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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Breslin Slammed Over "Alternative Facts" in Radio Interview

Breslin does not like the attention
Pat Breslin, serving in his final year as a Bethlehem Township Commissioner, rarely speaks during Commissioner meetings. But he gave WAEB-AM790 radio host Bobby Gunther Walsh an earful during a recent interview about Township finances. He portrayed himself as a fiscal watchdog concerned that the "train is off the track."  He warned that a tax increase is inevitable next year, meaning that the Township will have raised taxes in two of the past three years. He lamented that "I'm only one person," and called on the public to join him at the next Commissioners' meeting and help him "streamline" local government. That meeting was last night. About five members of the public were there The one resident who spoke about Breslin's radio remarks took him, and not the Township, to task. So did Breslin's fellow board members

Taxes.- Breslin's chief complaint is increasing taxes. He noted that in his first year as a Commissioner, the Board depleted its rainy day fund, resulting in what eventually tuned out to be a 17% tax hike the next year. Though no taxes were raised in this year's budget, he "can almost guarantee a tax hike next year." He ripped the Township for its borrowing, but neglected to say that he is one of the Commissioners who voted for a $10 million line of credit on April 7, 2014.

Community Center. - He also complained about $1.5 million in repairs needed at the 11-year old community center, saying that the "government shouldn't be in the gym business." He never said that during a Township meeting. He failed to mention that, on July 18, 2016 he was one of three Commissioners who voted to hire an architectural and engineering firm for these repairs. He also failed to state that, on September 19, 2016, he was part of an unanimous decision to seek a construction manager. He complained about a $725,000 note owed on the community center construction, but was unable to some up with a single suggestion about how to do better.

Housenick Park.- He lashed out at Housenick Park, which he mistakenly called "Housenick Mansion." He called it a "money pit" and a "waste of taxpayer money," adding  that only five percent of the township even know it exists. He slammed a trail at the park "that nobody uses." He told Bobby Gunther Walsh that he voted against the trail grant, but on March 2, 2015, he was part of an unanimous vote in support of a $471,000 contract to NIMARIS Construction to complete the trails and build a driveway and parking lot. The funding for this came from a DCNR grant, matched by funds from the Housenick Park Trust.

Township Engineer.- He complained about the Township Engineer, noting that the Township has failed to issue an RFP (Request for Proposals) within the last eight years. But he was unable to tell Bobby Gunther Walsh what an RFP actually is.

"They run roughshod over us." .

"Who's they?

"Our Township engineer,. Their bills. They gouge us."

Breslin neglected to say that, in his three years as a Commissioner, he has been one of those unanimously voting to approve the Township engineer about whom he complained.

Bill Agenda - Complaining about the Township's "$18 million budget" (it's actually $19.6 million), Breslin next turned his attention to the bill agenda, an assortment of bills that the Township Commissioners approve each month. "[I]f it was my job, I'd go through it every month and I could probably save 5-10% just negotiating, getting people to sharpen their pencils more." Well, that is his job. Some Commissioners occasionally do have questions about items on the bill agenda. Mike Hudak, Malissa Davis, Tom Nolan and Kim Jenkins have each questioned specific charges, and so do the Township residents. But Breslin has never once uttered a word about the bill agenda in any meeting.

Streamlining. - Breslin also stated that he wanted to "streamline" Township government. When pressed by Bobby Gunther Walsh, he indicated he'd eliminate departments and staff. .

Since Breslin will be unable to inflict his brand of stupidity on Bethlehem Township much longer, I had decided against writing about this radio interview, littered as it is with misinformation. But since it was discussed during the meeting, it's news.

Citizen Reaction. - Barry Roth, a citizen who does a lot of complaining himself, has the personal integrity to do so at open meetings, where township officials can tell him when he is wrong and when he is right. He noted that Housenick Park is no "money pit," but has been self-contained. Money for its maintenance has come from a trust managed by luminaries like Judge Stephen Baratta, as well as grants from DCNR. "Please,do a little more research next time," he suggested to Breslin. "Personally, I felt that we just looked like a bunch of fools."

Commissioner Reaction. - Tom Nolan made clear he was "disappointed" by Breslin's remarks,and thought they were deceptive. He was particularly irked at Breslin's suggestion about eliminating township jobs, saying that sent a "totally wrong message to township staff." Malissa Davis noted that "we did not borrow more money for the last budget." Mike Hudak, who is now President of the Board and is doing an effective job at running meetings, told colleagues that "[w]e're all certainly entitled to our opinions" But he added, "We need to check the facts and not facts that are alternative facts."

Blogger Reaction. - Breslin was on a conservative radio show so he could represent himself as a conservative firebrand for whatever office he is seeking next. Some say he's running against Steve Samuelson. Others say he has his eyes on Congress. But he fed Bobby Gunther Walsh nothing but bullshit burgers.  I am astonished that he spent so much time complaining about things completely within his control as a Commissioner. It is his job to review the bill agenda, something he's never done. If he wanted to seek an RFP for an engineer, he could have opened his mouth and said something. Instead, he voted three times to retain the very engineering firm about which he now complains. His claim that he voted against the Housenick grant is simply untrue. He also voted both for the engineer and construction manager for the community center repairs. With no comment, he voted for a $10 million line of credit. He misrepresented himself. He was deceptive. And, as Hudak so aptly observed, he delivered "alternative facts" in the hope that it plays well to conservative listeners, most of  whom will unfortunately never read the truth.

When Breslin was unable to tell Bobby Gunther Walsh what an RFP is, that should have given him away as what he is  - a fraud.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let him run against Samuelson. Steve will turn him inside out.

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem Twp aka, ship of fools!

Anonymous said...

This is no surprise. Breslin has been lost for the last 3+ years.

Anonymous said...

Bobbie 'Goobber' Walsh, the alt-right shock jock wannabe of the LV. He is a clown who lobs up soft balls for his right wing loony pals. Hey Goobber, how many races have you won with all the sponsorship money of your sponsors?

Anonymous said...

Breslin is a real dope.
I love the RFP piece,

Anonymous said...

"Since Breslin will be unable to inflict his brand of stupidity on Bethlehem Township much longer,"


where's he going?

Anonymous said...

I think he's still stunned that he won the seat in 2013. He never expected to win.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like he'll fit with the loons on county council.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"where's he going?"

When his ward was redistricted, his area was moved into another one.

Anonymous said...

Does he want to disband the police dept and pay the $25 per resident fee to the state police? Any mention of the lawyers breaking the bank in the township as well?

Bernie O'Hare said...

He said nothing about disbanding the police department, but of course mentioned unions. I frankly feel the assessment to any municipality without its own police department should be much higher. He said nothing about the law firm. I'd like to see how far BT would get without a good firm like Broughal and DeVito.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for lowering head counts and start with the grass cutters in public works, out source them. How about that so called sewer department too and all its toys watching the shit flow through the pipes. Make the community center pay it's own way and keep its expenditures out of the monthly bill agenda, set a budget and live within it like any "business in business" does. Give the PSP $50.00 per resident and still saves taxpayers over what is an out of control spending machine.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If this is what you think is best for the Township, go out and get ten signatures and run. Let the voters decide if they want to eliminate the police department. Even the most strident conservatives in BT tend to support the police department, which does not take 30-40 minutes to respond to a call. But i suppose you could buy a few more guns and build a bunker. Make sure you have plenty of fresh water.

Anonymous said...

You've taken the bait and believe their propaganda that we are in a police state, we're not! And, if there were "less" guns, we'd all be in a safer place.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If that remark was meant for me, I've taken no bait. I feel the commenter is being foolish,but let the voters decide.

Anonymous said...

It would be worth the time to get some proposals for outsourcing grass mowing and similar landscaping activities to see if the cost is lower than what it costs the township to have township employees do the work. Many municipalities are outsourcing this work. But, I'm guessing the employees are union and the township couldn't get rid of them completely.

I am a cheap township resident but I sure as heck do not want to disband the police department in favor of PSP. The township police strike a nice balance between being proactive and dealing with actual crime vs. needlessly harassing the citizens over petty nonsense (looking at you, Hellertown).

Anonymous said...

Mr. Beslin is EXACTLY what's wrong with the TeaBaggers. They lie, sensationalize and can't come up with the facts to support their agenda. Mr. Breslin takes his direction from the King of False News - Mr. Trump. Two dopes without a clue!!

Anonymous said...

Is the twp that screwed up? If half of his claims are true, yikes folks...better run for the hills. Same goes on with school boards where they get to lovey dovey with the appointed ones rather than stay agnostic. They get poisoned by drinking the kool-aid. Thankless positions all around.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, not sire if this was intention al or not. The way you took the picture has given Breslin a Hitler moustache. Sieg heil, sailor, OH MYYY!

Anonymous said...

"You've taken the bait and believe their propaganda that we are in a police state, we're not! And, if there were "less" guns, we'd all be in a safer place."

Some of us take responsibility for our own safety, however inept it may be, not out of pride or machismo, but out of the realization that government and it's representatives are a fraud and human progress is a myth. As once again pointed out here.

Anonymous said...

Township employees have families and bills like the rest of you! If you take away jobs an outsource them just wait and see what you will get. You may think that you will save money but in the end it all comes down to aesthetics and pride which will be lacking if you outsource anything.

Anonymous said...

Breslin is a pathological liar. Ask anyone who he talks to and lies to others about what they told him. Imagine, he looked lives in property owned by Abe Atiyeh.

Anonymous said...

@8:07: when ICE raids the pallet business on willow park rd, plenty of jobs for township staffers.

Anonymous said...

@4:08,
LOL.....I was thinking the same thing. Had to look twice before I realized it was the microphone.

Anonymous said...

@8:42,
Unless there has been a change in ownership, Breslin's reported address is not owned by Abe. However, Mickey Thompson, (the guy who ran against Hudak 4 years ago) lives in a home owned by Abe.