Saturday, January 02, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1060, Jan. 2nd, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: OUR NEW INTERVIEW LOGO.


INTERVIEW

With the passing of the county budget by a 2 to 1 vote on New Year’s Eve, I had the opportunity to talk to a numbers person who made some comments on the situation. A CPA she had some provoking thoughts.
Q: Is this budget something that will work in the long run?

A: I don’t have any inside information on the inner workings of it but I thought it was significant that the budget director was not 100% happy with it.
Q: Are you comfortable with the tax increase?
A: Yes and no. As a taxpayer I am really annoyed because I wonder if there was no corruption maybe our taxes wouldn’t be so high. I wonder where the previous budget director’s head was when he was putting together these budgets. And what is so scary and appalling to me is that he just glided into another job in an institution that has public funds. I wonder if Moon Lake could’ve had staff retained if people weren’t greasing their palms. I don’t want to pay the taxes and I want to throw every single one of them out. That’s the taxpayer side. The accountant side of me says the tax increase was too low, they have to make up the money somewhere and make sure they don’t have a shortfall.
Q: You sound mad at the Commissioners do you feel they are primarily at fault?
A: Hell no, not these people. They’re trying to fix what their predecessors screwed up. I’m mad though at the row officers for not even showing up and supporting the commissioners or going against. They get their operating money from the county. I think all of them are a bunch of spineless weasels who are pretty much useless.
Q: Talking as a taxpayer right?
A: Yes.
Q: Given your obvious frustration with this budget as both a citizen and accountant, what would you recommend to ultimately fix it?
A: Vote for Home Rule if it comes up on the ballot.
Q: What if a sincere candidate says he or she will pick the right people and make county government work, that there is no need for home rule, much like Skrep and Todd did in 2003. Would you trust them?
A: Honey if Andy Mehalshick interviewed Jesus Christ himself and that broadcast told me to “trust” anyone again in Luzerne County government, I’d have to say, “Sorry JC, send me to hell right now cuz that ain’t gonna happen!”

17 Comments:

At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on with the last answer.
Living in Luzerne County is living in corruption hell. What did the good people of the Valley ever do to deserve what we get for representation? Todd and Big Ugly
were gonna clean it up and bring honest government. One bailed and the other stole! Good job, boys.

 
At 1:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure do wish the people who think Home Rule is the answer could state why. I'm about sick to death with people who have no idea what it takes to run government think that Home rule will keep thieves out. Don't tell me about numbers, school boards have 9 and they are falling one by one. People want to overcomplicate government by thinking that they have the answers to transparency! Another word that drives me nuts. People don't vote and they don't go to meetings so what's with this transparency bullshit? If you want good government, it is simple. Get involved, attend meetings, read the budgets and question meeting agendas and VOTE! We can control this form of government, there is no control contained in the previous Home Rule Charter and I'm convinced that this new proposal will be more of the same. And by the way, the entire budget mess is 80% Vonderhide and Skrepnak. The previous commissioners had our debt at 260 million and those two clowns brought it up to 266 million. Going back to Gene Kline and Crossin, they over estimated income and then borrowed what they were short. Where were the people? Why were they not at the meetings questioning the Bonds and the phony budgets? These same fools think that Home Rule will do what they didn't. Get off your dead ass and get involved. One more thing, if you want to do something constructive, get to the bottom of the 58 million dollar lease and then get to the bottom of the Hazleton magistrate's lease and the two Wilkes-Barre magistrate leases.

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:31, What makes you think only one stole? What did the people of Luzerne County do to deserve this? Exactly what 1:29 AM states in his/her post. People get what they deserve. Yesterday's paper had a guy pictured asking the commissioner's to file bankruptcy. That's the kind of stupid, uninformed logic that exists within the active segment of the public. The same person is screaming for home rule and doesn't have a clue. There is no limit to tax mills when it comes to debt so a bankruptcy referee will simply order the commissioners to levy the necessary taxes to retire the debt. These no nothings looking for their 15 minutes of fame would do us all a favor by just staying home and Shutting F*** Up!

 
At 2:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonks,
Is that one of Tony Sopranos old shirts youre wearing in the photo?

 
At 3:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, this is an interview logo that makes sense. Keep it!
Your lunch buddy

 
At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Dave,

Why haven't you posted my response from yesterday?

Your cousin Tom

 
At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont live in Luzerne County and I wouldnt live in Luzerne County!
It impressed me as a shithole and a corrupt one at that! My experience in Scranton/Lackawanna
County wasnt much better. I guess as 6:33 says people get what they deserve so it follows that the people suck too! You folks should pull a Jonestown because clearly life is not worth living here and the problems will never be corrected. I'm going home to the Bronx where life is good!

Passin Thru

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

IN RESPONSE
Dave,
Why haven't you posted my response from yesterday?
Your cousin Tom
I DID NOT RECEIVE IT. SEND IT DIRECTLY TO MY E MAIL, MAYBE THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH GOOGLE POSTING. I'LL PUT IT UP WHEN I GET IT.

 
At 3:06 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

IN RESONSE
Is that one of Tony Sopranos old shirts youre wearing in the photo?
LOOKS LIKE IT DOESN'T IT? NOPE THAT'S A NAT WEST SHIRT, THE KIND I'M TOLD CHARLIE SHEEN FAVORS. (NO WHEN I WEAR IT I DON'T GET THE URGE TO BATTER MRS. LULAC!) IF I TOLD YOU HOW MUCH I PAID FOR IT, MY REPUTATION AS A FREE SPENDING LIBERAL WOULD STAY INTACT.

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

IN RESPONSE
Dave, this is an interview logo that makes sense. Keep it!
Your lunch buddy.
YEAH THE OTHER ONE WAS KIND OF IMPROVISED AND LAME. AND THIS ONE GIVES US A CHANCE TO LOOK AT KONOPKA EVERY SATURDAY.

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

home rule. nine ***holes instead of three. **** that

 
At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Dave,
Unfortunately I didn't save what I wrote and can't do justice to recreating it. At the time I was so aggravated and fired up after reading the morning paper and reliving what had transpired prior to and during the Commissioners' meeting on December 31, 2009 regarding the 2010 Budget. Perhaps you can add me to your new interview format so I can share some of that "inside information on the inner workings" referred to by this CPA.

Cousin Tom

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger Austin said...

Dear anti Home Rule anonz,

It isn't about how many people are decision makers in our county government but how that power is distributed. Our current system is closer to a school board than the charter proposed in 2003.

What we are hoping to see is a separation of legislative and executive powers. Much like the Congress and President interact or a council and mayor. Currently the commissioners make the policy and sign off on it. That is a consolidation of power which Madison knew was no good.

The second biggest thing I would like is a consolidation of the row offices under the executive.

The foundation of our county code was written over 175 years ago and did not reflect the best thinking of that time let alone today. So I am curious as to why people defend the current government which has supplied us with a steady stream of corruption, NEPAtism, waiste and tax increases.

Also for the record, I hate to read people accusing each other of "being the problem with this county." Sure there is plenty of blame to go around but as my POS class preaches, in order to have a successful democracy we need an informed and involved electorate. So to whomever it may concern, I do not believe you to be part of the problem.

Thanks

 
At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Austin, this is Luzerne County, not Washington DC.

The power does not belong with two branches of government, it belongs with the people. With 70% of the people not voting, you will create a monster that will out match the school boards and the people will be up shit creek without a paddle. Right now, we can change government in four years but with this cumbersome monster you want to put in place, we will never have control. You guys also want to elect by District and nothing could be worse. Then we truly would be like Wash DC and we would only have control over our own representative while the others will remain untouchable. Who are the organized political machines now in existence? The school boards! They are the only group with any organization and with the general public not taking the time to vote will create the non responsive and uncontrollable government that I am describing. Consolidating some of the Row offices is not a bad idea. Lackawanna county did it right. They adopted the Third Class County code with some adjustments. That's why the people have been able to change politicians when they think they need a change. I pray God that you people do not get to create the monster you're after.

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger JimboBillyBob said...

A key step to change in this county, regardless of whether we get Home Rule or not, is establishing a credible alternative to one-party rule.

As witnessed by the last elections, a rejuvenated Republican party in Luzerne county is doing just that.

Without a real alternative at the polls, it doesn't matter whether we have Home Rule or not. Those in power will just slink across the courtyard from one doghouse to another.

James O'Meara, Sr.

 
At 12:57 AM, Blogger Austin said...

Any form of county government will have less control over what goes on within its borders a Federa, State or City government. So even if you want to argue that an reorganization with result in more of a "monster" it is still the smallest monster of its kind.

Home rule can't do anything about the way school districts are run. We would have to fix that at the state level.

Cumbersome would be a good way to describe a government where you have a half dozen row offices that don't directly report to anyone yet need to interact with several other offices to accomplish anyhing. Most home rule charters propose a more clear line of command for those offices they do leave intact.

I don't know if you meant my by "you people" but I don't want anything elected by district. The districts that we do have generally do not have uniform points of view that different than those of other districts. They like the rest of our county code may have been useful 175 yrs but not today.

The charter proposed in 2003 has most commissioners by district and 2 at large.

Mr. O'Meara, did you just become a grandfather?

You are right one party rule is a huge problem thats why I end up voting R much more often on the local level. But we currently mandate that our commissioners have at least one person from the minority party. The best way to fight one party rule would be to stop pushing laws that make it impossible for third parties to compete.

Another would be to have representative elections such that the percentage of votes a party gets matches the percentage of seats they get.

It matters what form of government we have. If you believe that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely a smarter balance of powers will lead to less corruption.

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger Austin said...

also anon 1030 another thing we could do to bring more power back to the people is make it easier to recall officials which the old home rule charter did and this one will likely do as well.

Honestly I can't see any reason why our entire democracy can't be administered by everyone. Voting and legislating online and such. But I can't even get people to open their minds about changing an historically failed form of government so I guess one step at a time.

 

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