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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, January 13, 2017

NorCo Council Still Refuses To List Contact Info

Several weeks ago, I began ticking off numerous deficiencies in Northampton County's new website, which has had the effect of making government less transparent and accountable. Years of minutes of Council meetings just vanished. The $91,000 a year clerk refuses to include back-up documents on agendas. And though there are pretty pictures of the nine Council members, no contact information is listed.

Since my initial complaints, Council has managed to include minutes dating back to 2005, but the rest are still being kept away from the preying eyes of the public. Those old minutes were quite useful during the swaption discussion, as everyone tried to blame everyone else. Now our county government seems to think that what you don't know won't hurt you, even if it does.

Most amazing of all, no effort has been made to include the contact information of individual Council members. I would never expect to see home addresses and home phone numbers listed, but there should at least be a county email address listed.

This is basic transparency. Council's refusal to provide this basic information is something you should keep in mind when five of them seek re-election this year.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

The older minutes are reportedly available electronically, but only to people who work for the county (how useless is that to the public?). You can file a RTK request, and go and read them in a book. They don't have a computer terminal you can use.

They plan to "drop off" a year every time they add a new year. So soon, you won't be able to see 2005 minutes unless you want to thumb through binders. Stupid!!!

Anonymous said...

Go away. Leave us alone!

Ken Kraft said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Kraft said...

KKraft@northamptoncounty.org

Anonymous said...

They don't need to be contacted because they know what you need. Even if they had an e-mail address, they wouldn't return it. It's called self preservation at the least.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet they see a lot of ads for penis enlargement if those addresses are publicized. Then, they'll speak softly and carry a bigger stick.

Anonymous said...

But, Bernie, the county just rolled out their brand new website! And it's a great website! It's one of the best! Let me tell you, they know how to put together a great website. And that website designer is one of the best in the business. They have the best people on it. They know what's best. Who actually designed the website? County Council didn't. Heck, the County Executive probably had little input, except for maybe picking his favorite color. I'll bet few, if any, county employees had anything to do with the website and that the designer wouldn't be interested in their opinions if they did. When the county contracts out a job, that contractor doesn't want your input, they tell you what you need, they tell you what is best, and you don't challenge them, because that's why you pay them, so you don't have to think about it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The new website was prepared by the county's IT contractor, who did speak to all the departments. Brown wants department heads to update the web in their own. It is nothing short of a disgrace. Council has been made aware that their contact information is not out there bc I have made them aware. They have not done a damn thing. I frankly think they don't care. Maybe this is something that voters can remind them about at the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

Why were Kraft's remarks removed by you?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did not remove anything. Ken removed his first comment, likely bc it is the wrong email address. You will notice that it says, "The comment has been removed by the author," i.e. the person submitting it. If I had removed it, it would say the comment had been removed by an administrator. Why would I remove his attempt to give his email addy?

Ken Kraft said...

I typed my email address wrong. Couldn't edit so I had to delete