Ott was one of a chorus of conservatives who thinks government should be barred from deducting union dues, especially when it includes political contributions. He spoke in support of a house bill to that effect, proposed by Lancaster County State Rep. Bryan Cutler.
Locally, that bill has the support of State Representatives Joe Emrick, Gary Day and Ryan MacKenzie. We could argue all day about the relative merits of this legislation. But in his report of this event, Pennsylvania Legislative Service's Jason Gottesman writes,
Scott Ott, Lehigh County Commissioner, said the legislation stops the Commonwealth from picking the pocket of an individual and directing that money to a labor union. He stated the measure puts a layer of defense around an elected official by disallowing honest work to be viewed in the light of impropriety. “It is a dynamic that has led to sometimes baseless accusations,” he said and argued allowing the voluntary contribution allows for more sovereignty over property and removes the shadow of impropriety from elected officials. He said Lehigh County, as a home rule county, has chosen to not collect dues on behalf of third parties. He encouraged the governor to actively and publicly work to ensure the bill, which he said he would sign, actually gets to his desk.(Emphasis added).
This is completely untrue.
In the only union contract approved since Ott became a Commissioner, which was for Deputy Sheriffs, the contract expressly requires the County to withhold dues and remit them to the union.
True, Lehigh County Commissioners recently adopted a resolution calling on Executive Tom Muller to remove automatic dues deductions in upcoming negotiations, but it's nonbinding.
It has about as much validity as a resolution banning snowstorms for the rest of the Winter.
Ott has a growing list of misstatements.
- In 2013, while running for Exec, he bragged that he "cut spending" right after voting to approving a budget that both increased spending to the County's highest level ever.
- In 2012, he jammed a reassessment against the recommendation of the Executive, which increased county and school taxes on ten of thousands of mostly low-income residents despite a promise that he never would increase anyone's taxes by a single dime.
- In 2011, he told voters he had a specific plan to "roll back" the 16% tax increase. although that hasn't happened and no such plan ever existed.
In his most recent Exec race, Ott claimed that everything he needed know to do the job he learned as a school bus driver. Too bad that din't include telling the truth.