Monday, February 17, 2014
Northampton County Monkey Business
You already know about Zosky's $715,200 deal for "comprehensive business consulting services" to Northampton County. I told you about that on Friday.
What you don't know is that Zosky already had her foot in the door last year.
In the waning days of the John Stoffa administration, Northampton County's Industrial Development Authority (IDA) sought and got four proposals to administer the taxes in the Chrin TIF. Zosky, associated with Compass Point, provided one of them.
She asked for $200,000, four times more than the next highest bid.
As you probably have already surmised, the IDA went with a lower bidder in January.
That's what happens when there's competition.
So why did Executive John Brown sole source her for a much more crucial role? Why not seek proposals from other business consultants before asking Council to approve a deal that will include $715,200 in fees and hundreds of thousands more in IT costs? Will he tell Council that there's something unique about Zosky? That's just not so.
We know that she and Brown were fellow board members at RenewLV, a creature of the Lehigh Valley Partnership. We know that Richard McAteer, a retired Bethlehem Steel Exec and Computer Aid boss, got Brown his seat on that Board and introduced him to all the Lehigh Valley Partnerships types.
They like to call themselves the Big 25.
I call them WASPs - White, Anglo-Saxon Pricks.
There is little doubt in my mind that NIZ twins J.B. Reilly and Joe Topper, who funneled a whopping $50,000 to Brown's campaign through the state Republican party, urged Brown to hire the very person they have collecting their NIZ taxes. I'm sure they'll deny it if asked, just as they made sure they did not contribute to Brown directly.
They just happen to be the only two individuals to contribute to the state party in the election cycle leading to Brown's election.
They'll say it's just a coincidence.
Zosky and her unnamed "team" will give the County three days a week from her unnamed "Lehigh Valley offices". After a year, this drops to two days a week. At the same time this is going on, Zosky will continue to collect Allentown NIZ taxes and work out a plan for CRIZ compliance in Bethlehem and Lancaster.
As if this were not enough, Zosky is also a consultant with "Green Performance Strategies," which appears to be a Compass Point spin-off. Her profile fails to specify any governmental experience at all, in start contrast to her proposal claiming to be a specialist.
This is not business consulting.
This is monkey business.