The LuLac Edition #1814, October 29th, 2011
Our "Sound Off Saturday" logo.
SOUND OFF SATURDAY
This week we’ll feature three more County Council candidates who responded to our LuLac Edition of October 4th. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the candidates who responded, Rick Williams, Edd Brominski, Blythe Evans, Kathy Dobash, Eileen Sorokas, Rick Morelli, Tim Mullen, Harry Haas, Charlie “Bible Buck” Hatchko and Salvatore “Sal” Licata.
Harry Haas, Republican candidate for Luzerne County Council.
1. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF BEING A COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER?
My name is Harry Haas, and I want our government to match the excellent quality of life we have here in Luzerne County rather than be a hindrance to it.
2. IT’S A BIG COUNTY, WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES AS AN ELECTED MEMBER?
My top three priorities:
a. Hire the most experienced and principled county manager.
b. Shrink the enormous county debt.
c. Restore decency to public office in Luzerne County by working collegiality with my peers and serving with humility.
3. ARE YOU WILLING TO SET ASIDE YOUR PRIORITIES FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE COUNTY?
I don't think that any of these three are contrary to the good of our county.
4. TELL ME YOUR IDEA OF AN IDEAL COUNTY MANAGER.
Ideally, our county manager will come with prior managerial experience in a large county or metropolitan area. The manager will have a college degree in public management or similar educational background. This executive must strive to fulfill the vision set by the county council, yet he must also be independent enough to lead in his own right--and even raise objections to--the council's perspective about which steps to take. Above all, and the most difficult to ascertain before hiring, he must have integrity beyond reproach.
5. WOULD YOU SACRIFICE YOUR RE ELECTION FOR A TOUGH DECISION?
I already have a career and am not looking for one in county government. My plan is to help get our Home Rule government off to a good start and then offer my chair to another.
6. ARE YOU WILLING TO RAISE TAXES IF THERE ARE NO OTHER OPTIONS?
Yes, but there are many other options...
7. DEFINE ETHICS FOR ME.
Ethics means "loving God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself," because you take your selfishness and your self-aggrandizement out of governing. Isn't that what we're all searching for in our political leaders: selfless public service? My success as a councilman hinges on this question.
8. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS A LEADER, FOLLOWER OR A PERSON OF FLEXIBILITY?
I'm a man of flexibility. My training as a historian is to see people and events from all different perspectives. Thais training has allowed my worldview to be less rigid and more flexible. Nevertheless, this work will require a combination of all three traits: I have a set of priorities for our county, and I live by a code of principles that qualifies me as a leader. However, there will be times where I will have to follow the will of the council majority even when I disagree with the decision.
9. WHAT SPECIFICALLY DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT BEING?
County government is the level of government that most affects our daily lives. Therefore, the role of county should help--not hinder--our daily pursuit of happiness. County government should be efficient that we may be more efficient at work in the community; it should be more fair that we might not be jealous of our fellow citizens but kind; it should not rob the private sector and municipal government of duties that they naturally perform better such as business development and entertainment venues. Anytime county government can save money or increase quality of service, that is its proper role.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate,
Charlie "Bible Buck" Hatchko at one of the Commissioner's meetings in 2010. (Photo from Times Leader).
CHARLIE “BIBLE BUCK” HATCHKO-AMERICAN INDEPENDENT PARTY
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF BEING A COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER?
Principles over politics is my main theme and agenda for Luzerne County government. My name is Charlie Bible Buck Hatchko and I am the only candidate who has attended over 40 Home Rule Government Study Commission Meetings and Home Rule Transition Committee Meetings. Hearing and studying testimony of every County Row Office, asking questions regarding the operation of County Row Office Holders After interviewing human services and receiving documentation regarding their operation and budgets, I believe that my decisions based on truth, probity, and integrity will enhance and make better Luzerne County Government.
Morals and ethics regarding the best for Luzerne County and I will always base my decisions off of what is best for the people and most importantly the tax-payers of Luzerne County. Fiscal integrity is extremely important with the monumental debt in Luzerne County. The elimination of political favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism.
THE LUZERNE COUNTY COUNCIL MANAGER---The appointment of the most honest, most qualified, moral, ethical and non-political experienced manager. Political expediency is the ruination of America. Political expediency means what is right for a political party, not what is truth and justice for everyone. Remember Discipline Counts! If one can rule his own life, one can rule others with integrity in governmental service. Government leaders are public servants. If one serves in truth, probity, and honesty, one becomes an efficient leader. One who is self-serving truly lacks good servant leadership, and then comes crime and corruption. Some of the County Manager's duties-- To implement the Codes: Ethics Code, Personnel Code, Administrative Code. to create truth, probity, honesty, accountability, and responsibility in government, and eliminate political favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism and to have rules that are administered justly and fairly for all Luzerne County employees. Fiscal integrity and balancing the budget without losing services should be his or her goal. rime and corruption has plundered the image and integrity of Luzerne County. We need change!
Budget: Luzerne County's astronomical debt must be eliminated. Look at the City of Harrisburg Penn. We must find a way to consolidate, cut expenses along with find ways to increase revenue. The goal is to have an efficient government. Find
ways to help bring in more business--employment-- and revenue to Luzerne County. Call for a hiring freeze for Luzerne County Correctional Facility. I presented factual information at the last Prison Board Meeting--Oct. 18th-on this subject.
Why--To prevent privatization of Luzerne County Correctional faculty and make it more efficient.
Transparency is needed to show the actions and voting record of the Luzerne County Government County Council on a Website. Therefore the voters of Luzerne County can see and evaluate the performance of an elected member of Luzerne County Council.
ARE YOU WILLING TO SET ASIDE YOUR PRIORITIES FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE COUNTY?
No my main priorities are based on Biblical principles and Christian virtues based on truth and probity. I will never support legal positivism, laws that are legal but violate the moral law of God. Legal positivism could be seen in NAZI Germany--in the inhumane killing of Jews back then. It was legal by the German Law. Government authority must be based on moral law with God its first choice and final end. Changing minor political priorities for the betterment of Luzerne County I would do, but not if it violates ethics, morals, and just laws. I have written over 100 Biblical Articles in small newspapers in Lackawanna and Luzerne County. Approx.-- 25 in the Hazelton area back in 2001 and 2002 in a free newspaper called ABB--Area Bargain Buyer.
Lackawanna County News and Old Forge News in Lackawanna County--back in the late 1990's. At Kings College Ecumenical Breakfast--sponsored by the People of God Community back in approx--1991 to 1992--I was one of the speakers on Christian Issues such as Repentance-Justification--Faith--Evangelization--etc. I am an International Internet Biblical Writer out of one of Canada's biggest Websites, based in Ottawa Ontario--Canada.
The new Luzerne County Council Manager must have good moral qualities, and experience in the running of government. Ethics and morals are extremely important. Political expediency is the ruination of American morals. A political expedient County Manager's
actions can be detrimental to the running of Luzerne County Government.
WOULD YOU SACRIFICE YOUR RE ELECTION FOR A TOUGH DECISION?
Absolutely! I would never violate moral laws or support degenerate and re probative actions. Every economic decision depends on whether it protects or undermines the dignity of the human person and the common good of the family--county--state or nation.
ARE YOU WILLING TO RAISE TAXES IF THERE ARE NO OTHER OPTIONS?
I would make every possible attempt not to raise County Taxes--Consolidate different offices. The only way I would raise Taxes is to prevent Bankruptcy of Luzerne County Government. Fiscal integrity is extremely important and I would call for Department heads to provide fiscal responsibility and moral integrity.
DEFINE ETHICS FOR ME.
Making just, righteous, and good moral decisions. Ethics can be described as the study of a just moral standard of conduct and moral judgment. With the crime and corruption in Luzerne Count government, let me emphasise that I was absolutely the most vocal candidate against corruption speaking out on WILK RADIO --STEVE CORBETT --Program for years my Biblical -philosophical, and ideological positions against the horrors of crime and corruption. Attending Pittston Area School Board meetings--Luzerne County Commissioner meetings and using free radio dialogue shows actions and not words. Faith without works is dead.
Consistency of morals and actions is extremely important
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS A LEADER, FOLLOWER OR A PERSON OF FLEXIBILITY?
I see myself as a person of flexibility, and a leader. I want to work with the other candidates toward a common goal that would be beneficial to Luzerne County. One man is not a Island. I also want to be a County Council member who listens and makes rational decisions and takes advice from my fellow County Council members who strengths are greater than mine in specific areas is where I would consider myself a follower or person of flexibility. On Collective Bargaining and Prison issues I would consider myself a leader. My objectives are moral and economic justice for the people and tax-payers of Luzerne County. Remember the statement! One must know their limitations. There is no I in team--therefore it is essential elected County Council members must work in harmony.
One must remember that pride is the reservoir of all sin. (Proverbs 16:18) Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
WHAT SPECIFICALLY DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT BEING?
My estimation and definition is absolute fiscal integrity and moral certitude of one in authority in county government. This person is
to deliver the needed services to the residents of the county in the most honest and efficient manner possible. Everyone understands that they have to pay property and different County taxes. In fact regarding Home Rule--Present Controller Walter Griffith--Attorney PJ Best and myself petitioned the Commissioners back in 2010 put Home Rule on the ballot. Let me emphasise we needed change.
Fiscal integrity with the outstanding debt in Luzerne County government is extremely important. The main efficient cause of one in political authority is to make sure that their tax dollars are being spent efficiently, ethically and not wasted! It is also critical that the taxpayers trust and are fully aware as to how their tax dollars are being spent! Honesty and integrity, and fiscal integrity are what makes the County efficient--Moral certitude over crime corruption and political manipulation is my agenda. Justice is the key to life. Good discipline based on good morals and ethics brings forth credibility and good moral choices needed for good government. Loyalty towards truth and probity will bring forth change needed in Luzerne County government.
100 Words --Why Elect Me?--My campaign is based on Biblical principles and Christian virtues. I will not envision a better community,
but work diligently to help design and create better government. To implement and foster and promote humanitarian efforts and programs, honest and sincere community development. It is my commitment to a responsible and dedicated Luzerne County government. We need a capable administration, sound tax structure and viable budget.
The highest use of government capital is not just to make money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life through honest community development programs and improved social services. Government policies must be directed to the common good of all people in Luzerne County. (Proverbs 11:3) The integrity of the upright guides them. (Proverbs 13:6) Righteousness guards the man of integrity. (Proverbs 14:34) Righteousness exalts a nation.
Elect Charlie Bible Buck Hatchko --Last on the ballot--First in your hearts.
God Bless You--God Bless America--
Democrat/Working Families candidate for Luzerne County Council Sal Licata. (Photo: Pittston Dispatch).
SALVATORE “SAL” LICATA-DEMOCRATThank you for the opportunity to respond to your questions.My name is Salvatore Licata. I reside in Pittston City, have lived there all my life and own a home with my wife of 38 years, Cynthia. I am retired high school teacher and coach. I worked in the Pittston Area School District for 35 years.I want to become a member of the new County Council because I believe it is the duty of a citizen to get involved in public service. The strength of this belief has led me to volunteer my time as a public servant on various public and private organizations for almost 37 years in the Greater Pittston area and Luzerne County. I want to continue this service to my community and if I am able to gain the trust of Luzerne County voters and am fortunate enough to be elected to the new County Council I will be a strong advocate for all the citizens of our county as I have been to the people of the organizations I have served in the past.
My first duty as a County Council member will be to work with all other Council members, the new Manager and all other Department Heads and workers to ensure that our government runs efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all county citizens. In doing this, I believe citizens of Luzerne County will regain the lost trust in government and our county will become a better place to live, work and raise a family.
A priority of mine will be to represent all county residents and provide them with a county government that is responsive to their needs. I will not waiver in trying to accomplish this. Although I am a member of the Working Families Team, if elected I will represent all families in the county. The family unit has always been the foundation of Luzerne County and I will strive to work for the benefit of all.
The ideal County Manager must be a leader. This person must have the experience, qualifications, training and abilities necessary to do the job. The person must be a proven problem solver and a motivator who is able to listen to, work with and get the most out of the other county workers.
I am not afraid to make tough decisions. I have made and will continue to make decisions based on what is best for the organizations I served in the past and if elected, all the citizens of Luzerne County in the future. If making the proper decision to solve a problem our county faces causes me not to be elected or re-elected, I will make that decision and have no regrets.
It is disingenuous for a candidate to say I will never raise taxes. No candidate knows what problem or disaster will arise or what decision is necessary to rectify that issue. If the only recourse is to raise a tax, then as an elected leader, it is something that must be done.
Simply stated, ethics is the process of doing what is right. Not something that is right for me but what is right for all the citizens of Luzerne County.
I have always viewed myself as a leader. I am a person that not only leads but has the ability to listen to and work with others, examine what is said and act accordingly to make the best decision possible.
The role of county government is to provide its citizens with the most efficient and effective services necessary to maintain the quality of life that these citizens deserve, want and expect from their government.