Friday, August 14, 2020
LC Exec Phil Armstrong: The Tommy Shanks of the LV
Although I make forays into other areas of the Lehigh Valley from time to time, this blog focuses most on Northampton County government. I've followed it closely for decades, long before I started blogging. All too often, I neglect writing about Lehigh County, which is quite similar in form to NorCo. It's headed by Lehigh County Exec Phil Armstrong, with a nine-member Board of Commissioners that appears to be as goofy as our County Council.
Some of you think I'm too biased in favor of NorCo Exec Lamont McClure. He gets mostly good coverage for two reasons. He is transparent and accountable. In fact, I have an easier time talking to him than many department heads. So is Armstrong. He actually does little shows every week that I love to watch. I thought they were only on Facebook, but discovered this week they're on Youtube, too. Above you can see his latest update.
I love these little events. On his desk, you see a mug or something entitled "best Grandpa ever." I'm sure he is. And that's the style he brings. McClure can be formal and somewhat lawyerly, which should be no surprise because he is one. Armstrong, however, is your grandfather.
He's very hokie, but it really suits him. In his latest update, he explains that the DA's office and PD's office have different budgets because they are different departments with different needs.
He also addresses mail-in voting. "If you registered for a mail-in ballot in the primary, and checked that box that says you want to get a mail-in, you will get a mail-in ballot. Now the date is October 27, but you really wanna' think October 10 is when you wanna get that mail-in ballot in the mail to make sure we get it here in time. "
Armstrong said he's asked for new positions in his upcoming budget to handle the increased burden on the Voter Registration office. He's also ordered "new machines."
"The Governor has said he's gonna' pay the 50 cent stamp, and that's very, very nice, but with all these ballots coming in, we need extra people to do the work and we're working on it to make sure your ballot will be counted, and will be counted on time. So not for you to stay up at night worrying. And what we have researched is 0.006% fraud in mail-in ballots. So I don't want anybody to worry about that. That is such a low, low, low number."
He closes by saying, "We're open for business. Stop in if you need us."
I'm told he sings, too.
When I watch Phil, I am reminded of Mayor Tommy Shanks on SCTV: