The LuLac Edition #1523, March 28th, 2011
PHOTO INDEX: CHARLOTTE RAUP SPEAKS WITH WILK'S SUE HENRY AT 2007 LULAC FORUM.
IT’S ON IN WB
Apparently there is a poll circulating among Wilkes Barre Democrats by a company out of Florida. The poll quizzes are residents on the type of job incumbent Mayor Tom Leighton is doing in Wilkes Barre. Then questions are posed about the Mayor’s two Democratic challengers, Charlotte Raup and Nick Punko. There was one question regarding Raup’s work on city crime watch. The way that it was worded has Raup’s dander up. From her Facebook page: Charlotte Raup The “Leighton camp” must be running scared. They have some crazy phone survey going around asking people who they would vote for … me, Nick or Leighton. In it, they imply that I have interfered in police work! This is slander. They have no basis to say this. PLEASE, if you get the call listen to the questions and get a call back number. I do not intend to play dirty but it looks like he is already! I think if they get the call, just confound the pollsters and say that if Raup did indeed interfere with police work (which I’m sure she did not) just say it will not effect your vote. At any rate, the Mayor’s race in Wilkes Barre, well friends, it’s on.
O.T. IN THE LAC
Scranton Times Reporter David Singleton reports in today’s Times about overtime at the Lackawanna County prison. Here’s in part what he wrote: The Lackawanna County Prison paid more than $5.7 million in overtime to employees over the past five years, a runaway expense that exceeded what the jail budgeted by $2.3 million and one that prison administrators and county officials concede is out of control. Nine corrections officers pulled down at least $100,000 in overtime pay during the five-year period, according to an analysis by The Sunday Times. They included one female officer who earned almost $247,000 by working extra hours, pushing her gross salary over five years to more than $498,000. Interim Warden Vincent Mooney, a veteran state Department of Corrections administrator who has overseen the prison on a temporary basis since former Warden Janine Donate's resignation in November, is attempting to curtail the expense but said the nature of the jail's operation makes some overtime unavoidable. "It's a constant battle, and you have to stay vigilant on it daily. You can't lapse," said Mr. Mooney, who is on loan from the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, where he is deputy superintendent. Majority county Commissioner Corey O'Brien, current chairman of the seven-member prison board, said getting a handle on overtime will be one of the top priorities for the new permanent warden the board expects to hire in the coming weeks or months. "We think it's outrageous that overtime is as high as it is," Mr. O'Brien said. "We harp on it and harp on it, but clearly it has not been managed well by the prison staff in the past. ... The new warden is going to have a significant task to figure out a way to address the issue once and for all, and they need to get it done." Excessive overtime is not a new issue at the North Washington Avenue jail. From 1998 to 2005, an eight-year period that spanned four different prison administrations, overtime at the prison cost taxpayers more than $7 million. While Overtime is certainly a concern, you need people to watch the prisoners. And if someone volunteers for it, is competent and makes sure there are no more women dropping babies in prison cells, then it is just the cost of doing business. The only thing I would like to see is the O.T. evened out over more employees but you don’t want to force anyone in to taking it because then they won’t be performing at 100%. I can’t see this becoming a campaign issue like previous ones involving the Lackawanna County Prison.