Thursday, February 16, 2017
Brown to Seek Re-Election in NorCo
He takes credit for making Gracedale, the county nursing home, profitable once again. It has gone from a $6.7 million taxpayer operating loss to profitability. A month ago, he reported that the facility made a $800,000 profit in 2016. Two weeks ago, he trimmed that down to $200,000.
He also takes credit for improving the quality of care there, noting there have been no deficiencies at the facility found by the PA Department of Health over the past two years. He claims the facility is now rated by Medicare as a four-star nursing home.
In addition, he claims he is doing something about the county's infrastructure. He is spending $37 million over the next five years on a PennDOT endorsed bridge bundling project that will repair and replace thirty-three (33) of the county’s bridges over the next four years. He said this will save taxpayers 20%-30%.
As for his claim to have eliminated all deficit spending, that's simply untrue. His most recent budget dipped into reserves to the tune of about $8.2 million to balance the budget. That's called deficit spending, and it ultimately leads to tax hikes.
As far as returning Gracedale to profitability, he went from a $800,000 profit to a $200,000 profit in the span of two weeks. And he himself acknowledged that the main reason for this reversal was the injection of $2.4 million of federal funds into the facility under a revived program that allows public nursing homes to pool their money and seek matching grants. Without it, Gracedale would be operating at a loss.
Also his claim that Gracedale is now a four-star facility is also untrue. According To Medicare, Gracedale is a three-star facility. And when it comes to "quality measures," which measures how well the nursing home is doing in caring for resident needs, the nursing home gets just one star, which is "much below average." In fact, this is one reason why Peter Melan decided to run for NorCo Council.
Brown's claim about the absence of deficiencies at Gracedale is also untrue. In September, the nursing was cited for failing to act properly when a resident threatened suicide, which resulted in a suicide attempt.
In essence, it appears that his re-election announcement, which he failed to deliver in person to a group that might have questions, is replete with misinformation.
You'll notice no claim to transparency. This is a guy who posted armed guards outside his office during a news conference,and who crated a new county website that advertised Lehigh County businesses.
Brown graduated from Bangor High School and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Tina, live in Northampton County and have a son, Zachary. He fails to describe where he worked in the private sector.
Brown is opposed in this race by Bethlehem Attorney Lamont McClure, who served on NorCo Council for ten years. He issued a statement of his own. "The Brown Admin. is itself a prime example of waste, fraud and abuse. Instead of fighting it, John Brown practiced corruption, cronyism and callousness. Brown's illegal budgets, misuse of taxpayer money for political purpose and unlawful taking of meals and mileage reimbursement to which he and Ms. Allen were not entitled, is the sad legacy of the Brown Admin."