The LuLac Edition #671, Dec. 19th, 2008
The judge who granted a preliminary injunction that blocks staffing cuts in the court system agreed with the court’s position that “immediate and irreparable” harm would be caused if the stay were not granted. The injunction, signed by specially appointed Senior Judge C. Joseph Rehkamp of Perry County, also requires commissioners to fund the courts at the same level as the 2008 budget. Attorneys for Luzerne County President Judge Mark Ciavarella sought the injunction, contending the court order was necessary to ensure the status quo is maintained pending resolution of Ciavarella’s suit that challenges court cuts contained in the county’s 2009 budget. That from the Times Leader. This thing is far from over and a hearing will be held in late December to get this issue resolved.
Looking ahead to 2009, here are some races up for grabs in Luzerne and Lackawanna County. In Luzerne, the office of Prothonotary will be up for grabs with an embattled Jill Moran being the incumbent. The Controller’s seat is up and a few Democrats have expressed interest like Wil Toole, former Pittston City official, former Valley West School Director Augie Piazza, PA School District official Tony Rostock and former Controller and Commissioner Tom Pizano. The Pizano candidacy is very strange to me. The guy was elected Controller, jumped ship to become a County Commissioner and left the office to Andy Reilly who was defeated by Steve Flood. If Pizano had stayed where he was at, there would be no Steve Flood and the Dem majority would still be going there merry way. But his ascension made Steve Flood and his various lawsuits against the Democratic majority possible. Now he wants back in according to sources. He’s strong on the West Side and might make a return to his electoral roots. On the GOP side there seems to be a great deal of support for Bob Sypniewski from the Back Mountain while Wilkes Barre City Tax advocate Walter Griffith has signaled his intentions for a run.
In Lackawanna County, Evie Refalko McNulty will run for a new term as Recorder of Deeds. Linda Munley wll go for another term as Register of Wills The Sheriff of Lackawanna County John Syzmanski is set for another go at that office while DA Andy Jarbola goes for another term. Other offices up are Scranton and most Borough Mayors, three Scranton Council seats and three Scranton School Board seats.
LEGALS IN THE LAC
Luzerne County is not the only place where the Judiciary is upset with the Commissioners. The Scranton Times reports that an Archbald district judge refuses to be quieted after budget cuts by county commissioners pushed one of her clerks out the door the day before Thanksgiving.District Judge Laura Turlip Murphy, in recent letters obtained by The Times-Tribune, took the majority commissioners to task for what she says was funding of discretionary agencies instead of others mandated by the state — specifically the courts.In reply letters and in interviews, commissioners Michael Washo and Corey O’Brien weren’t pulling any punches either, regarding Judge Murphy as simply unwilling to see the dire economic times facing the county and its residents. Commissioners eliminated more than 100 positions since taking office in January to balance the 2009 budget without a tax increase. In the last month Midvalley judges Murphy and John Pesota lost one of three clerks in their offices.
Judge Murphy questioned the commissioners’ actions: “Court funding should have priority in the budgetary process, as many other goods and services are discretionary, including: giving raises to selective employees; creating new positions in certain agencies ... just to name a few,” she wrote. Commissioners gave salary increases to their directors of communications and human resources. They also hired two support staff for the communications office.See folks, the difference here is that while the Archbald Judge is being critical, she is not trying to stop the budgetary process and the very vital kink of County government. That’s the legacy of the Luzerne County Court En Banc.
Got a wonderful e mail on the name of our blog, LULAC. Here is it:
Hello Mr. Yonki,
I wanted to comment on your use of the name 'LuLac' in your newsletter. I do not know if you are aware, but back in the late 60's an oil company was established in Pittston ... that oil company was 'LuLac Oil', and it was owned and operated by my late grandfather. He created the name 'LuLac' ... so, the name has a special meaning to me and has been coined for many years before your blog. Just thought I'd pass that information along.
I am very much aware of the LuLac Oil Company. As a matter of fact when I was naming this site, I checked to see if LuLac was still around. As a young boy, I listened to the LuLac oil company commercials on WPTS Radio and remember those LuLac trucks. Please think of the site name as a homage to that great company that served Luzerne and Lackawanna County well for so many years. I swiped the name but did so with a warm place in my heart and a great deal of pride.
The greed of the local teacher’s unions once again raised its ugly head, this time in the Lake Lehman School District. The teachers who are paid way above the local average are bitching about health care. Seems they have to pay a portion of it. And then there are those working poor, some of them parents of the overpaid educators who can’t afford even basic health coverage. Once again, people doing well seem to have a tin ear when it comes to the economic mess the rest of this region, state and country are in. Happy striking. Don’t get frostbite.
China's Mao advocates that educated youth in urban China be re-educated in the country. It marks the start of the "Up to the mountains and down to the villages" movement……..President Johnson holds Christmas receptions at the White House as he closes out his term in office….in Pennsylvania Congressman Richard Schweiker prepares to take over the U.S. Senate seat held by Joseph Clark. In 1969, Pennsylvania will have 2 GOP U.S. Senators….State Senate Librarian, former Senator Harold Flack announces he will give us his appointed job of $15,000 a year in the state……County employees are granted a $500.00 tentative raise by the team of Crossin and Wideman, Luzerne County Commissioners….The Luzerne County Prison Board approved a program to train prisoners in computers and data processing and the number one song in LuLac land and America 40 years ago this week was “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye.