Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The LuLac Edition #967, Oct. 7th, 2009




Bob Morgan's campaign, the Democrat running for Luzerne County Controller surfaced this week in the form of billboards all throughout the county. Morgan has been quiet but reports are he has been laying the foundation quietly for an organizational effort on Election Day designed to swamp his two opponents. Meanwhile, the billboards provide good recognition and visibility as well as signal that the guy has a significant war chest.


While Morgan seems to be spending campaign money, Independent candidate Wil Toole seems to be taking the opposite tact. Toole, A former county Democratic Party fundraiser that raised thousands of dollars for various party candidates in years past is going it alone financially in his Independent bid for Luzerne County Controller. We understand Wil Toole declined 2 campaign contributions from democratic power brokers. Sources say said power brokers are still trying to get over the shock. Toole apparently is ignoring the adage that "money is the mother's milk of politics" and running a shoe string effort in his bid for the Controller's slot. "I don't want to be beholden to anyone, I have ideas to fix the financial mess but they must be implemented and unfettered by connections to any interest group associated with the two parties." Money and connections are what got us into this mess" said Toole. I am very happy that the contributions I have received to date are from people who believe in my abilities and have no ulterior motives of personal gain. As of right now, my campaign budget is projected to be approximately 75% self financed. Toole said he is not trying to be bullheaded or stubborn about campaign funding. He is grateful for the financial help he has received but having limited funds goes along with being a true Independent. For the county to take a different direction, then the politics of old and worn out cliches must be set aside in favor of experience and substance. "I'm on the ballot and people now have a real choice", Toole said. "Voters can chose a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent but the real dynamic is that there is a choice."


Walter Griffith in the meantime is doing what he does best, voicing his concern and articulating a position on an area of government that he seems to think needs illumination. This time it is regarding Wilkes Barre City. I find it very disturbing that the Mayor of Wilkes Barre is planning to ask City Council for permission to refinance the 2004 and 2005 Loans into another loan for 8.6 million dollars at the City Council Work Session. The residents of Wilkes barre have endured this Administration's obsession with the revitalization of the downtown at the risk of the communities, and the constant contract cost over runs of the Inter Model Center and the wasteful spending of our tax dollars on the Coal St Park Revitalization that caters to the Wilkes Barre Penquins at the risk of placing the other businesses in our area at a disadvantage of competing for business against the same people that are taxing them to be here in this community. The Wilkes Barre City Council approved the 23 mill tax increase in 2009, and they allowed this Mayor to plunge our City deeper in debt, year after year, with numerous lawsuits that have cost the City taxpayers several Million dollars and then the Mayor has the ability to hire the very same person that has been able to bring a lawsuit against the residents of the City for the very same job that he eventually ended up getting terminated from by this Mayor. The City of Wilkes Barre residents are now facing a possible 20 mill tax increase in the 2010 budget and also a County Levee Fee of at least 45.00 per household, the residents just went through a reassessment by the County that was not done properly and the Downtown business community has endured a 2.57% Business Improvement District Tax that has cause severe hardship on these people as well. The City of Wilkes Barre Council must start to open their eyes to the needs of this City and stop allowing themselves to be manipulated by a Mayor that has his own interests and those of special people that support him in the City and stand firm on this item by voting NO to allowing this borrowing of additional debt that will plunge our residents deeper in debt and raise our taxes in 2010 and beyond. The City of Wilkes Barre will be planning to accept the County reassessment in the 2010 budget as well, which will result in an additional tax increase, because of the increased value that the reassessment has placed on the residents homes. The Mayor and City Council knew this last year and refused to accept the reassessment because they needed a 23 mill tax increase and were not able to raise taxes more than 10 mills because of the State Law that would not allow the 23 mill increase so now they will accept the reassessment that will result in a huge increase to the taxpayers. The City residents need to come to the City Council Meeting on Thursday at 6 PM and stand firm against this ability to borrow this money and cost the taxpayers of Wilkes Barre more taxes in the years to come and must contact their Council Representative and urge them to vote NO on this ordinance. Mayor Tom Leighton responded on the Sue Henry show on Tuesday saying, "We're not borrowing any new debt. Over the term of the loan, we'll save the taxpayers over $200,000. It's not something that every city can do at this point".


The LuLac Political Letter is efforting to produce a Forum for candidates running for Luzerne County Controller later this month. More on this in future editions if we can pull this off.


At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy Walter, you're pen is running faster than the facts can keep up. The mayor is not proposing to borrow additional money and increase the city's debt, he is asking to restructure the current debt with a projected savings of 200 thousand dollars. Do you think it is wrong to restructure debt to save taxpayer dollars?

Also, you don't seem to have an understanding of the tax law with regard to profiting from a reassessment. The law does not restrict a tax increase to 10 mills, it is 10% restriction. A huge difference. When the city adopts the new assessment, they will be forced to reduce the mills to a number that does not exceed 10% of the previous year's real estate tax revenues. If you are serious about being the county Controller, I suggest that you pay a little more attention to details. We have had enough incompetent officials in county government.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God help us if Walter wins. He cant stay focused on anything. is he running for county controller or city mayor? I am a republican and he just losr my vote. He is more concerned with ink and ego

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walter, Walter. Walter, get your butt down to Dick's Sporting Goods and buy a life vest. You are drowning in the sea of Limited Knowledge.

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

On Sports

On behalf of all Phillies Fans, I would like to once again thank the Cleveland Indians for Cliff Lee. As a former Phillies Fan and a former Indians Fan there is a certain irony in this for Yonks and I. Go Phillies!!!

Pete Cassidy


Post a Comment

<< Home