McClure, whose interest in Northampton County government goes back for two decades, is originally from coal cracker country. He graduated from Wilkes and Duquesne and had a great thing going with the distinguished Post and Schell law firm. Then he met John Morganelli. McClure worked on Morganelli's state AG race, forming a great friendship that lasts to this day. McClure liked it here, stuck around and began the private practice of law in Bethlehem.
I first met him many years ago. I listened to him announce his candidacy for county council, during which he bashed the bastard who dared sue the county over its $110 million megabond. That bastard was me. So after his presser, I introduced myself.
McClure served on County Council for ten years. During that time, he stood out as a tireless advocate for Gracedale, the county's nursing home. At a time when people like myself were advocating that it be sold, he argued we had a "moral obligation" to keep it.
He was right. I came around after seeing how much Gracedale employees really do care about the residents.
McClure came into his own when former Executive John Brown made severe cuts to the medical benefits for county workers. He, along with then Controller Steve Barron, fought every inch that Brown tried to take away from workers. When Brown paid exorbitant raises to some of his favorites without getting permission from Council, Barron and McClure exposed him.
McClure also discovered that former Executive Brown had secret plans to relocate the jail at Gracedale. He exposed them, forcing Brown to retreat.
After a rather convincing election, he brought in a nearly all-female cabinet and worked hard to re-establish county transparency, something that was missing under Brown. He restored medical benefits for employees and then went to work on capital solutions in a way that would require no tax hike.
He managed to buy the Human Services Center, but through some nifty financing suggested by Barron, he managed a deal under which the state is still paying the lion's share of the cost. With the money he saved in this deal, he was able to build a state of the art forensic center near Gracedale. This has been on the county's wish list since Northampton County was a county, but McClure did it. He has eased the parking problems at the courthouse by purchasing the Milides building across the street and converting it into a much needed parking lot.
His construction projects have been successful because he recruited Charles Dertinger, a project manager for numerous major projects in NYC, as his Administrator. Dertinger wears a bow tie, says "Good Day!" and drinks weak tea. Don't let that fool you. He's a proper bastard. Like it or not, every county needs one.
He steered the county through a state mandate to purchase new voting machines with voter verified paper trails. When the first election with this new system was a disaster, he threw everything he had into it. The result is that the last two elections under an energetic elections office, have been major successes. Registrar Amy Cozze made sure NorCo was the first in the state to report its results.
When the pandemic hit, McClure was one of the last Executives to close the county's doors and among the first to reopen them. He was the driving force behind bringing the National Guard to Gracedale and was at the forefront of universal testing at the jail and nursing home. He also established a grant program for small businesses. The County has awarded $8.779 million in CARES Act grants to 673 small businesses over three rounds of applications, and is working on a fourth round to go out by the end of the year.
Oh, by the way, his three budgets have reduced spending and called for no tax hikes while fully funding open space.
It's an enviable record, setting him apart as one of the best Executives since the inception of home rule.
Is it perfect? No. He's been a vocal critic of some bicounty agencies, and has advocate unsuccessfully thus far for more investment in Northampton County. But it's his job to advocate for his county.
I doubt he will face a primary opponent. In the general, he may face a rematch against Brown (he hopes) or someone who passes Lee Snover's Trump litmus test. With a $161,000 warchest, the power of the incumbency and a good record, he'll be hard to beat.
McClure, a resident of Bethlehem Tp, is married to Deputy DA Sandra McClure. They have a son, Luke, who is a Varsity swimmer at Freedom High School.
He is lucky to have a county council that voted for all his projects. He may not have that in the future.
Is McClure's press conference going to be on Zoom?
Try talking to the county employees. Talk to the unions. Talk to the custodial staff who is told by McClures number 2 that they are going to be replaced by $55,000 robots. Talk to the deputy sheriffs who are so short staffed and stretched so thin to cover everything. I will agree that he made the Healthcare better but that doesn't make up enough.
They claim to be pro union but do not move the employees through the pay scale. Instead they toss them crumbs like 2% on their already low wage and demand praise.
God help us all.
Anyone that has dealt with Charles Dertinger knows what kind of person he is. And if you haven't had the displeasure of interacting with him, Be thankful.
8:32, Um nobody is replacing custodians with robots. Those robots will be there to spray rooms for Covid, which would be unsafe for humans.
This man remained silent and blindly supported a governor who turned Gracedale into a death camp. The National Guard had to be brought in! Repeat: the National Frickin' Guard had to be brought in! But McClure closed parks and saved our kids from the deadly holocaust that was killing children on sliding boards. His silence wasn't so much deafening, as it was deadly. He shouldn't be re-elected. He should be investigated, with neglect charges considered. Lamont chose to hide while his elderly died. Fact.
Yes, the National Frickin' Guard came here, and not only that, McClure was instrumental in making that happen. You apparently don't like it but was the frickin' right thing to do during a frickin' pandemic. This made it possible to continue to provide quality care to residents at a time when the staff was itself overwhelmed. He closed parks for about two weeks, which I agree was stupid. Gracedale's Administrator indicated that no one with active Covid was admitted to the home. New residents who had Covid first had to have two negative tests. So it appears that Gracedale never admitted anyone with active Covid. The spread was apparently coming from asymptomatic staff. The death toll was tragic, but I believe McClure did everything that could be done to reverse them. I can be critical of Wolf and Levine, but it would be foolish for the county with the state's largest public nursing home to say anything because it has to rely on the DOH. McClure got a lot of help from the DOH that he would not have received had he been more critical.
He put EVERYBODY at Gracedale at risk. He mandated CNAs to work shift right after shift until they were ready to drop. That not only put them but patients at risk at not getting the best care. Where was he and administration to help with working at Gracedale??? Heard from employees that PPE was locked in closets, when they had any, that they couldn't get to with no supervisor around to get it.
You can be fooled by your buddy, but employees and others that see through him and his team are not.
Unfortunately, mandated OT is a necessity in any 24/7 operation no matter who is Exec.
Ask the employees Bernie
"Anyone that has dealt with Charles Dertinger knows what kind of person he is. And if you haven't had the displeasure of interacting with him, Be thankful."
Quite the contrary. Charles is the highest quality asshole I've ever met.
McClure has nothing to do with mandates. In a 24/7 operation they are a condition of employment and contractually obligated. If anything, where I worked he made an effort to keep up our staffing levels to reduce mandates and OT. One year I was mandated 42 times under the administration of your hero John Brown, who made it crystal clear that he didn't give a shit about staffing levels despite our union urging him to hire more officers. I didn't like it but I knew what I signed up for. It's called reading your contract. You should try it sometime.
McClure seems to have done a decent job as County Exec. I just question his judgement in supporting Zrinski.
Can he please move to Allentown?
So which ass do you want to kiss the most. Hyman or McClure? We bet McClure's since you have been his PR person for three years.
Bernie's answer to the McClure silence during Gracedale is expected and well-practiced. Bernie's been gearing up for this campaign for a while and lawyers stick together because they're really sticky. Lamont and Bernie know it's coming. Nothing wrong with a debate about its handling. It was the deadliest nursing home in the state. Voters will sort our responsibility. But the responsible were all on the same team and working in concert. And they all were in lockstep every step of the way. I don't vote for murderers; therefore, I won't vote for McClure. My opinion.
When is he going to fix the 9-1-1 center They are still dispatching units to the wrong town, township or boro.
4:46, in other words, i’ve Provided a good explanation for what really is a baseless attack. Also, I have not been a practicing lawyer for nearly 35 yrs.
Step 1- Have overpriced taco truck come in for lunch
Step 2- Drive the wrong way down a one way ramp
Step 3- Get re-elected
Step 4- Profit
9:09. County executive is the lowest paid position in the county, profit your ars
anon 11:05, sorry sycophant but many are paid much less than the executive and his cronies. Much, much less. No one has to run. Is he Trump?
The pay is one thing, the perks of handing out political patronage checks is priceless.
Let me get this straight. The taco truck is a reason to vote against McClure. And he's profiting from it?
By the way, he only eats kale and pine nuts for lunch.
Lamont McClure has proven incompetent and is unworthy of re-election. If he had any decency, he would be offering his resignation instead of announcing his next campaign. I hope there are other options. His performance has been disgraceful.
Employees know the truth. Employees will vote in November and so will their family members.
Yes, employees do know the truth. They experienced Brown. I suspect most will vote for McClure.
HELL NO... talk to employees... he’s worse than Brown
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