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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, April 29, 2016

Nazareth Circles the Wagons

Lance Colondo with his favorite blogger
Note: This is obviously my spoof.
Last time I visited Nazareth's thin-skinned Borough Council, nearly two years ago, I brought cupcakes. They were tossed in the garbage. Things were even worse last night when I decided to mosey over and chime in on theft charges filed against Mayor Carl Strye for skimming at the Vigilance Hose. Before the night was over, I had been called venomous, a cancer, a disbarred lawyer with no credibility, a landless peasant and a variety of other insults I'm unable to recall at the moment. It was chaos, mayhem and misery. My work was done. I had called on each and every one of them to resign. Unable to argue facts, these petty tyrants descended into name-calling.

When I arrived at Council, what caught my attention was how jocular they all were. Not a care in the world despite serious criminal charges of theft against the Mayor. It was still business as usual for the good ol' boys.

I also noticed that the room was packed with what appeared to be about 20 residents. I assumed that several of them would demand the Mayor's resignation for an admitted theft.

I assumed wrong. One fellow wanted to know about street sweeping and driveways on Green Street. Another talked about flowers in the circle and the need to combat the bad press and tell the good news about Nazareth. "This town rises to the occasion," said a male cheerleader who completely ignores the reality is that the worst thing you can ever do is ignore bad government. Then there's Becky Butz, who was in a tizzy last year over mailers by the Nazareth Borough Police union to raise money for scholarships. She had nothing to say about criminal charges against the boss of that police department. She instead spoke about plants until we were all ready to wither away.

They were all ignoring the elephant in the room.

A culture of corruption in Nazareth.

I chose to confront it head on. I barely got three sentences out before Lance Colondo, the newbie on Council, began interrupting. Colondo, who looks as though he just stuck his fingers in an electric socket, was unwilling to entertain any criticism at all. If he could dig a hole and his spiked-hair head could fit inside, he would put it there. 

But facts are facts.

Nazareth Borough Council was warned two years ago that, unless it acted, it would be facing a shitload of civil rights lawsuits. Now it is.. Amazingly, some of them are from their own police officers. Nazareth has already paid one police officer off with $440,000, the largest sum I know of for a police officer in the Lehigh Valley claiming a civil rights violation.

Nazareth Borough Council was warned two years ago that, unless it did something, the DA would start sticking his nose into what's going on. Now he is. The result is theft charges against the Mayor for skimming at the Vig Hose. And who's to say it ends there? I certainly don't.

I point blank accused him of lying to my face when I asked him about the Grand Jury. The man who wanted to handle things "in house" couldn't even look me in the eye. But Colondo and soon others began shouting away.

"You're a disbarred lawyer!" shouted Colondo, reporting news that is now 31 years old.

"Stop the presses!" I retorted.

I also slammed Borough Council for unanimously voting last year to seek a $52,900 gaming grant from Monroe County for the American Legion.

That is a private social club, and this is of absolutely no benefit to the Borough, unless you like to gamble.

"What were you thinking?" I asked them.

Amazingly, Council member Larry Stoudt  voted for it even though he tends bar there and was actually placed on ARD not long ago for trying to use police resources to find out who is diming the clubs.

This is a clear conflict of interest, but Stoudt last night claimed he is an unpaid volunteer. That is horseshit because I know for a fact that he accepts tips there.

None of them seemed to understand that you don't spend public money on a private social club.

In the meantime, we have a police department going to hell in a handbag with a police chief, a police commissioner in charge of two full-time cops as well as one part-timer who does not back up other officers and likes to go on 70 mph chases.

When I was done exercising my right to speak, which I had to do over their shouting voices, they of course retaliated with epithets instead of addressing the facts.

The only one who came close to actually responding was Carl Fischl, who announced everyone is entitled to due process of law. That is certainly true, but I am not asking Council to hang the Mayor. I want him to resign, and so should they.  He admitted to his theft in grand jury testimony and has waived his preliminary hearing. Innocent Mayors don't do that. He's slinking around for an "in house," as he would put it, deal.

Allentown City Council, to its credit, has unanimously called on Fed Ed to resign, and he hasn't even been charged. He's entitled to due process, too, but City Council believes that the federal investigation is a dark cloud over Allentown that won't be lifted until he is gone.

The same situation is true in Nazareth.

Thee rest were just insulting, and would applaud each other's epithets. The audience was on their side, too.

How dare I speak poorly of the good ol' boys!

One of the biggest cheerleaders, pom poms and all, was downtown manager Stephanie Varone, who complained that I am a "cancer" preventing her from bringing five businesses to Nazareth by June 1.

Varone has 20,000 reasons to be a cheerleader. But she's wrong. Businesses will not come to a town run by a thief or a top-heavy police department that is failing miserably. . .

The highlight of the night, for me, was when John Samus wanted everyone who owns real estate in Nazareth to rise their hands. Most people did. I did not.

Then he asked me, "Do you own a home?"

I don't, and he was very pleased with himself.

"Does this mean I'm a second class citizen?" I asked.


"Are you saying that only the landed gentry may speak?"


"Then what is your point?"

His only point was to establish that, unlike the good ol' boys. I am poor. I'm part of the riff raff and need not be taken seriously.

I am under the impression that every citizen has equal rights, regardless whether he owns real estate and pays property taxes.  I know my vote counts as much as a millionaire's.  That means something comes election time. These people need to be removed from the offices in which they've become far too entrenched.

I will work very hard next year to ridding the borough of these weeds.


Anonymous said...

The world went on despite your misdeeds. The same will be true of Strye's.

Anonymous said...

Live and learn. This good ole boys club is here to stay despite anything you write or expose to the public. As proven by that 440 thousand dollar pay off. You see it means nothing to them or this police dept would have been stripped clean of all the employees and either started over or another dept brought in.
They will also spend tax dollars on whatever they damn well please.
Be careful or Marilyn Monroe aka becky butz will turn you in for having a dirty car parked on the street. Be careful out there, Nazareth is a dangerous place for concerned citizens.

Anonymous said...

At Mondays mtg. try shots and beers for the council. Bet they cuddle right up to you. You could be one of the boys.

Anonymous said...

Nazareth, Nazareth borough to be accurate, are a collection of leftovers from the people who really made Nazareth want it was. The current self absorbed, entitled weaklings accept what is handed to them professing it's exactly what they demanded. Dopes and sheople,

Anonymous said...

those weren't even good insults.

i could've done much better.


Anonymous said...

Sad that such a quaint little town is run by a bunch of pinheads. They had no right to verbally abuse a citizen in that fashion, regardless of his/her status as a homeowner. If you pay rent, you pay taxes. It is an expense your landlord charges within the monthly rent. You are a legal resident of the borough with voting rights. Those clueless bums were trying to publically disenfranchise you by ignoring your valid concerns. Nazareth has replaced Allentown as the laughing stock of the valley.

Anonymous said...

Sheople. Aha ha ha ha. Let's follow over them over here. Why? Cause they said this is the way to go. Let's follow them over there. Why? Cause they said thats the way to go.... Hey why are we falling off a cliff? Somebody Fix this for me cause I can't think for myself,

Anonymous said...

HColondo was a jerk as a kid, jerk as a teenager, jerk as an adult. He got beat up every week and just doesn't get it. He'll always be a jerk. Just step around him. Concerning anything he spews-"Nothing worth seeing or listening to here folks...move along."

Anonymous said...

Proud of you when you put your fat ass out there for the boro to torment.

Anonymous said...

This may be fetching, but is that really a picture of the guy you talk of in your blog?

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

Most local politicians do not like any resistance to their policies, they are most happy when no one shows up at meetings, which is the usual case. They have all had a free hand for so long, that they resent anyone questioning their decisions or spending projects. I suspect the audience was mostly family members and friends of the council. Until citizens take an interest in their government it will not change. It will not change until it all falls apart which may not be long in coming. The only thing than can be done now is to chronicle what is happening, good job Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Well Bernie,you did your best. Thing,s wont change unless you get honest people on council.Believe it or not,there are a few there.If more resident,s understood the process maybe they would run for council. Unfortuatly a person cant always speak up when they disagree because they will find a way to wipe you out.This boro will never change. Cant wait to move.Keep on them.

Anonymous said...

Naz corruption will result in Kraft cancelling plans for new plant.

Anonymous said...

TO bad the people of Nazareth cant sue council when they misuse our tax money to help out the rich HUD landlords. HEY I GOT A IDEA! LETS JUST GET MORE GRANT,S FOR THE LANDLORD,S. TOWN ISSUES AN RESIDENT,S DONT MATTER.STEPHANIE WILL BE RIGHT ON IT.LOL

Anonymous said...

Nothing at all about this meeting in Express Times. Assume they didn't send a reporter? Funny, they pumped out about 30 stories over a 5 day span when mayor was arrested...

Boro residents deserve what they get for not giving a rats ass about their leadership. Shame.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"At Mondays mtg. try shots and beers for the council. Bet they cuddle right up to you. You could be one of the boys"

Instead of cupcakes, I'll bring a poker machine. A new Council is needed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"This may be fetching, but is that really a picture of the guy you talk of in your blog?"


Bernie O'Hare said...

"those weren't even good insults.

i could've done much better."

Absolutely. Anyone who reads this blog knows damn well that I've already heard every possible insult that can be hurled. All they did was debase themselves. Unless Strye convinced a few of his friends to be there for moral support, we've got a real problem in the borough.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Thing,s wont change unless you get honest people on council.Believe it or not,there are a few there.If more resident,s understood the process maybe they would run for council."

I will work my ass off to replace these people. I cannot run. I am far too divisive. I don't even like me. I am far more effective as a writer. But we need good people to run. I will try to find them again.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Nothing at all about this meeting in Express Times. Assume they didn't send a reporter?"

Both papers were there. One of my main points as a blogger is that bad government becomes far more possible when there is no media coverage.

Anonymous said...

You don't spend public money in support of a non-profit ambulance co. either Bernie.
They have even said in chambers that grant money was applied for to support the road extension of Stoudt Blvd. to allow the ambulance to better serve Gracedale. And the response time changed to what??? Right no answer. Mind your own damn business is the arrogance the council portrays.

Anonymous said...

How could anyone sit on that elected board of a town council and not think the whole town and area thinks that have no integrity or moral standards. They are sinking along with that self admitted and proclaimed thief of a Mayor.
To have a self proclaimed THIEF steal from the Fire Company and think its OK for him to stay on and govern? Seriously?
The Town needs an ENEMA! and get the POS's out of their elected Boards-

Anonymous said...

Good rant, Anon 11:00. Quote from Jack Nicholson as the Joker in the first Batman movie - "this town needs an enema!" Borough council, the mayor, and polizia all need to be purged. We will all feel better in the morning.

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:43, You are absolutely right about the ambulance company. It is a nonprofit, and serves a legitimate public safety interest, making it different from the Legion at least. But Dan ChiavaROLI is the ambulance company's paid executive director and has engaged in multiple conflicts. Members of council are placed on the board and that is another conflict, even if they do not benefit financially. I have a supreme court case making that clear. Unfortunately, I know too little about what is going on there. I plan to change that now.

Jim in Upper Naz said...

WHats Mondays meeting about? Do you have to be a resident to be on council?

Bernie O'Hare said...


Anonymous said...

I am from the Lehigh Valley as is my wife. Neither of us are from Nazareth but live here now. The thing that I find shocking is that despite very good schools, the people in the town are utterly stupid.

What I came to realize is that the bright young adults that the schools churn out are smart enough to live somewhere else. The dumb ones stay here and marry the other dumb ones - creating the problem we have now.

Bernie, I really appreciate all you do. Especially with the ET reporters rarely stepping out of the office and afraid of stepping on toes. At some point, I will introduce myself. I think we would have much to talk about.

Keep up the good fight.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks. If you look at the newspapers, they are different now. At one time, they would be just as confrontational, if not more so. And they would heave more credibility. But they have been decimated by the failure of newsprint as a business model. Corporations come in and get rid of the really good reporters. The ones left are those who have learned to keep their heads down instead of asking the hard questions. And frankly, I have not asked enough hard questions.

Anonymous said...

Bernie well now you've gone done it. The Morning Call is reporting on this! Could Express-Times be far behind?

Anonymous said...

The Express-Times is always far behind

Anonymous said...

BOH, we may not agree on much politically , but I appreciate your efforts and courage to stand up against this corrupt oligarchy. When the so called elected officials act in this manner, the worst thing to do is sit back and allow them to continue with out being challenged.
Continue to question with boldness. For any member of this community to sit back and not even bring up the issue is outrageous and cowardly. Until council resigns or is voted out, the community govt will remain unchanged. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

With balls as big as yours Bernie, its best not to have any property in your name as I'm sure you'd lose it. I know (first hand)"they" can just redraw the line and give it to a well connected neighbor.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"

We don't always agree and some of what you do is self serving(as is your right) but man it would really suck if you weren't around.

Thanks for hangin' em out there.

Anonymous said...

Bunch of tone deaf jackasses. The obnoxious idiot with the spiked hair never learned to tuck in his shirt. Sounds like a horrible evening, Bernie. Your worthless town government, not at work.

They think that all that other guff is pertinent - which it isn't. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

You would think boro council would take a vote of no confidence,even tho they cannot remove him. I believe they did that in Allentown.Most of them must have a guilty conscience.I would vote for new council members if someone would run but it was already said clearly that no one would run against them .Keep on them Bernie!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, the Express-Times finally woke up ...


Anonymous said...

Just for the record, Bernie, perhaps that was a typo, it's Carl Fischl.

Interesting reading......I like to hear all sides to the story. Monday night's meeting should be..um, craziness???

Bernie O'Hare said...

I just corrected my typo and thank you for noting it. I am part of this story and hence would tell anyone that my own version is less credible than the dailies. But it appears that we all are pretty much on the same page.

Patt White said...

By the looks of things, seems like the Blog Mentor has a hard on for you at the Lehigh Valley Live comments section of the Nazareth Mayor's article. But someone is taking to task for his comments. He is like that little dog, yapping at your heels, that needs to be punted a city block. When his day comes, he will have a great deal to atone for.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Could be him or his West Easton sidekick, but no one is buying it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Could be him or his West Easton sidekick...
Probably the West Easton crazy one. She looked like a clown on primary day wearing her "official" Constable shirt at the voting station.

Joey Goebbels said...