Thursday, July 05, 2018

McClure is Doing What He Said he Would Do

McClure and most of his cabinet
The Express Times stopped covering Northampton County government at some point during Executive John Brown's administration. Every now and them=n a stringer shows up. The Morning Call provides some coverage, but it is very limited. As a result, most people have no clue about what is going on Northampton County or whether Executive Lamont McClure is making a difference. I think he's doing pretty much what he said he would when he delivered his first State of the County address at Hotel Bethlehem in March. The real goal of county government, he said then, is to "protect the most vulnerable." That's what he's been doing.

Protecting the Vulnerable. - At the last Council meeting, I was surprised to see a large number of Gracedale residents in the room. They were there because McClure invited them. This invitation, in and of itself, sends a message. It tells these people that they still matter. They have worth.

McClure has addressed staffing shortages at Gracedale and Children, Youth and Families by adding new positions. “Protecting our vulnerable residents is our most important job,” he said. “Making sure our human services departments are fully staffed is critical for public health.” Gracedale’s quality measurements have improved in recent months and, to alleviate future shortages in medical professionals, the County will start paying tuition for Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) programs beginning the Spring of 2019. He is also focusing on the dangers of elder abuse.

He actually attended a retiree luncheon, something Brown routinely skipped until he was up for re-election. More than that, he ended the decades-old practice deducting medical costs from retiree pension checks.

Diversity in Government. - He appointed NorCo's first female County Solicitor, first female Chief Public Defender and has women installed in the ranks of three other cabinet positions. He also reinstated the jail's first ever black Captain.

Protecting the Environment.- Action has been taken on environmental concerns with the banning of sewage sludge from County farmland as well as providing $500,000 in funding to redevelop Lake Minsi. Land known as the Gall Farm has been purchased with plans to develop it as a park, and the County is exploring options in renewable power.

“The future of Northampton County is green,” McClure says. “Our administration is aggressively preserving farmland and open space while seeking options for a sustainable energy plan that reduces carbon emissions.”

Protecting the Citizenry. - When a gas station in Wind Gap was selling tainted gas, it was shut down. The problem was discovered by the county's Department of Weights and Measures.

Affordable Housing. - McClure has teamed up with Easton on a joint venture to create more affordable housing.

Protecting the Taxpayer. - McClure is going after millions in unpaid fines, costs and restitution by bringing in collections agencies. He stopped a $10 million giveaway to the DaVinci Center for what in essence is nothing more than a glorified ant farm. He stood up the General Purpose Authority, which charged over $800,000 in legal fees over a two-year period. McClure is refusing to pay any more.

Reforming the Administrative Code. - Problems with the Administrative Code have resulted in multiple lawsuits between Executive and Council over the years. Fiscal Affairs Director Steve Barron and Procurement completely re-wrote these controversial passages.

Transparency. - In addition to regular news releases, Northampton County is now using Twitter and Facebook to reach out to the public. If you call his office, someone will actually get back to you.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you think this county council is doing much good?

Anonymous said...

Gotta like anyone who wins on a list of campaign promises, then works to see them all through.

Anonymous said...

Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

This post is about McClure and not about your Fuhrer.

Anonymous said...

You forgot the most important Courthouse issue. Lamont McClure has brought about a change in attitude of personnel and increased morale ten fold. He also helped retirees with their medical costs. He is appointing knowledgeable people to Boards and Commissions. For the first six months of the year he gets an "A Plus" for decision making and effort.

Anonymous said...

7:33 AM Your head must be in the sand if you think employee morale had increased ten fold. How many lawsuits are still outstanding?

Anonymous said...

BS..my concerns addressed directly to Mr. McClure remain unanswered. It has been two weeks since
I informed him via the county portal of my problem. Thank goodness the voter reg. office saw my concern was legit and they passed it to the counties solicitor for review. I am still waiting for relief.

Anonymous said...

Yes, he has expanded government jobs and pay increases for bureaucrats.

Anonymous said...

Where are our pay adjustments for all the steps we SHORTED over the years and when are we getting our benefits back that Brown took away from us????? Then MAYBE morale will be better when we are treated like humans.

Anonymous said...

Lamont related to Bob McClure (baseball player)?.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"BS..my concerns addressed directly to Mr. McClure remain unanswered. It has been two weeks since
I informed him via the county portal of my problem. Thank goodness the voter reg. office saw my concern was legit and they passed it to the counties solicitor for review. I am still waiting for relief."


Since you have failed to share this concern, I have no idea whether your complaint is legit or just BS.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Where are our pay adjustments for all the steps we SHORTED over the years and when are we getting our benefits back that Brown took away from us????? Then MAYBE morale will be better when we are treated like humans."

Once morale is ruined, my experience is that there will always be a small segment who are bitter and miserable and nothing you do can restore it. McClure's top concern has been our children and elderly. He cannot magically snap his fingers and give you every thing you want by restoring step increases automatically. For 3/4 of the employees, this will be part of union negotiation. Assuming the union survives.

Anonymous said...

My issue is none of your business Mr. O'Hare. I have given your audience some of the facts of my situation as an example of how the system does not work as stated. Thank goodness a county councilperson pointed me in the right direction. I will update as soon as my concern is addressed or not. Mr. McClure has done a fine job so far but your statement that all concerns will be addressed and answered is erroneous.

Bernie O'Hare said...

My claim is that there has been a big increase in transparency, and there has been a real effort to be responsive, even to people who are nasty. It appears that you knew how to talk to a member of Council and voter reg. It could be that the online form you were using was not working properly. Or perhaps you did not use it properly. So I will continue to assert my claim.

Becky Bartlett said...

The McClure Administration is dedicated to serving the people of Northampton County. If you send in a complaint via our portal, and someone does not get back to you in a timely fashion, please phone or email me directly and I'll see what we can do to help.

Becky Bartlett

Deputy Director of Administration
Northampton County Courthouse
669 Washington Street
Easton, PA 18042
Telephone: 610-829-6250
bbartlett@northamptoncounty.org

Anonymous said...

Ewww.... one alcoholic praising another alcoholic, how sweet. I love you man.....

Anonymous said...

I liked the popcork smell wafing thru the courthouse and wanted to have employees do hoverboard Olympics

Anonymous said...

I think a popcorn machine would improve morale.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" one alcoholic praising another alcoholic, how sweet. I love you man....."

Could be worse. Could be an anonymous coward like you. And I detest people like you.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but is he going to pursue possible criminality on the part of Lushis and Brown?

Anonymous said...

Wait it is NOT Mancrush Monday!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the contact info from Ms. Bartlett. I will follow the path I am on now and if it dead ends...I will be contacting her directly. I want to give the people I have already spoken to a chance to rectify the issue at hand. I do not under any circumstances ask you for your opinion as to whether my issue is legit or not.. worthy of your approval... as you are not a county employee nor an attorney and my issue is a private matter for the moment. I do not come to smear anyone...I come to have my issue addressed by the county as the State of PA could care less at the moment..AG's office and Ethics Comm. office have both passed..saying it's not their problem to solve. The wheels turn slowly..

Patriot2 said...

Sounds like McClure is doing what he said he would do just like Trump is doing. Two great men doing their jobs!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:23, and you’re such a nice person!

Anonymous said...

10:17 Employees voted him in because he was going to make things fair again for ALL employees like pay and benefits. When is he going to take care of that????

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe your question is - when is he going to take care of me? I can't answer that. I believe there has been a big difference in HR, and am no longer hearing stories about workers who are being subjected to bullshit discipline. His first priority is the vulnerable. Over the past few months, positions have been added and some have been reclassified, but the focus has been on human services. I imagine it will take 1-2 years to even out all the contracts. He is not going to pay lip service to the employees but is really going to try to compensate them adequately. His father was a civil servant and he thought the world of his dead and understands what it is like to work for the government. He mentioned that in his debate, and it really hit me. Plus, the only thing he cares about is the county. This guy has no interest in anything else.

Anonymous said...

I’ve also heard there is a huge difference in HR, both at the courthouse and Gracedale. I’ve heard most employees have not seen the HR reps in the 6+ months since they’ve been appointed and that managers have been informed that they are not to go to HR with employee issues. And when an employee has a question, the status quo has returned to the days of the queen bees - with no response or follow up. Sounds like a step backward in time.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks for your fake news, Amy Trapp.

Anonymous said...

And you deleted my comment because, why, O’Hare? Because I said you can see IP addresses, which identify commenters even posting anonymously? Which means that you can tell when comments are posted by the same individual... Because I used your own words and my own technical knowledge against your claim? Or because it doesn’t fit in with your assumption and assertation that any positive comments about the last HR regime must originate from Ms. Trapp? I know you can see that I’m not her. But that doesn’t fit your narrative. So, you go on perpetuating your own “fake news,” on your personal opinion blog, which requires neither journalistic integrity, NOR actual fact for you to post...

Anonymous said...

Assertion**

Anonymous said...

My issue did elicit a reply from the county exec's office. It is undated but I want to thank them for responding.I am not hopeful as to a resolution but at least I am satisfied that Lamont is trying to address peoples issues. I stand corrected but my issue lingers in the halls of the county unresolved by anyone.