Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Barron Gets Beach-Bashed at NorCo Council
Though noting in the Home Rule Charter requires it, Controller Steve Barron usually attends Northampton County Council meetings. He even has an agenda item for any remarks he wants to make. Bur he was absent on Thursday night. He and his family were at the beach for their fourth one-week vacation during his eight years in office. A week before the meeting, he advised Council Clerk Linda Zembo in writing that he'd be on vacation. Council used his absence to bash him.
"Is Mr. Barron still employed by the County?" asked a smug Glenn Geissinger when Council President John Cusick noticed that Barron was absent. Now Geissinger missed meetings when he was running for Congress. Unlike Barron, he is required to attend Council meetings. But he was going to be a Congressman. Geissinger also very often attends meeting by phone because he's too important to be there in person.
Ken Kraft, a fellow Democrat, asked to have the Controller's report removed from the agenda. "I don't really want it," he said, noting that Barron has more than enough time to say whatever he has to say during Finance Committee meetings that Kraft usually skips.
Peg Ferraro and Seth Vaughn were all for removing this agenda item. Cusick said he wanted to hear from Barron first.
To be fair, Cusick or Linda Zembo should have told everyone that Barron had notified them he would be on vacation. But it's pretty clear that no one on Council is interested in being fair to Barron.
I know Barron talks a lot, and I hate it, but I'd rather have a public official who is transparent than some smug and condescending bastard who phones in to meetings because he's too important to hang with the vulgari.
When Juliet said, "I'll be brief," she meant it. She stabbed herself with Romeo's dagger, ensuring that there'd no sequel. But when Barron says "I'll be brief," it's my cue to hunt down Romeo's dagger and join Juliet. He talks too much. I've told him this. Ken Kraft has told him this. But it is because he cares.
I think it's unfortunate that Council would trash Barron over a family vacation when most of them skip meetings themselves.