Oct 30, 2010
The Real Heroes
Who the heroes were at Wednesday's Lehigh County Budget meeting is a matter of opinion. Bernie O'Hare has always thought that Don Cunningham can walk on water. When it comes to Dean Browning, The Morning Call's Bill White now joins O'Hare in lavishing praise. I was never impressed with Don Cunningham. When he unionized Cederbrook, as his first act as County Executive in 2006, I knew he was not in the taxpayer's best interest. Although senior citizens will suffer from this current tax increase, that assault pales in comparison to eventually condemning Cedarbrook to Gracedale's current fate. Words and smiles come easy to Cunningham, and he has mesmerized both O'Hare and White.
I was a few booths away in a diner when Browning showed O'Hare the County Budget. Bernie was impressed with Browning's apparent due diligence; I'm not. When you can't find anything to cut out of a $390 million dollar budget, maybe you're not looking very hard. Easy Smile Cunningham keeps repeating that there are less County workers now, than in the 1990's. I'd like to know why then did he purchase the seven story Hamilton Center? Why do we need more space for less people? I know the pretense was the 911 Call Center, but seven stories? The Commissioners suggested an alternative budget with a 13% increase, instead of 16%. This would have eliminated one position and support for $350,000, and transferred $1.6million gambling revenues from the capital fund to the general fund for tax reduction. Cunningham made disparaging remarks about this alternative, and now we have the full 16% increase.
Bill White calls Browning brainy with guts. Only three Commissioners voted for the alternative 13% budget; Glenn Eckhart, Andy Roman and Tom Creighton- that took guts! These guys know that come election time, their opponents can say that they voted for a tax increase. They voted for the alternative anyway; They understand that 13 is less than 16. Dean Browning, with all his financial training, despite all the praise from O'Hare and White, voted against the lower tax rate.