Thursday, June 25, 2009

The LuLac Edition #858, June 25th, 2009



I don't mean to be redundant here but I must reiterate once more my concern as a citizen and taxpayer with the time card situation at the Luzerne County Courthouse. Two items from today's newspapers:
Former deputy chief clerk Bill Brace was among the employees who had accrued significant vacation and sick time. He was paid a total of $11,388.56 for 250.25 hours of unused vacation, plus an additional $3,000 for unused sick time, according to county payroll records. Times Leader.
Former Luzerne County juvenile probation official Sandra M. Brulo was suspended without pay after her arrest in February, yet the county still paid her almost $12,000 in March for unused sick, personal and vacation time. Citizen's Voice.
We can't say for sure how Brace and Brulo kept their time cards. That is past but it is illustrative of the huge payments people got on the way out the door. And there seemed to be no distinction between a guy like Brace who left to take on still another government job or Brulo who left under an indictment from the feds. The County row offices have not been acting like managers, they have not been on top of this issue. I mean can you really believe that no worker never took a vacation at the Courthouse or a day off? I mean how do you explain some of the empty offices on a Friday afternoon after 3PM? Where are these people? Radical changes need to be made:
1. Get rid of the unions. This is very tough for me to say because my dad was a union man all of his life on the Railroad. And God knows I'm in favor of "Card Check" because of the abuses employers have heaped upon workers in the late 90s and this new century. But the county employee unions have proven, just like the row officers that they are okay with this willy nilly policy of time card keeping. Ronald Reagan broke the union of the air traffic controllers for less reason than this.
2. Put every county employee on unemployment compensation for 60 days. Terminate every position. Have them reapply for their jobs. This will seperate the workers from the connected flunkys.
3. Put in a time clock. Kronos is a good company. That will insure that the time accrued will be accurate.
4. Keep the row officers because for better or worse they are duly elected. Keep the senior management staff. Have a volunteer committee of former Governor Richard Thornburgh, and former Ltn. Governor Mark Singel who will oversee the operation.
5. Once the county is back on a sound footing with a management system in place that is uniform in every office, and employees have been rehired, then unionize again.
This is an extreme action but it is needed. This is not just one "cowboy" row office going off on their own, this is an incestuous, systematic system of negative forces that have brought us to this brink. Whether it be neglect, laziness, entitlement, theft of services or chicanery....whatever the reason, it has to stop.


I heard Luzerne County Study Commission Chair Jim Haggerty rail against fellow Commission member Walter Griffith on the radio today. Haggerty used the term "Hyper technical" about 10 times. He said more than a few times that the Study Commission was doing the work of the people, he talked about how the committee last night worked an hour and a half doing the business of the people. When Sue Henry asked Chairman Haggerty if he wanted to share with the audience what the study commission was doing, Haggerty reiterated that the commission was doing the work of the people and studying the government of Luzerne County. I don't mean to be "hyper technical" here but some specifics from the Chair would have been nice.


At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on Yonk!
They are like little incorrigible kids that need to be corrected. Level it and begin again!

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These guys at the Courthouse would die if they had a real job in the private sector.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have to bring someone in from outside I hope i dont get picked for jury duty I would be afraid to go on that side of the river including the courthouse

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brace did the same thing when he left the City, got a HUGE check for unused time - then went to the County & same thing. How did he accumulate so much time in 7 years?And how was he working at his county job for the last few months he was there AND working at his new state job , with free office space at WB City Hall? These people will NEVER change - they are arrogant and feel they are entitled to every perk & penny that they get from the taxpayers.

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone else find it interesting that Walter Griffith is on the commission that is studying whether the very office he is running for should be elected or appointed? Can anyone say CONFLICT OF INTEREST!

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kind of curious. with no one working for 2 months what happens to right to speedy trial for accused individuals. what about tax collections, who will be there to take the money... title searches? tax leins? sherrif sales? will this all remain stagnant for 2 montsh? will everyone that does business with the country be required to shut down also?

simple answers don't work for complex problems

as far a walter this is just pre november publicity. WILK needs to take away his soapbox.... this commission is made up of fucking whiners and insiders... in the end it will produce NOTHING

At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the math- Brace got 45 bucks an hour as a deputy? Over 80K a year? And Row Office Heads are limited to 35K?

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey walter posters, now this guy is going to sue the home rule comission he is on... j--- c---- do we really want this guy in county gov't?
he is nothing more than a grandstander looking for publicity and his time in the limelight... as long as he llooks like a hero………………………………….edited

At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you rather have the Government Study Commission hold their meetings in private and spend the money from the County on hiring their friends like P J Best and Jeff Nimiche and Haggerty's Legal buddies or would you think Walter is doing what is right by speaking out for the taxpayers ? maybe you need to look at why the other 10 people on the commission dont speak up and what is the motives for them not standing up to this dictator of a chairman James haggerty who is looking for the job of Executive Director of the new Home Rule Charter when it is adopted..

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walter, I mean anonymous 10:56 pm, "speaking of for the taxpayers" more like trying to use the Government Study Commission to campaign for Controller. There is no doubt that you serving on the commission is a conflict of interest and someone needs to look into it. You should not be able to study whether or not the very seat you are currently running for should be elected or appointed. CONFLICT any way you look at it. All of the people on the commission do speak up for their're still throwing your tantrum because you weren't even nominated to be chairman.


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