|Seth Vaughn: J'accuse"|
In 2010, he was caught on tape, accompanying a bunch of union organizers, to give the strong arm at T-Mobile's Allentown call center. He identified himself as the Northampton County Controller, but a company VP still refused to meet him. Barron responded with this threat.
"Please remind him that if he needs anything from Northampton or Lehigh County, we're going to remember this day and we'll make sure that it will be part of the negotiations."
Council condemned his remarks by formal resolution. T-Mobile eventually left the Lehigh Valley, taking 600 jobs with them.
|Mat Benol does not want Barron sharing info with press|
He resigned his teaching position the next day, and Council took no action.
Now Barron is in hot water again. This time, it's mostly for doing his job.
Barron has had a contentious relationship with Executive John Brown. Barron sued over Brown's public relations contract with Sahl Communications. He also has been critical of other no-bid contracts and has questioned what real savings will be realized by Brown's unilateral decision to reduce health benefits. Just earlier this week, he called on both the Executive and Deputy Director of Administration to reimburse the County about $1,500 in what appear to be inappropriate travel expenses. He has also established an online fraud tip center for employees.
He has made some remarks in mass emails to employees that are unprofessional.
|Barron called "political hack"|
After Council adopted its budget last night, Republicans launched an attack.
Mat Benol was the lead off hitter, "I'm not a fan of receiving emails that include the media on it,." he complained, preferring government in the dark. "I don't think that your position warrants you crying 'Wolf!' every other week."
Ken Kraft asked Benol,"Was that a campaign speech? Are you running for Controller?"
Seth Vaughn followed Benol with an interrogation. "I won't hold you up too much," he sarcastically stated. "I know you're very busy."
Vaughn correctly took Barron to task for some unprofessional comments in his mass emails, which would be more appropriate here. In one email, Barron refers to Brown as "Dear Leader" That actually is a name coined by yours truly. Vaughn claimed that Barron also told employees that the Brown administration is an "ignorant administration which delivers needless beatings to the employees of Northampton County."
Vaughn pointed out that Barron's comments are a violation of the County's electronic resource policy, though that is unenforceable against Barron as an independently elected official
"We don't pay you for your opinion," thundered a visibly angry Vaughn. "We pay you to be a nonpartisan office."
Actually, Council is not the boss of him!
Then Vaughn blamed Barron for the tax hike.
"Your lack of oversight has led to this conversation about us having a tax increase. You've been sitting here for seven years, and you've watched this fund balance go down."
"You're a political hack," Vaughn concluded, much the same way that Barron concluded that Brown is Dear Leader.
The #3 hitter was Hayden Phillips. He read a resolution about 20 pages long, calling on Barron to resign and move to Easton. He did stop short of calling Barron an illegal alien
Glenn Geissinger suggested the matter be tabled, especially since he was aware that ailing Peg Ferraro, who had participated in the budget process by phone, had already hung up.
"I don't want to table," stated Phillips.
Then Lamont McClure explained. "He wants to table it. He thinks his numbers are better [if he waits for Peg]. He can count."
And tabled it was, with McClure and Kraft voting No.
Barron has not made Brown look bad, which is what really is bothering Republican council members. The person who makes John Brown look bad is John Brown.
John Brown has been the Democrats' best friend. And because of his lack of leadership and unwillingness to face reality, Republican Council members will take the heat for a tax hike while he can say, "It wasn't me." With friends like that ...