|Mike Dowd gets some java|
There was a nice little breakfast buffet with assorted juices, coffee, pastries, bagels, toast, jams and things of that sort. But there was no extravagant display. That could have come later, during their "retreat," but I saw nothing outrageous. Most of the Board was there, with T.J. Rooney participating by phone and Anne Baum MIA.
During courtesy of the floor, I slammed them for conducting a public meeting at a private country club and also took them to task over the very obvious shenanigans being pulled in the selection of counsel. The wanted to replace Florio Perucci as their general counsel, and select as bond counsel a firm that is associated with Jean Everett, who just happens to be the wife of Airport Executive Director Charles Everett.
Until I was there, I had no idea that the attorney providing legal advice is none other than Bob Freedberg. He is a former Superior Court Judge and was president Judge in Northampton County. How they could even consider replacing someone of his caliber was beyond me. Freedberg has sentenced me to the electric chair several times, and I pointed that out, which seemed to make most of them happy.
They ultimately decided, on Jane Baker's motion, to table the selection of a new lawyer, especially after some board members claimed they had no real idea what was going on until they read about it in my blog.
Freedberg also instructed them that Everett would be unable to have anything to do with his wife's firm, if it is ultimately approved as bond counsel.
Chairman Marc Troutman did complain about the leak anf=d asked the offending board member to step forward. No one volunteered.
"This is terrible!" huffed Bert Daday, mouthpiece for the LV Partnership."This is a tragedy."
I was amazed at the amount of time spent discussing how to deal with public comment. Some of these guys seem genuinely terrified of we vulgari. Mike Schware proposed some amendments that would crack the door open just a wee bit for comments on agenda items. "We send a message to the public with the way we conduct meetings," he argued.
Most elected officials like Glenn Geissinger and Mike Dowd were all for more transparency. So were Ed Lozano, Bill Berger and an 18' tall board member whose name escapes me but should be in the NBA. In the end, Schware's move for more transparency was adopted 9-5.
The Board suffers from poor leadership. Troutman does not know how to run a meeting, and had to be reminded several times about proper procedures by Freedberg.
When they went into Executive session to discuss this and that, I ordered lunch and then got in a quick nine holes.