Jan 20, 2011

Saving Gracedale

I would like to congratulate the coalition of concerned citizens, who obtained the necessary signatures to put this most important issue on the ballot. My fellow blogger, Bernie O'Hare, has used his well crafted writing skills to defend the position of the Northampton County Administration. One can reasonably expect that the thousands of signatures you obtained beyond the requirement, will be more than enough to meet the numerical threshold. In regard to the Charter issue concerning the budget, all county function is connected to the budget. Everything that any county owns, does, or maintains, involves some cost. Gracedale is a long standing County institution. Its continuation is not a budget issue, but rather a question of county function. Should the County continue it's historic obligation to it's elderly citizens?

photo credit: molovinsky


Bernie O'Hare said...

"In regard to the Charter issue concerning the budget, all county function is connected to the budget."

Not true. When we fought to prevent the transport of toxic waste throughout the County many years ago, that was a question having nothing to do with the budget. The whole point of the express provision in the HRC is to severely curtail the right of initiative. It is intended NOT to apply to most questions.

So how can they have referenda on open space, you might ask? Because it is expressly provided for by LAGUDA, and state law trumps a home rule charter.

Also MM, you should really congratulate the unions. I have spent the last week looking at the petitions, and they were taken to union shops like Victaulic and elsewhere. I have some other points to raise, but I'll be doing that in another venue.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, if the union workers who signed live in northampton county, nothing wrong with that. you're quite selective about unions. you support don cunningham, who facilitated the unionization of cedarbrook, as his first act in office.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, There is nothing wrong or improper about union members who happen to be NC residents signing a petition. But to be fair, that's how they were obtained.

I do support Don Cunningham, but do not agree 100% with everything he does, and believe the unionization at Cedarbrook by card check was a big mistake.

I can support someone without supporting his policy 100%. Usually, someone is doing pretty good if I agree with him 60% of the time.

If I limited my support to someone with whom I agree 100% of the time, I'd support no one.

gary ledebur said...

I cannot believe that a county exec or mayor in this day and age would ever consider keeping the antiquated "poor house" running as a medical or nursing facility for the rapidly growing number of folks requiring old age care. In this day and age of litigiousness, expanding medical costs and challenging labor agreements with unions, not to mention pension and other costs in the out years, only a fool would want this program. MM I thought you opposed socialized medicine and local governments providing services best left to the private sector.

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

Northampton County might have been running Gracedale for many years, but it still isn't a core function of County government in PA.

While many (including myself) share your concerns about what will become of Gracedale after the county is no longer involved, we have to look at the big picture.

Unfortunately, government in general doesn't have the money for the many things it SHOULD be doing, much less for the things that it would LIKE to be doing (or has done in the past).

michael molovinsky said...

i would never advocate that the counties expand services, but maintaining existing, historical institutions, is another matter. in lehigh's case, cunningham has compromised cedarbrook's future with his unionization. in northampton, it appears that the administration is proceeding in contempt of public opinion.

gary ledebur said...

"maintaining existing, historical institutions" ----
MM: you need a more convincing rationale for socialized medicine at the local level.