Monday, November 03, 2014
Brown's First Ten Months a Disaster
- He proposed a $715,200 business consultant, incorrectly predicting that he would get the five votes he needed, Instead, it was condemned by Republican stalwart Elmer Gates
- His insistence on hiring a $67,500 public relations consultant has been a public relations disaster, spawning two lawsuits.
- He proposed Director of Administration, a high school graduate who was a secretary in a two-person office, was rejected in a 6-3 vote of County Council.
- The Voice Over artist he hired as his Director of Economic Development has thus far failed to bring a single job to Northampton County.
- He is notorious for failing to return calls from the press, recently snubbing Morning Call columnist Bill White.
- Despite his denials, he is attempting to balance Northampton County's budget on the backs of what he has called its "most valuable asset", the worker. He shoved draconian cuts in the health plans and then refused to budge after three meetings in which employees begged him to stop being so harsh and even Council asked him to reconsider.
- In addition, he told Human Services workers he intends to cut other benefits, from sick time to vacation to longevity.
- In addition to reducing the benefits package, Brown has made clear that the already underpaid workforce will see no wage hikes.
- Late last week, he blinked on the health plan reductions, but is now so unpopular in the workforce that even that proposal is being viewed with suspicion.
- He has engaged in mean-spirited attacks against previous administrations and, more recently, against Council.
- At a routine news conference, he barred a Council member and the Controller, who were only there to listen, telling them to make an appointment if they wanted to see him.
- At another "urgent" news conference in which he blasted Council as "craven" and accused them of extortion in a hissy fit, he actually posted armed Sheriff's Deputies to prevent the public and even members of Council from attending.
- He proposed a budget for next year that irresponsibly and illegally balances the budget with a $20 million line of credit.
- He has directed department heads and other county personnel to stay away from budget hearings, leaving an inexperienced Council to ask questions of inexperienced cabinet members. This deprives county employees from acquainting Council with what they do, and deprives a new Council from learning what is going on.
- He has directed that questions of County workers must go through Director of Administration Luis Campos.
- He has allowed the workforce to disintegrate, with 17 unfilled openings at the jail and a Civil Division that will soon be down eight people, including four deputies.
- He has driven medical costs to the County to high levels because many employees are having elective procedures done now, before it is too late.
- He appears to have piece-mealed contracts with one consultant to avoid reporting to Council.
- He removed a web link from the Controller, enabling employees to report fraud.
- He censored the Controller by preventing his ability to send mass emails to County employees.
If pointing out these many failings discourages people from running for office, that's probably a good thing.
Updated 9:02 am to add two items.