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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Baratta's Bullshit Burger: A Citizen Reaction

Pen Argyl resident Jeff Fox is starting to become a regular at Northampton County Council. Like me, he apparently has no desire to live a normal life span. He reacted to President Judge Stephen Baratta's demeaning letter to NorCo Council President John Cusick with a letter of his own, addressed to the judge:
Judge Baratta,

I have read your letter dated November 9, 2016, which you wrote and sent to President of County Council Mr. John Cusick. I am not a legal scholar and will not address the legal issues involved. I will voice my comments as a citizen of Northampton County, as one of We the People. I am an independent and this is not a perspective from any political point of view. The tone of your letter was condescending and arrogant. County Council has every right to discuss anything they so desire. They can do this without your fore-knowledge as well. Sometimes, items of interest present themselves without warning. These issues may be brought up by citizens, either through their respective elected council representatives or by the citizen themselves during the appropriate time during the council meeting. Council has every right to choose to discuss any and all matters which pertain to the county and may have an impact on the image, operation or fiscal concerns of Northampton County. This is not to mention that the County Council serves as the gatekeeper between the citizens of Northampton County and its' image, operation and fiscal health and direction. The County Council is indeed a separate branch of government. It is also in place to serve as a check and balance to the other branches and vice-versa. The branches are equal. The County Council is not an interference to the courts. It is a partner with the courts in the administration of Northampton County government. The very attitude expressed in your letter to Mr. Cusick and the rest of Council, and by default to the citizens of Northampton County, is part of the problem which exists in government today. Transparency is vital and should be paramount in the thinking of every elected official and public servant, including you. All elected officials and public servants, including you, work for me, us, We the People. It is time all elected officials and public servants, including you, thought this way. We the People pay your salary, benefits and perks, do not forget. The court system is part of the Northampton County team, not above it. You and the attitude of the courts should reflect that. I would like to thank you for your many years of service to the people of Northampton County. It is a place I am very proud to call home. Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts.
I will add my own sentiments to those expressed by Jeff. I have been highly critical of President Judge Stephen Baratta in this series of posts about the law clerks. I have no idea what planet he was on when he told Council they have no right to set salaries. But when I read his opinions, and not his letters to Council, he is brilliant. He is the hardest working judge in Northampton County, and is a fair man. You can talk to him, not about a pending case, but about the courts. He will argue his side forcefully, but he does listen. If he seeks retention next year, I will support him. This dispute is about good government, and is not personal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is a man [Jeff Fox] I would love to see on county council. If the majority on council had the balls he has, we would live in a more progressive county where transparency and openness are a standard practice. The back door politics and deals would be far fewer. He puts the taxpayers first, and good ole boy politics last. This is something the courts and their clueless cronies on council do not replicate.