|Bob Werner and Steve Barron were both tossed out of an|
Executive news conference last year. Reporter Joe McDonald
phones in his story.
Werner has sent out the following missive:
In defining Northampton County Executive John Brown's leadership, I find his supervisory accountability confusing and secretive. Often without County Council’s knowledge, guidance, or approval, Mr. Brown has forged ahead, making perplexing decisions regarding job and duty reclassifications that have proven to be problematic.
Council has asked for months for written justification and submissions, as required by policy under established guidelines; it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Nowhere in the Home Rule Charter does it state that the County Executive can change job descriptions or classifications without written submission of specifics and rationale for the changes. Any good businessperson knows the importance of documenting performance outcomes and expectations; unfortunately Brown has not accounted for a number of job modifications, refinements, and pay variations.
It seems the transparency that John Brown claims to embrace has thus far eluded Council and the taxpayers of Northampton County. Council has had to rely on news reports, reporters, and the right to know law to obtain information that Mr. Brown and his administration should share freely with the governing body.
Adding insult to injury, Mr. Brown offered praise to departing Director of Public Works Rich Young, who resigned after just 11 months amid assurances that there was no longer a generator problem at Gracedale. In actuality, the generator is still in need of repairs and the residents may tragically find themselves without power should a natural or manmade disaster cause a power outage to the facility.
Citing a sense of urgency, Mr. Brown has also stated his intentions to strategically overhaul delivery practices, staff programs adequately, and reduce personnel vacancies. Aside from administrative appointments, these goals remain largely untouched.
Finally, Brown appointed a Deputy Director, who, in his absence, declined not only to address Council but also refused to step up to the microphone to make her comments public, displaying a total disregard for governmental protocol and the Sunshine Act. Meanwhile, she continues to be financially rewarded for working in shadows and silence.
Looking over the past year and four months, it brings to mind George Bush’s preposterous compliment to his FEMA director following Hurricane Katrina: Good job, Brownie!
Northampton County Councilman