stoffa have to do with it? Why don`t you blame him for the cold weather while you are at it.

Anonymous said...

http://nccvid.northamptoncounty.org/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=289&doctype=AGENDA

Voting starts around 20:00 on the video.

Anonymous said...

Ferraro Pres
Gessinger, VP

Bernie O'Hare said...

Speaking of partisan politcs, it is Kraft who nominated parsons for president, knowing his motion would fail. Peg Ferraro had the votes. he had to know that, but chose to be partisan about it. He should remember he needs 5 votes to get something done, not 4.

Anonymous said...

Please Bernie, I checked out the video. After telling people elected officials serve everyone, Ferraro went on a partisan rant mentioning republican this and republican that for almost half an hour.

She is far more partisan than people think. I have spoken to old timers who remember how she was during the Brackbill Admisntration and she was really bad back then. You are just hyper pissed at Kraft and McClure to think clearly.

Typical Peg. You have to give her credit though, A lot of stupid Democrats think she is the nice old teacher. Fact is she is hyper partisan republican.

Anonymous said...

This Sletvold situation is quickly turning into a crisis.Judge Sletvold should step down from the bench allowing Mr. Sletvold to serve as Chief Public Defender.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I was there and will be writing about her speech. She spoke about the people who helped her along the way. It should comes as no shock to Kraft or anyone else that these people were Republicans. And it was before that speech that Kraft and McClure both engaged in partisan votes for Council leadership, knowing they would fail. They are about as partisan as you get, and if Peg wanted to talk about her R roots, that's too bad. When Kraft becomes Council president, he can talk about all his union money.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, this is not your first time to the rodeo and you know that it is common practice for the minority party to nominate one of their own for council leadership positions. Name one year when this did not happen. So stop hating on Kraft and McClure for doing what is done every year - partisan nominations.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is not my first time to the rodeo, and i have seen instances in which Council leadership was selected unanimously by members of both parties. In fact, these pointless partisan votes are a product of Kraft and McClure, who have only been to the rodeo a short while but think they know everything.

Anonymous said...

I think it's time for you to monetize this blog as you will have an army of information to spew over for the next 4 years, guaranteed...

Anonymous said...

OK, name the instance in recent memory when a council president was elected unanimously. Partisan elections is not a Kraft or McClure exclusive and you know it. Your hatred for these two has blinded you B.O.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It was pretty much SOP in the '90s. This did not change until Dertinger, McClure and yes, Ron Angle, entered the picture. At one time, it was a fairly August body. Appearing in front of Council was akin to standing before a judge. Now it is a viper pit. God help the new members.

Matt M. said...

I thought it sounded more like an Election night speech... albeit it was very much prepared. I find that a bit off-putting that she had the speech written before she was nominated. The platform for a 15 minute meeting should have paid lip-service to the intended direction of the county and solidifying bi-partisan efforts to serve the county and it's citizens. Being the leader with a new executive and big turnover on council is an opportunity to look ahead. Thanking people and taking a trip down memory lane is for election night. Was it horrendous? Meh. Was it bad form? Yes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It might have been "bad form" as you say. But I know that Peg has wanted this a very long time, and she begged every one their indulgence before speaking. Considering the amount of time she spends listening to people like McClure, I was not put off by her thank yous.

Clinton Oxford said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...
This Sletvold situation is quickly turning into a crisis.Judge Sletvold should step down from the bench allowing Mr. Sletvold to serve as Chief Public Defender. 8:55 PM"

The Judge was Elected. You are a Misogynist.

Anonymous said...

The 90's? Why don't you have a blacksmith repair your car, Bernie? Proves my point that you are just picking on the evil Kraft and McClure who you despise. At least you admit that your BFF Angle contributed to the partisan acrimony.

Bernie O'Hare said...

What I am doing is pointing out how Council used to be, and when it changed. The reason it changed is because of divisive people like McClure, Dertinger and yes, even my friend Ron.

If you know you don't have the votes to get your man elected, all you succeed in doing is embarrassing him. It would have been far smarter, and good government, to make an effort to be united instead of divided.

Anonymous said...

Did you or your blog get mentioned by name? Get thanked?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Over the years, I have criticized Peg as much as I've complimented her. In fact, I would say I've been more critical than complimentary. Why on earth would she thank someone who accused her, and correctly I might add, of stabbing someone in the back? On the other hand, she has many good qualities and I shed light on them as well.

She was thanking some of the bog people in her life. Her parents, her husband, Charlie Roberts, one of her lady friends. And for this she is accused of partisan politics.

Alrighty then.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Don't worry. I'll post Krafts's comment with my story about Peg's election and leave it to the reader to decide.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Sletvold was elected by the people.Did She campaign on the fact that She will not hear cases involving the Public Defender's Office.Hopefully there are enough adults on County Council to give Mr.Brown and the Sletvolds a time out. 'The Misogynist'

Blake said...

The Sletvolds are both very competent people, both well suited for the jobs to which they have aspired, who happen to be married. Each should be selected on his or her merit. Where it causes complications, the issues should be identified, as they have been, and those responsible for the appointment of the PD need to decide how compelling those issues are before voting. That isn't a political decision,it is a practical one. Neither of the Sletvolds, both highly qualified, should be criticized for their aspirations.