John Stoffa is no longer acting like a community leader and responsible executive; he is making threats like a dockside bully. Mr. Stoffa has lost all credibility in the Gracedale discussion and has disgraced himself with his latest statements.
He calls the referendum and the signatures obtained on the petitions--an initiative which he himself encouraged upon the Coalition of Alzheimer's Families to pursue--an attempt by the voters to proclaim themselves "23,000 county executives." Mr. Stoffa insults both the voters and the democratic process. The petitioners are exercising their rights by asking that every citizen weigh in, yes or no, about one of the most important issues facing Northampton County. Mr. Stoffa claims that the power to decide is his alone, and that the voters shall have no say in the matter.
Mr. Stoffa has been unable with his allies to achieve this sale as he wants, swiftly, in isolation and without due diligence. Now he wants the voters to believe they have not the right to question or challenge him and his wishes. But Northampton county is not yet a dictatorship. Mr. Stoffa brings shame not on the rest of us, but on himself. Donald Dal Maso,comment at The Express Times
Feb 23, 2011
Northampton County Pathos
In a rambling, incoherent statement yesterday, Northampton County Executive John Stoffa announced that he would appeal the recent decision by Judge Baratta, which allowed the Gracedale issue as a ballot question. Stoffa rambled on about the Constitution, Home Rule Charters, and not permitting 23 thousand executives. There may be nothing more important in our Constitution than the people's right to redress an issue through petition. Although Stoffa had previously indicated to the Save Gracedale Group that he would honor a successful petition, the turn around, although disappointing, is not surprising. The interplay between council president for life Ron Angle (doesn't know that he's no longer president), Stoffa and their consigliere, Bernie O'Hare, is becoming more transparent. O'Hare continues the second appeal against the signatures, while Stoffa now mumbles about defending representative democracy. The rush to shed a 100 year old county institution without public input is unconscionable.