The LuLac Edition #382, Dec. 30th, 2007
PHOTO INDEX: LACKAWANNA COUNTY CONTROLLER JOHN MELLOW AND SCRANTON MAYOR CHRIS DOHERTY.
NOT SO MELLOW!!!!
Lackawanna County Controller John Mellow says he isn't going anywhere come the day he has to relinquish his office. His reasoning is that he feels his successor, Ken McDowell is not qualified for the post. Well, if we are to follow that logic, then perhaps the late President Gerald Ford should have barricaded the White House preventing Jimmy Carter from taking the oath or surely, Bill Clinton might have prevented the ascension of "W" or "43" to the top job. But the outgoing member of government, whether he or she be President or Lackawanna County Controller does not have that luxury. McDowell won that election, fair and square, Mellow, who even launched a write in campaign failed to get re-elected. That sense of arrogance and entitlement besmirches the 30 year career of Mellow which started in the borough of Dickson City. The crux of the issue is this: McDowell collects taxes for Lackawanna County, the City of Scranton and the Scranton School District in an entity known as the Single Tax Office. Specifically, the county administrative code says that “no person holding any other public office” is eligible to hold the office of county controller until being out of office for a year. However, when Scranton political activists Joseph and Joanne Pilchesky unsuccessfully attempted to remove McDowell from the general election ballot in August, Judges Carmen Minora and Tom Munley ruled the administrative code did not apply because McDowell is a city-paid public official, not a county officer. In addition to locking McDowell out of the controller’s office and taking him to court, Mellow has been less than cooperative with McDowell’s transition team.Mellow offered McDowell’s attorney two times — 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve or 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve — to visit with Mellow. This is nothing more than a loophole that Mellow is using to deny the voice of the people. Something similar happened in Luzerne County in 1973. Incumbent Controller Steve Yanoshak was defeated by challenger Jseph Tirpak. Because Tirpak worked in the County Budget office prior to winning, he was denied office by the courts. Yanoshak held office until 1975 when he was elected minority county commissioner. Tirpak then assumed the office in 1975 and stayed there until he died. There were legalities and fights but nothing like the bitterness Mellow seems to be exhibiting toward McDowell and the people of Lackawanna County. When Bob Cordaro had one of his first meetings as commissioner, Mellow's behavior riled him so much he shoved the Controller in a fit of rage. Many criticized Cordaro at the time but now with these antics, there are some who are saying the outgoing Majority commissioner should have clocked Mellow when he had the chance. Many McDowell supporters would love the opportunity but are most likely restraining themselves, lest there be more whining.
Thanks to our friends Mr. and Mrs. Pete Cassidy, we saw first hand the lights on a rainy Friday night at Nay Aug Park. The displays were creative and colorful, filled us with the holiday spirit and made for an enjoyable evening. KUdos to Mayor Chris Doherty and his able staff for making the effort to put together unforgettable displays. The areas of the park too were litter free which, for us being Luzerne County residents, was a big deal.
My friend Gort tells us Paul Swiderski, announced candidate for Congress has revealed the news that he filed for bankruptcy. How this will impact his campaign is guesswork at this point. But you have to give the guy credit for coming forward and being honest with the voters. And you know, if I were in charge, I'd make it possible for every American who had over $25,000 in credit card debt to file bankruptcy. I'm talking a national bankruptcy day where everybody in the country filed. Everybody! Then let's see how Bank of America, Citi card and all the other bloodsuckers like it when everyone defaults on their payments. I bet you when there is a restructuring you won't see banks raising rates from 4% to 22%, charging $40.00 late payments or making predatory loans to poor saps who can't pay it back. The Bush backed Congress let the credit card companies screw the American consumer and I would love nothing more for the affected customers to bite back and crush the greedy banking bastards who give the word "Shylock" or "gangster" a bad name!