|Flisser before his last Council meeting|
Frank Flisser's last day was on Friday, December 19. He left the way he operated during his 37 years as County Council's only Clerk. Quietly. No parties. On his final day, as the seconds ticked away, he had just four cardboard boxes to take home with him. Occasionally, the phone would ring, and he'd say good-bye to one of the many people he worked with over the years.
Q. You were born and raised on Bethlehem's South Side, and grew up with troublemakers like district Attorney John Morganelli and Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez. Did that experience on the south side help?
My father was the Pastor of St. John's Lutheran Windish Church. For 31 years, I had the honor and privilege to live on Bethlehem's south side. I learned true old world values from people who came to this country from Yugoslavia and Hungary It gave me a good base for my value system.
Q. Who were council's best sparring partners, Ron Angle and Lamont McClure, Ron Angle and Charles Dertinger?
I'd have to say Bill Moran and Jim Hemstreet. They loved to spar with each other, were good at it, and and each was iconic.
Q. In all your years as Clerk, is there any single meeting that stood out as the wildest and craziest of them all?
I'd have to say the bond hearing in 2000, when a $110 million bond issue was approved at 2 am.
Q. That's the meeting in which Ron Angle's name plate was stolen, and found later in a urinal. Now that you're leaving, will you admit you're the thief?
No (laughing), I think [Jim] Hickey did it.
Q. Although you serve at the pleasure of council, you lasted 37 years. What advice would you have for your successor?
Be honest. Treat everybody the same, including members of the public. Be open and direct.
Q. Having seen a home rule form of government for 37 years, do you think it's time to go back to the commissioner form of government?
Maybe a Charter Study Commission should be convened.