Rated one of Pennsylvania's top blog/sites, the LuLac Political Letter delves into issues of politics on all levels (with special concentration on Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties: thus the name LULAC) and pop culture.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The LuLac Edition #858, June 25th, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: A SAMPLE TIME CARD AND PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN.
I don't mean to be redundant here but I must reiterate once more my concern as a citizen and taxpayer with the time card situation at the Luzerne County Courthouse. Two items from today's newspapers:
Former deputy chief clerk Bill Brace was among the employees who had accrued significant vacation and sick time. He was paid a total of $11,388.56 for 250.25 hours of unused vacation, plus an additional $3,000 for unused sick time, according to county payroll records. Times Leader.
Former Luzerne County juvenile probation official Sandra M. Brulo was suspended without pay after her arrest in February, yet the county still paid her almost $12,000 in March for unused sick, personal and vacation time. Citizen's Voice.
We can't say for sure how Brace and Brulo kept their time cards. That is past but it is illustrative of the huge payments people got on the way out the door. And there seemed to be no distinction between a guy like Brace who left to take on still another government job or Brulo who left under an indictment from the feds. The County row offices have not been acting like managers, they have not been on top of this issue. I mean can you really believe that no worker never took a vacation at the Courthouse or a day off? I mean how do you explain some of the empty offices on a Friday afternoon after 3PM? Where are these people? Radical changes need to be made:
1. Get rid of the unions. This is very tough for me to say because my dad was a union man all of his life on the Railroad. And God knows I'm in favor of "Card Check" because of the abuses employers have heaped upon workers in the late 90s and this new century. But the county employee unions have proven, just like the row officers that they are okay with this willy nilly policy of time card keeping. Ronald Reagan broke the union of the air traffic controllers for less reason than this.
2. Put every county employee on unemployment compensation for 60 days. Terminate every position. Have them reapply for their jobs. This will seperate the workers from the connected flunkys.
3. Put in a time clock. Kronos is a good company. That will insure that the time accrued will be accurate.
4. Keep the row officers because for better or worse they are duly elected. Keep the senior management staff. Have a volunteer committee of former Governor Richard Thornburgh, and former Ltn. Governor Mark Singel who will oversee the operation.
5. Once the county is back on a sound footing with a management system in place that is uniform in every office, and employees have been rehired, then unionize again.
This is an extreme action but it is needed. This is not just one "cowboy" row office going off on their own, this is an incestuous, systematic system of negative forces that have brought us to this brink. Whether it be neglect, laziness, entitlement, theft of services or chicanery....whatever the reason, it has to stop.
I heard Luzerne County Study Commission Chair Jim Haggerty rail against fellow Commission member Walter Griffith on the radio today. Haggerty used the term "Hyper technical" about 10 times. He said more than a few times that the Study Commission was doing the work of the people, he talked about how the committee last night worked an hour and a half doing the business of the people. When Sue Henry asked Chairman Haggerty if he wanted to share with the audience what the study commission was doing, Haggerty reiterated that the commission was doing the work of the people and studying the government of Luzerne County. I don't mean to be "hyper technical" here but some specifics from the Chair would have been nice.
Location: Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Author of the book "A Radio Story/We Wish You Well In Your Future Endeavors" and "Leges Vitae" "26 Rules of Life" and the new novel, "Weather Or Knot". The blog editor also writes various news articles and columns as well as upcoming literary projects. The blog editor was a frequent guest on WYOU TV'S INTERACTIVE NEWSCASTS when political issues were discussed on the national, state and local level. Currently, Yonki is a weekly panelist on WYLN TV 35's Friday Topic A program. He also appears on the Hazleton, PA. stations Election Night coverage and does special projects and stories for WYLN TV 35's 10PM Newscast "Late Edition".