Oct 6, 2010

Nothing from County Commissioners


Last night the Lehigh County Commissioners failed to provide the taxpayers any relief from the upcoming tax increase. Out of a $390 million dollar budget, they couldn't find one (real) dollar to cut.* Dean Browning's non-binding resolution for union concessions are just costumes on the dog and pony.** In reality some union workers will be getting a 9% increase, a good year for them indeed. The handwriting on the wall is the future consequences of Don Cunningham's first act as Executive in 2006; unionizing CedarBrook. The $1.7 reduction from the tax increase is a transfer of gambling revenue from casino taxes, not from any cuts made by the Commissioners; they made none.* I didn't attend the meeting last night, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn, but I did read Bernie O'Hares excellent post on the meeting, and The Morning Call article by Jenna Portnoy.

* Several Amendments were passed which eliminated three positions and reduced the IT budget, for a total of $1.5 million. However, most likely the Republican controlled Commission will allow the Administration's budget version to pass by default, allowing them to disassociate themselves from the tax increase.

** WFMZ this evening described Browning's union resolutions as recommendations for next year's contract, as yet not negotiated.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Don for unionizing Cedarbroke. Now we can have lousy service, no resposibility, high labor costs, and killer pensions that always cost us tons of our hard earned money. What do we get from unions, they show up and expect to get paid for doing nothing, like all gubmint employees who work for the early pension. Go to hell, Cunningham.

Chris Casey said...

Well, I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but I drove past one on my way home after attending part of the Commissioner's hearing.
Does that count?

Anyway, I am bothered by the divisiveness encouraged between union and non-union employees. It looks like those working on the budget purposefully pitted them against each other.

To what end, I am not sure, but the blame game wasn't solving anything. And there is a great deal of distortion concerning the so called 9% pay raises. That is just not happening.

michael molovinsky said...

chris, i'm not happy about taking dean to task, i know he's very conscientious, but i don't see any union making concessions on a contract, unless it's with a private industry which may otherwise close. i took the 9% figure from the morning call article. whatever the 2011 rate is, i'm sure it's in black and white.

Anonymous said...

if the republicans don't pass a budget different from cunningham's, they will be committing the same error that R's made in 2003... many of them got tossed in the primary. one way or another, they will be responsible for a 14% tax increase or a 16% tax increase. if they really care about the taxpayers, they choose the lesser of two evils and save taxpayers a few bucks.