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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, August 18, 2017

Brown Has Some Good Financial News for NorCo and Gracedale

John Brown
Although he usually passes when given the opportunity to speak, Northampton County Executive John Brown gave a brief report to Council at their August 17 meeting. He had good news and even better news.

First, he advised Council that the annual payment the County must set aside for worker's compensation claims has been decreased sharply, from $9 million to just $6 million. This means an additional $3 million will go into the general fund next year.

Second, he predicted that Gracedale should finish this year in the black, making it the second year in a row that the county's nursing home has actually made money. He cautioned that nothing is certain at this point and added that the money earned this year should be a little less than last year, when the facility closed the books with about $800,000.

In addition to Brown's good news, Gracedale Administrator Raymond Soto reported that Gracedale's Medicare rating is now two stars, thanks to an increase to two stars in its rating for "quality measures," which is resident care. This rating means the nursing home is "below average" as opposed to "much below average."

Raymond Soto, Premier's Administrator at Gracedale, had predicted to Council last month that the overall rating would stay at one star until next year.

This quality measures rating has increased as administrators have begun phasing in a new protocol that reduces the use of psychotropic drugs, which are often criticized as chemical restraints.

Dean Browning
In other business, Council welcomed former Lehigh County Commissioner Dean Browning, who told them a story about Juan Francisco López-Sánchez. He had been deported from the United States five times, but kept returning. He had seven felony convictions. He had just been released from prison in San Francisco, which refused to honor a request (called a detainer) by federal authorities to continue holding him.

After his release, Sánchez fired a stolen gun three times in the vicinity of Pier 14, a popular tourist destination. One of these bullets hit Kate Steinlein the back, puncturing her aorta. She died two hours later.

Kate's Law is a bill that increase the penalties for illegal aliens who commit crimes in this country after having been deported.

This bill has passed in the House with bipartisan support. Locally, both Congressman Charlie Dent and Matt Cartwright supported this measure.

Another bill, the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act," has also passed the House with the support of both local Congressmen. This measure takes aim at what are known as sanctuary cities. First, it requires an annual list of all jurisdictions that refuse to assist federal authorities with the removal of undocumented immigrants who commit crimes. Second, it removes any legal liability imposed on local jails that honor federal detainers. Third, it provides a private right of action against municipalities that refuse to follow federal immigration law.

Both of these bills are now in the Senate. Browning asked Council to adopt a resolution affirming support for these measures.

Hayden Phillips has agreed to sponsor this resolution.

Browning is still in Easton, by the way. Formerly an intellectual, he joined the tea party and has regressed. He now can only turn right and is stuck in the Easton Circle. Hopefully, Hayden Phillips will pull him out of there before he turns into a Democrat.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not a county issue. Just smoke and mirrors from the republican Trump base. Please move eon to issues of importance to the county and not this partisan political propaganda nonsense. It is not like the county doesn't have enough important county issues to work on.

Anonymous said...

looks like brown is a fiscally responsible politician, a rare thing today.

Anonymous said...

Accept for Von Trapp

Anonymous said...

Except

Anonymous said...

Right turns get one out of the Circle. It's the left leaners who travel in circles.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:51am

You too could be fiscally conservative if you raise taxes 10% and then claim everything's fine because you have extra money

Anonymous said...

A decrease in workers' compensation of about 3-Million. Probably because he has not filled the numerous positions that have remained open and has crippled needed services.

Anonymous said...

Bernie:

Good to see you last night. I was hoping to follow you out of Easton as I heard Mayor Panto had set up some road blocks to stop me and make me sign a change of registration form. However, you had already left by the time I was ready to go. Fortunately, I was able to talk Tom Shortell in to letting me follow him through the check points. All I had to do was tell Tom I would renew my subscription for home delivery.

Anyway - I made it back to Lehigh County without any problem (or left turns).

Dean

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:58:

Northampton County has a central booking facility where information is collected on individuals who have been arrested. Bio-metric data is sent to the FBI and from there to ICE. If there is probable cause to believe someone who has been arrested is here illegally, ICE then issues a detainer request. So Northampton County is involved in the process and it is entirely appropriate to ask the County's legislative body to render an opinion on the bills I referenced. In addition, any resolution that may come from this is a means of letting Senators Toomey and Casey know the position of other elected officials on the legislation that will come in front of them. That is fairly standard practice.

Dean

Tom Campione said...

O'Hare had to show is hateful side, bashing Browning and LVTP. Why? Isn't there enough hate in the world?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tom Campione, Dean Browning and I have been friends for years, and constantly tease each other about our political affiliations. What I wrote was humor, something that Dean has and that you lack.

Anonymous said...

Election time baby! Sure everything appears to be good by Brown Stain. Cutting and dumbing down the work force sounds good, just wait a little while longer when the core of the current workforce retires in the next 5-`10 years. Then we will see how the county financial picture will look when things don't get done.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the drop in workers compensation claims has anything to do with number of people that have lost their jobs at the hands of Amy Trapp.