|Ron Angle quotes Shakespeare, sort of|
John Stoffa, as some of you know, was quite ill when he left office. In fact, when the new Human Services building was dedicated early this year, I was quite concerned about him. But he's now looking better than at any time I've seen him over the past few years. A huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders and is now being borne by Executive John Brown.
Though one of life's ambitions is to build 500 birdhouses, Stoffa has put that project on hold. He's hooked on Hitler. He's just finished five biographies of the man who at one time even had Gandhi fooled.
The Northampton County Bulldog
After baling hay all day, Ron Angle rushed down to the courthouse. He might claim he was there to straighten Council or Brown out, but the truth is that he was there to see Stoffa. Like me, he really admires and respects this unusual man who devoted his life to helping others. .
Though the Bulldog was there to see Stoffa, the podium beckoned, and Angle gave a short speech that pretty much hit on every problem facing the County over the past year.
"As Shakespeare said, Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated," he started, with an unlit stogie dangling from his mouth.
"Doesn't he mean Mark Twan?" I asked Stoffa,.
"Shut up, he's on a roll," answered the former Exec.
"Certain people on Council and the Controller, who I don't see here ..." he continued.
"I'm here" shouted Controller Steve Barron in the back.
"Oh he's here," Angle went on. "Generally, it's hard to miss him."
Angle went on to point out that Barron and others on Council accused him during the last election contest of "exaggerating" the financial drain caused by Gracedale, the County-owned nursing home.
"Gracedale is still hemorrhaging the same money it was hemorrhaging before. In fact, I was correct with the numbers and there wasn't games played with the finances."
"People like Mr. Stoffa and myself were not making up fake numbers and cooking the books. ... Had it been sold, you would have had tens of millions of dollars to put into senior citizen programs which now will never be put into that. And frankly, it would hacve continued as a nursing home and nobody would have been put out ... ."
"[Y]ou have a financial problem here. There probably will be a tax increase unless you want to play some kind of games and make the tax increase even bigger in the future. ... You're eating the seed corn again and the $60 million that was supposed to be there in budgetary reserve ... . "
Council Plan to Insist on Approval of All Contracts Over $10,000 Instead of the Current $100,000
"He [Brown] is the Executive. It is his job basically to run the County. He's the CEO of a corporation. That was the thought on the Home Rule form of government, and you're merely the Board of Directors. ... To hamper his ability to run the County is not an answer, and if you reduce this amount, you're certainly going to hamper his ability to run the County."
On The PR Firm.
"If you're doing a good job, you don't need a public relations specialist. Let the people decide whether he's doing a good job."
"I happen to agree with you Democrats. We have a helluva' lot of people who live in Northampton County. We have a lot of wonderful deputies. I'm not saying the Sheriff selected doesn't have a wonderful resume. Frankly, it's a resume he could be an Assistant Director of the FBI. ... But the point is there is people in Northampton County that could have done that job."
Angle went on to suggest that Council needs to re-evaluate whether Home Rule is working.
Angle spoke about five minutes. You don't think these guys have an impact? Angle was quoted and mentioned by four different Council members, as well as the Controller. Stoffa, who just sat there, was mentioned three times. Former Exec Jerry Seyfried, who wasn't even there, was rerferred to as an authority on the Home Rule Charter by Republican Glenn Geissinger.