Why the backlog, Al?
Ambro forget work didn't get done with
3 funded solicitors?
RAVES of concern here today for Commissioner Al Ambrosini. After hearing
comments he made publicly yesterday at a pow wow of Connellsville area officials
gathered to discuss finances in Connellsville, it's time for a most somber chat,
Seriously, the man needs our prayers.
For instance, in today's Trib article, "Connellsville finances discussed," the
commissioner made comments that clearly demonstrate his lack of insight into daily
county business and seriously cause reason to doubt his ramblings are intentional
lies, at this point in time.
During a discussion of a backlog of distributing $1 million in tax claim sale revenue,
the commissioner actually said this, as confirmed by someone in attendance and, of
course, the paper's text:
"Ambrosini said he's aware of the issue and had hired a third county solicitor to
get a bulk of the petitions through and then take on the petitions in a timely
manner. However, the solicitor's position was eliminated by the other two
commissioners, he added."
Truth of the matter -- that seemed to be lost, except for just one in attendance -- is
that the funding for a third solicitor was just recently terminated, when the 2015
budget was adopted one month ago.
Funding for that third solicitor position, indeed, was funded from way back when
Why, o, why then did the work not get done? Why the backlog? Does Fayette
seriously need even a 4th solicitor, or did 1-2-3 solicitors not do the work, period?
From the time that Ambrosini hired his political campaign contributor
Ken Burkley as interim solicitor in 2012 and Burkley left, and the time a
third local attorney was funded through the last of 2014, the county
consistently had 3 solicitors.
As the backlog of paperwork to release the $1 million in revenue to
revenue-strapped municipalities and other entities turned into a
mountain of backlog paperwork, Fayette had funding available for 3
The simple and undeniable truth of the matter is that the work that could have got
done under Ambrosini's leadership did not get done. His comments yesterday were
inaccurate to the elected leaders from Connellsville's City Council and the state
senate and house of representatives. Because what it seems to be only one present
with the real insight into what really happened, nobody else present knew better to
question his truthfulness.
It's much easier -- especially in a large group of Republicans and Democrats as
Ambrosini was yesterday -- just to pass the buck of blame and absolve himself from
having any role in the backlog and delay of the release of the money. Ambrosini was
negligently absent for most budget meetings for the past two years. Period.
Please, please, readers, pray -- say a rosary, light a candle, mention him at Sunday's
mass as needing divine intervention -- for the man who cannot seem to state reality
as truthful fact.
Nobody likes embarrassing someone for being absent minded or oblivious to reality,
so, instead, lets just pray for him.
For goodness sake, isn't there one person who genuinely loves and cares for the
man? Take his car keys away from him, do whatever is necessary, to keep him from
embarrassing himself like this again and others from being embarrassed for him
when they learn the truth.
It's too late to benefit from a course in county government leadership. And his issue
goes well beyond lying. (30 Jan 15)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"Since their selection, Astorino has made good progress.”
Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, from this afternoon's release, "Commissioners
move forward with prison expansion project" on heraldstandard.com, commenting on
the county prison project architect's steady movement, in an article largely laced with
negative statements from the 1 nay voting commissioner on the prison expansion
project (29 Jan 15)
"On Thursday, there were 13 inmates housed in out-of-county prisons, according to
Quote from the above referenced news article about the number of out of county
prison cage rentals as of today
"Warden Brian Miller stated...the out of county rentals are 28 male inmates in Greene
County, and 19 in Bedford County for a total of 47 out of county male inmates."
Population Report for September 2014, Fayette County Prison Board Meeting
Minutes, the most current monthly meeting minutes published on the county's website
"47 minus 13 is 34 less out of county cage rentals today than were 4 months ago."
Moi, shaking my head, not understanding why the paper or the 1 naysayer
commissioner say that "It is unclear how the county now plans to address the
Fayette had 47 out of county
inmates 4 months ago and today
Are the Day Reporting Center and
all the special courts created to
divert jail incarcerations and treat
affected persons starting to take
Or is Fayette just temporarily a
little more better off?
Airport Authority to hold special
Monday 12 noon meeting
A special meeting of the Fayette County Airport Authority will be held at the
airport, at 12 noon, on Monday, February 2.
As per the unsigned legal notice in the paper today, the meeting is called to
"discuss the new hangar project and any other business that comes before
the Authority's Board of Directors."
While a state representative said today that there is no requirement for the
public meeting notice to include a signature of a director, secretary or board
president, all meeting notices for special and regular meetings must be
The Authority's solicitor today confirmed that a public notice for regular 2015
meetings was properly advertised for the Authority's regular 2015 meetings
in mid-January, prior to the regular meeting on January 21, and that a
reorganizational meeting was also held 8 days ago.
A public notice, however, was not placed in the paper stating that a re-
organizational or special reorganizational meeting was scheduled or that a
reorganizational meeting would precede the regular January meeting.
Is a re-organizational meeting really a formal process that must be advertised
as a special meeting or be included in the annual meeting list ?
Or is that just what municipal authorities and public funded boards typically
do out of courtesy or their board's individual bylaws to inform the public that
there may be changes with a formal reorganization?
The Authority solicitor has been asked for clarification. (29 Jan 15)
Ambrosini goes unprepared to
county business meeting
Commissioner Al Ambrosini came unprepared, without bid numbers or
names of contractors, to today's county meeting and made a failed motion to
accept lowest bids for the CYS building addition project. (Please see 3:58 in
video of today's meeting).
What's worse, Ambrosini appeared to have been oblivious to a
communication yesterday from the county solicitor, stating that he was still
reviewing information and was not prepared yet to render a legal opinion on
the bids and project.
As per meeting discussion, Ambrosini, the solicitor and engineer Rob
Sleighter met 2 days ago to review the bids. Readers recall that some of the
bids that were not appropriately marked and sealed were not opened last
week for review and consideration.
John Cupp, county lead solicitor, today noted that the day after meeting with
Ambrosini and Sleighter, that he found that a state recommendations manual
for the project had changed. Cupp said he still has that matter to review and
will render a legal opinion soon.
Was this change a factor that a project engineer accepting project bids
should have known? Commissioners have been asked for clarification.
Five days ago, Commissioner Vincent Zapotosky stated in email to his fellow
commissioners that he was in favor of terminating Sleighter's contract with
the county for the CYS project. The 3 bids that Ambrosini wanted approved
today resulted from a second necessary advertisement for bids opened 6
No move to remove Sleighter from that role was made today.
In other business, commissioners agreed to advertise for alternate human
resource services and to post a human resource director position. Nobody
from Felice and Associates, the county's current contracted HR provider,
appeared at today's meeting. (28 Jan 15)
(Once again, thanks to Chuck U. Farley for taking time to volunteer to
record this meeting for the public.)
Will county boot Felice?
Some of the few special items on tomorrow's county meeting agenda, other
than routine business, include considering options for human resources
services. Commissioners are set to discuss advertising for county human
resource services and posting a human resource director position.
Currently, Felice and Associates of Greensburg is contracted to direct and
manage the county's human resource department. The county previously
had entered into a 3-year contract with Felice to provide human resource
services for a whopping sum of $367,200.
Also, tomorrow commissioners will also consider ratifying the extension of
or rejecting proposals for the downtown jail project. The twice previously
scheduled and cancelled meeting tomorrow starts at 10 AM. (27 Jan 15)
"If I die before I wake, please, God, cancel my county board
seats and appointments. Amen."
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but another morning of head shaking while
reading the local paper. Seems that all 3 county commissioners voted earlier
this month to re-appoint a board member who passed away 2 years ago to
one of the county boards.
What's even worse is that the board reportedly was declared inactive a few
years ago by federal legislation.
Since all 3 unanimously approved the re-appointment, nobody is exempt
from responsibility for the embarrassing move. While we can't require our
elected officials be psychic and just naturally know these things, they should
have known, somehow.
Board members whose terms are ending should be required to submit a
written statement that he or she wishes to serve on a board or a county
authority for an additional term. If that's already a requirement, then the
policy needs to be implemented as best practice.
More importantly, though, all commissioners should be present at work and
available to meet for board interviews as well.
"This is an embarrassment to the county. I could not imagine that this would
have happened if Warren were still running the show for the
commissioners," one courthouse staff said Saturday morning, referring to
Warren Hughes, the former chief county clerk, who retired in 2012.
Perhaps the source, usually empathetic to the camp of Commissioner Al
Ambrosini, was trying to deflect all commissioner error. Ambrosini failed to
respond to invitations to interview board candidates and was not present at
the courthouse in December or January for board applicant interviews. When
contacted by the referenced source, that source was reminded of these
Reminiscent of the embarrassment experienced when a county staff billed
Medicaid on several different past occasions for services provided to
deceased clients, re-appointing a dead man to a county board should not
have ever happened.
Stupid things such as this, however, do happen, when persons paid to work
for the county don't give a rat's ass to carry their fair share of the work load.
(26 Jan 15)
It's time for work!
Divine intervention: a key, under-
Fayette political tool
No doubt about it, the most prayed for person in Fayette County in 2014,
hands down, across the board, was Commissioner Vincent Zapotosky.
No doubt about it. It was a great deal more, too, than just the jail decision at
stake. We collectively felt his pain.
And no doubt about it, nobody has stopped praying for him, either.
It's just at this time, however, a collective prayer and positive Karma request
should also include Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink.
No doubt about it, her job right now could and should be made a lot easier.
If both her fellow commissioners went to work regularly and all shared ideas
and worked cooperatively on county problems and business, Zimmerlink's
job probably would be easier. At least, we hope it would be.
While nobody here would exclude Commissioner Al Ambrosini from any
collective prayer or positive Karma request his-a-way, I realize that for some,
that might be too much to ask. Do it anyway.
Sometimes, no matter how much positive vibe we send, it bounces off -- or
at least that's how it appears to have been so far. Maybe one day it will stick.
Please do it anyway, even if you think it's a hopeless cause.
Zapotosky, however, seems to be moving more and more in a better
direction with his thinking. At this time, he still needs to step it up more
because, well, there's really no other alternative. It's time for work.
Zimmerlink needs fellow commissioners who are present or accessible for
consultations and want to talk budgets and solve problems. Period.
To get the downtown jail project from the planning phase to an operational
end, Zapotosky needs to lead or make Zimmerlink the county chair and be
accessible for signatures and opinions on county business.
Should Zimmerlink continue to be the only commissioner who goes to work
regularly, we here hope that she opts finally to hire an assistant. While she
has not had an assistant for a very long time by choice, she shouldn't feel
that the expense is a frivolous or unneeded one.
Sure, we know, she more likely would rather have fellow commissioners
who went to work regularly and were present to help resolve issues and
conduct county business.
So may that soon happen, with or with out divine intervention. (26 Jan 15)
What if Al answered just these 2
RAVES if this would happen. Come on, please indulge a lady writer an
opportunity, just once, to ask a particular set of questions without feeling as
though the task at hand is pulling teeth.
What if Commissioner Al Ambrosini agreed to meet publicly, to answer just
these 2 questions to the best of his ability? Sure there are other questions
that need to be answered, but imagine how he would impress a frustrated
group of citizens if he honestly answered even these 2 questions?
It would be a good place to start, no?
These questions need to be answered and answered to the best of his
ability. Either that, or he could even have someone else, ahead of time, write
his answers for him to read later publicly at a meeting.
If he answered these 2 simple questions honestly, citizens would not be so
angry with him:
- How will Fayette County survive financially if a large court settlement from
the Munshinski case is ordered in 2015?
- Why does Ambrosini continue not to show documentation -- as he has been
asked to do a few times -- to support his claims that out of county jail rental
costs total $200,000 per month, each month. This is a gross exaggeration of
the true cost? (26 Jan 15)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"It says -- and I quote -- 'things like this are not happening at county
commissioner meetings in neighboring counties. And it’s no secret that all of
those counties are doing much better economically than Fayette County. Is
that the only reason?'
Pete, today at the diner, reading aloud an editorial in the local paper critical of
citizens attending a county commissioner meeting for speaking out of turn
and commissioners for not vacating the room after a citizen spoke out of turn
and brought out the matter of the meeting not being advertised...
"He's right to an extent. Things aren't happening like this elsewhere. Those
counties remember to advertise their meetings. They didn't engage in 18
months of private meetings violating Sunshine Act as Ambrosini's little jail
group did. The other counties would never have let a big ticket project like
the Dunbar jail go out for bid illegally in the building trades without a second
commissioner signature and controller's approval, as Al Ambrosini did here.
Other counties would not have moved to spend $1.25 million on land without
proper bids being advertised as Fayette did. Other counties have media that
exposes all of those things, too, lets not forget!"
Dave, in follow up
"Apparently, the editor didn't watch the whole video of the meeting, as there
instances where a commissioner intervened to stop a citizen from
interrupting Ambrosini. The video shows times when a commissioner
interacted in meaningful dialogue with Ambrosini, stressing how important
his input is and Ambrosini being mute or near mute in a room so quiet at
times that you could hear a pin drop waiting for him to speak."
Pete, mentioning how unfair and biased the editorial today was in
Ambrosini's favor, while ignoring things he has done in private deals to
undermine the county's integrity and worsen its reputation as a hotbed of
corruption and back room kick back deals... and what should -- at least ideally
-- be a natural reaction of disgust from its citizens
"Oh, I sense that people like Terry, Gerry and Marybeth will be blamed in a
future edition for global warming, too."
Dave's wife, adding, "The paper misses the point that some to most of the
outspoken critics at one time were people who actively campaigned 4 years
ago for Ambrosini or contributed to his first campaign. It's not as though
these citizens were not in support of him once upon a time. He misused their
trust and they're calling him on it. Plain and simple... I would hope citizens in
other counties would not stand back and quietly let that happen there, either."
"The editor made it clear recently (in a different editorial from 1-18-15) that
people at his paper don't get paid enough to ask for the truth. The paper
might be comfortable with hearing Ambrosini go on and on without fact
checking, but that void, that absence of truth, leaves the real watchdogs of
the county government having to volunteer their time or pay for legal
intervention to demand accountability."
Zap confirms he wants new CYS project
Commissioner Vincent Zapotosky confirmed that he yesterday withdrew his
support to have Sleighter Engineering serve as engineer and project
manager of the current CYS building expansion project.
"How do you pay when they messed up from start?" he asked today of the
firm that had to rebid the construction bids a second time due to engineer
error with the first set of bids last month.
Two days ago, at the long-awaited second opening of bids, legal opinion was
sought in regard to some bids not being properly marked or open. A few bids
Thursday were not opened as a result of having differing bid numbers or not
properly sealed shut. It is unknown at this time whether the project will have
to go out to bid a third time.
Following the December snafu, when the engineer reportedly misinformed
contractors at a pre-bid conference that the time was extended to submit
bids, when it was not extended, Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink said that
she would not agree to pay Sleighter for costs associated with that second
then necessary bill to re-advertise for bids.
Sleighter, of course, also was the engineer for the now abandoned new jail
project in Dunbar Township. Sleighter also was recently chosen by the
Airport Authority to replace long-time aeronautic engineer Michael Baker for
an upcoming hanger addition project there. (24 Jan 15)
Zap wants engineer removed from CYS project
CYS building project might need put
out to bid a 3rd time?
After the second scheduled opening of construction bids for the CYS building
project yesterday, one source said confusion thick in the air may require that
the project be put out to bid a third time.
With the latest controversy involving numbers on bid packets in comparison
to documented bid numbers, the decision rested on solicitor opinion to open
only the bids that were appropriately marked and sealed.
Commissioners are asked to comment on whether this confusion resulted
because the contractors misunderstood the bid process, or if Sleighter
Engineering, the CYS building project manager and architect, provided
misinformation on the bidding process.
Bids originally were to be opened on December 4 for the project, but were
rejected after engineer Rob Sleighter reportedly told contractors gathered at
a pre-bid conference that the time to submit bids was extended but was not.
During attempts to confirm this information about yesterday's bid opening,
another trusted source confirmed that some bids were not opened and that
the commission chairman reportedly stated today that he wants Sleighter
removed from the county building addition project.
Commission Chairman Vince Zapotosky was asked to comment on why he
said that he wants a new architect and project manager for the CYS building
expansion project. (23 Jan 15)
And what's up with the $1M gift?
Airport Authority: what's up with the
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a question wondered aloud in some homes,
offices, businesses and far more than one diner today...
Why is the airport authority borrowing money to start the $2 million dollar
hanger expansion project, when a private citizen offered a $1 million gift 7
months ago to take care of the authority's needed $1 million match for the $2
million dollar project?
Hasn't the former county commish chair been busy brokering the sweet $1
million dollar deal to get the gift? Did he blow the deal for the airport on
multiple occasions, by publicly blaming the gift-giver and a current fellow
commissioner for jail over crowding? Opinion seems to believe this is a
fairly strong possibility.
Time will tell, of course.
For now, it appears that those guiding airport authority opinion must not feel
very confident that the $1 million gift will be given any time soon.
If they're poised to begin borrowing money, surely, one would think that the
charismatic broker easily could get the gift in the bank to save the authority
from losing money to pay for loan interest.
It is the sincere hope of this column, editor and probably all whose lives
touch ours here, daily or somewhat regularly, that the airport continues to
Maybe, in part, it was hearing its history -- especially hearing former airport
authority member Myrna Giannopoulos last year talk about how her mother
worked at the airport half a century ago and being able to imagine what it was
Naturally, though, in larger part, being taken aback over the years on
occasion at it's breathtaking view always makes one want to return and see
it once more. It's a peacefully quiet, sometimes seemingly deserted, out of
the way place with a breathtaking view and nice, little, modern terminal.
That all said, it's easy to imagine why some of the area's elected officials
joined at the hip with some politically appointed to government boards and
other positions, who are not pilots and do not fly in or out of the airport, like
to meet socially at the highly private airport.
No matter who operates the airport and no matter who sits and votes on its
board, we know who rules it.
Then, we know who else might have blown a $1 million dollar gift or,
somehow, possibly misled the gift-giver to think grant stipulations for
funding and spending allowances were not as strictly written in stone and
specific as the grant so mandates.
Nobody wants to be negative about it. Really.
It's just that when someone so consistently wrong as Ambrosini starts talking
about getting a loan for a $1 million dollar hanger expansion where there's no
sewage to cover costs until and if a $1 million gift 8 months in the making
does make it into airport accounts, people start to get nervous.
That is, people who genuinely love the airport, as well as those who have
never seen and gasped at its view and never been in awe of it, but don't want
to see all the public money that has gone into it over the years to be lost.
Although Ambrosini would over use the photo op moment if and when the $1
million dollar gift is given, RAVES of hope goes out that the $1 million gift
wasn't taken off the table completely by Ambrosini's frequent criticism in
recent months of the gift-giver's past record in political office, for not building
a new jail from 2004.
It would be a sincere shame if the authority one day would lose the airport
and property because it couldn't make a loan payment. It would be an
inexcusably, bigger shame if Ambrosini's repeated public slaps at the gift-
giver over the jail issue stopped the gift giving, or if Ambrosini possibly
provided misinformation 8 months ago, to the gift-giver, about how loosely
project grant purpose requirements could be interpreted when they can't.
Something happened to cause the ones who rule the airport to opt for the
We can only hope that the $1 million gift hits the bank before loan papers are
inked... and hope for nothing more. (23 Jan 15)
Airport Authority: reorganizational meeting
held without being properly advertised?
RANTS that the Fayette County Airport Authority seems to have met
yesterday for a reorganization and formal monthly meeting, without public
notice being given in advertisement or publication in the paper .
Sources confirm that no public notice for the reorganization was placed in the
papers prior to the authority reorganizing.
Yesterday's first regular monthly meeting and reorganization meeting was
preceded by a special meeting early in the month, called to change airport
engineers. (22 Jan 15)
"Quote Of The Day"
"I see that Daddy Warbucks has not finalized his $1 million dollar gift yet to the
Dave, this morning at the diner, reading the paper about yesterday's airport
authority meeting, during which the authority finally reorganized and voted to
get a short-term loan to tie them over, for an expansion grant match program, till
the millionaire's "gift" or match is received
"If Al Ambrosini were bashing me as much as he has the rich, former
commissioner gift-giver for not building a jail when he was in office, I wouldn't
give him a million dollars, either."
Pete, still not believing that the $1 million dollar gift will ever be deposited into
the airport's account... Ambrosini, of course, took full credit 6 months ago for
securing the "gift" for the airport's on-again, off-again hanger expansion project.
He also has spent much of the last 6 months since bashing the gift giver just to
bash the current minority commissioner, who once served in office with the
millionaire former commissioner.
Legal opinion: Ambro may have violated
zero tolerance for campaigning on the
public's thin dime
Commissioner Al Ambrosini may have violated election laws
banning the misuse of public property and position to be
used for political campaign, as per an out of the area
county solicitor who reads here.
"What on earth is that man thinking, to take a reporter in
his county courthouse office, during a meeting with paid
county government employees, to talk about his political
future and the next election!" the guest opinion giver
"I read in the Trib that Ambrosini met in his office with
the writer and said he's confident voters will oust your 2
other commissioners and elect 2 leaders who will join him in
building that new jail.
The story that he referred to, "Fayette County leader looks
to election for help on prison project," was published 5
days ago in the Trib.
"How unfortunate that he told the paper, in that forum, that
he's seeking re-election," the lawyer said of his unwavering
opinion that Ambrosini likely was politicking from his desk
in the county courthouse.
Not only did the commissioner appear to be
campaigning on public work time, he appeared to the
reader in contact also to be trying to jump start
political careers of other new candidates on the
In other words, Ambrosini, in the laywer's opinion,
was really pushing the envelope, for turning the
scheduled jail meeting into a political campaign
It is what it is.
He was wearing the hat of an on-duty commissioner
and was meeting with the media to say he's running
again and wants to be re-elected.
"He doesn't realize what he did? I understand why commentary
here often has you asking if he's delusional, lying or just
"I'm surprised that the paper ignored that your commissioner
was campaigning on the public's dime," the amazed controller
from another area dropped by to say. About an hour later, he
sent a P.S.
On second thought, he said that he really was not surprised
that media ignored Ambrosini's re-election campaign pitch
made on the public dime.
What he said, as he campaigned while working in official
capacity as an elected county official, during a meeting
which he formally called himself, in recruiting email that
morning to county employees and jail team members... is one
of the most incredibly bold and stupid things that a current-
day, elected official could do.
"I agree, too, that Ambrosini should take a course," he said.
"Sooner or later, someone is going to care, even if he might
be just stupid!" (21 Jan 15)
Farley posts meeting video
RAVES, once again, to Chuck U. Farley, for caring enough to capture
the "almost meeting" of the county commissioners yesterday on video.
While both newspapers mentioned the time spent largely arguing, the
video also captures some meaningful, quiet dialogue between
That the meeting was not a formal meeting and not recorded by the
county, Farley's video becomes more valuable as a means to track
RAVES to the young man performing a public service. He's someone
who might want to consider setting up a PayPal account. (21 Jan 15)
Ad placed today for wrong meeting day
Friday Commish meeting: cancelled
The rescheduled county commissioners' meeting, set to be held on Friday,
January 23, also has been cancelled, due to an insufficient advance notice
There will be a notice in the paper cancelling Friday's meeting. It was
unstated whether there was time to cancel the notice announcing a Friday
meeting from publication in tomorrow's paper.
"The notice that she (Chief County Clerk Amy Revak) placed in the
(Herald Standard) today is not sufficient notice. Accordingly, there will
be a notice cancelling Friday’s meeting," Commissioner Angela
Zimmerlink said today.
As per the commissioner, yesterday, the county solicitor instructed the
chief county clerk to review a memorandum that he provided her 8
months ago for guidelines to placing public notices for an annual listing
of meeting dates and times.
The memorandum from the solicitor 8 months ago stated that publication
notice for an annual meeting list notice must be published at least 3 days
before the first meeting.
Should the ad run tomorrow in the paper, then the earliest the meeting
can be held is Wednesday, January 28. (21 Jan 15)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"The difference is Rants&Raves would write something if toye heard
Ambrosini or Mahoney say he was told months ahead which contractor was
selected prior to the jail project going out for bids."
Pete, today at the diner, being a gentleman and defending the honor of this
absent editor, referring to this column's occasional RANT because media has
amazingly ignored Commissioner Vince Zapotosky's statement that he was
told prior to the bid process the jail contractor's name...
"Your lunch is on Pete!"
Waitress, later, to me, picking up take out
"I lost the bet we made. You bet the airport board and solicitor would forget
to reorganize in 2015 and wouldn't place the public meeting notice the proper
way without Mrs. G reminding them what to do."
Pete, in email later, saying also that he wonders if the airport board solicitor
will know how to continue when that authority board reconvenes and meets
today at the airport... The airport authority board is poised this early evening
to proceed with plans to replace long-time airport project aeronautics
engineer with a local engineer.
Lets hope the airport public meeting notice was placed in the paper properly
with signature, with that kind of a controversial deal possibly being finalized
today. (21 Jan 15)
Would chief clerk have stopped meeting?
What if Homistek had not asked about
the public notice ad?
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a question worth asking, following
yesterday's monthly county meeting being cancelled because the public
notice wasn't advertised in the newspapers.
What if citizen Marybeth Homistek had not inquired about the publication in
newspapers of the meeting notice yesterday?
While the chief county clerk quickly answered commissioners that no, the ad
was not placed, would the chief clerk have stopped the meeting herself to
make such a declaration, if Homistek had not been there to ask?
If a copy of the ignored email that the clerk said she sent to the
commissioners last week is not provided today, a Right To Know request will
be sent to obtain it.
Did the chief clerk say in the email last week that the ad was not placed? Was
it an SOS email that stated the ad was not ever placed in the papers and that
it needed to be placed?
Or did she simply send an email inquiring about the location of May and
November meetings, due to election scheduling of the regular meeting room
in the public service building?
While it is disappointing that the meeting was not advertised, it is more
disappointing that it appeared that the business meeting likely would
have continued if a citizen had not asked about it. The chief clerk also
quickly answered yesterday that the public agenda meeting last week
that was held also was not advertised.
That the commissioners did not appear to know this information until
yesterday's "almost meeting" is appalling.
With ongoing contracts being approved and decisions made at public
meetings, it is more upsetting that the meeting even started in the first place
and that it appears likely would have been held -- as the agenda meeting last
week was allowed to be held -- had Homistek not inquired about the ad.
Commissioners should be ready to react with appropriate disciplinary
action -- including a few day of unpaid suspension for themselves --
depending on what the email shows.
Did the chief clerk last week advise them that the public notice ad for
last week's agenda meeting, yesterday's meeting and all 2015 meetings
never ran yet?
That's the real story here. (21 Jan 15)
PCH operator complains of cut county mental
health services to her site
RAVES to the administrator from an area personal care home, who spoke at
the county meeting about a frustrating break-down of community mental
health services provided to her formally dubbed "enhanced" personal care
In exchange for offering housing and care services for some of the county's
most difficult psychiatric patients discharged from state hospitals, the home
received in home special services to help monitor the after care and health
of the former patients. As per the woman today, those services have stopped.
Those special "enhanced" services came to a handful of local personal care
homes, as part of a Community Hospital Integration (CHIP) fund created
when Somerset State Hospital closed in the mid-1990s.
Some of those few, special "enhanced" personal care homes also received
former state hospital patients so involved that they were first discharged to a
locked down Fay mental health facility in Grindstone.
RANTS that this woman's appearance today at the county meeting, to ask
what happened to the special services she got for the difficult population she
keeps, tells all that she seems unaware that the CHIP money for mentally ill
adults long ago ran out.
Her appearance seems to confirm that the county's managed behavioral
health care budgets let some of the original CHIP stake holders fall through
The once dubbed "enhanced" personal care homes have saved the county a
ton of inpatient Medicaid behavioral health money over the years, by
managing difficult mentally ill people outpatient. The former state hospital
patients discharged to the enhanced personal care homes saved the county
another ton of money over the years as well.
It should also be noted that some of the enhanced homes also saved the
county some money by keeping the former patients from the state hospital
out of trouble and out of the county jail.
The woman who spoke today has been doing this for 14 years. It should be
noted, too, that these folks were not paid more money to take care of former
state hospital psych patients than they were for the sweet, cooperative lady
who needs to recuperate from surgery before she can return home.
RANTS that the services from a state hospital closure, from funds given
directly to counties to divert re-hospitalizations, have become so watered-
down that someone, a stake holder from the early CHIP days, feels
discouraged and abandoned enough to speak out about it. (20 Jan 15)
Community Mental Health Service Meltdown: 85 Possibly Missing
The Animal Menagerie & Its Stink All The Way To The Courthouse
"You know you need an intervention when you say
something stupid as this Quote Of The Day"
"Clarify something for me, Commissioner Zimmerlink, first of all, if there was
a real intent to solve this prison problem, then why did you not accept my
invitation in July of 2012 to become part of this team?"
Commissioner Al Ambrosini, grinning, today, at the "almost commissioners'
meeting," asking the minority commish why she did not participate in his
unadvertised monthly jail ad hoc work group meetings from late 2012 on.
He appeared to be foolishly thinking that he might rattle her, but he didn't.
(The exchange starts at 34:26 on this video.) Mouths have dropped, not
believing he was still asking the same question of her again.
RANTS that Ambrosini still is oblivious to Sunshine Act laws, starting into his
4th year in office.
Even after today's "almost meeting," and the lengthy tutorial -- what has to
be Zimmerlink's umpteenth brave attempt to reach the inner part of
Ambrosini's brain with a simply stated, insightful explanation of the Sunshine
Act and its necessary application to county business.
RAVES to her calmly spoken, eloguently stated response, well worth
watching, that ultimately recommended that Ambrosini consult with any of
the county solicitors or a newspaper PNA attorney (quoted in an article that
Ambrosini needed to, but refused to advertise the meetings to allow 2
commissioners to attend without violating Sunshine Act) or, as Zimmerlink
ultimately recommended today, maybe he "should take a course."
That he genuinely appears to be hearing all this each time she has said it, as
though it's always the first time he is hearing it ever said, is most unsettling
and cause to question his continued ability to be in office making decisions.
If he's acting stupid, it's time to cut it out,
roll up his sleeves and act as though he's in an elected role for the next 11
months, to help run a county that will be hit, sooner than we think, with
paying out a small fortune for court prosecutorial misconduct.
If he's acting stupid, he needs to smarten up and help manage a jail problem
that worsened across the board, during his 3-year period of lead
mismanagement, denial, and intentional delay in jail over crowding problem
solving, all to help his cause. (20 Jan 15)
Man who petitioned court 2x to stop her hire now offers support
Chief County Clerk failed to
advertise 2015 monthly
RAVES to citizens playing the part of government watchdogs, when the
media isn't paying close enough attention for us.
Today, it was discovered at the start of the monthly county commissioners
meeting that the chief county clerk failed to properly advertise the meetings,
as previously directed to do so. Publication of meeting notices is necessary
to be compliant of the Sunshine Act.
As a result, the day to day business of today's meeting was not conducted.
Ironically, a different citizen, who penned a recent letter to the editor calling
for a change in command at the jail -- and also is the same man who tried not
once, but twice, in court to block the hiring of the chief county clerk in 2012 --
offered support today to the "overwhelmed" clerk. Go figure!
The "almost meeting" didn't end, of course, without Commissioner Al
Ambrosini pathetically trying to defend his continued push for the now
abandoned plan to build an all-new jail complex in Dunbar Township. (20 Jan
Editorial makes it to news satire site?
All have a right to publish whatever they so
Certainly, nobody wants to take the paper and an editor's rights to publish
any news and commentary that they wish to publish. It's, however, no secret
that the editor dislikes the minority commissioner. Just about anyone who
knows him will tell you so.
If she said blue is blue, he would disagree, just for the sake of disagreeing.
Being it's her saying blue is blue, he would differ to say blue has to be white.
Bias keeps him from saying blue is blue.
That said, if the former county commish chair Al Ambrosini said blue is
green, the paper, by the editor's definition of his role, would have no
obligation to tell us Commissioner Al Ambrosini is wrong and that blue is, of
That all said, by the editor's statement, if the minority commissioner said
blue is blue in front of the editor, and later Ambrosini said, no, no, she said
blue is white, the editor would still feel no responsibility -- i.e., again, by his
own definition of his role -- to say Ambrosini is incorrect.
By his own definition of his role, the editor feels no role or responsibility to
clarify blue is frigging blue, just because it is simply the right thing to do. (18
"Mouth Dropping Quote Of The Day"
"Whether it's the truth or not is beyond our pay grade. It's up to you the
reader to decide if a public official is telling the truth not us. All we can do is
report what a public official is saying. Now we do write editorials, giving our
opinions about issues, but those are clearly different from our news stories,
where we try very hard to be objective and give both sides of the story."
Mark O'Keefe, editorial piece, today's Herald Standard, trying very hard
to rationalize that it's AOK to publish whatever it choses in straight news
stories... drowning in personal political opinion and bias, blindly missing
the key point that it's simply wrong and shameful to publish something
that someone knows is inaccurate, without mentioning that he knows it's
inaccurate and without mentioning the truth (18 Jan 15)
Almost seems that way
Al's pal wants warden et al fired?
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but rather a mention of surprise to read a local
letter to the editor from an Ambrosini supporter calling for "a need for a
change of command" at the county jail.
However, the longer it went, he seemed to soften his stand:
"This incident and a failure to report to the appropriate officials and to not
have control of the incidents tantamount to incompetence that should be
addressed appropriately with possible terminations."
Possible, he said.
Still, the Ambro supporter going publicly against the current jail
administration and some staff was quite unexpected... and still a surprise
reading it a second through with glasses, just to confirm the eyes got it right
the first time. (18 Jan 15)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"Since the media was filming the old city police station this week, I guess we
soon will be reading about and seeing on tv another Z bashing feature."
Pete, this morning at the diner
"We were told last year to hold our questions until Crabtree's reports were
done. Doesn't anyone understand what common courtesy is? No, instead,
we'll have to endure county workers loyal to Ambrosini's politics jumping the
gun, complaining on tv that they may have to walk a block to park (if jail
addition project is on the current county parking area)."
Dave, in response, venting that forces are alive to discredit the current jail
plan or else the media would not be filming what we've already seen in the
media -- an old, abandoned, small building on prime, downtown real estate
"If it were me, I would rather bust ass at the gym to get in shape to walk a
block from the newer parking garage to the court house than I would prefer
to walk any shorter distance on pyrite."
Dave's wife, a long-distance walker/runner
"I've said it before: kickbacks must be really good if they're still pushing for
the Taj Mahal. Damn good!"
"I guess it really does pay elected officials to hire their family and friends.
When you're in a bind, you just pull their string to cue them to defend you
and profess their undying support for whatever insanity you want the public
Mount Braddock industrial park floods again...
RANTS that nearly a year has passed without problem resolution since
Mt. Braddock business owner Steve Laskey appeared at a public
county meeting to complain of repeated man-made flooding incidents,
resulting from poor county land development in the industrial park.
Today, Laskey said that his restaurant appliance business once again
recently flooded, resulting in damage to his machines and business
interior. His business has flooded multiple times just since he brought
his problem to the county meeting, as shown in these videos. One.
When the county redevelopment authority developed the industrial
park, the flow of run off water to Gist Run was wrongly disconnected.
Run off water then was diverted onto Laskey's neighbor's property in
the industrial park, into what engineers believe is an abandoned mine
that acts as a sump. When it rains heavily, the run off water fills the
mine and excess then floods those industrial park pods. As the park
development continued and run off water increased, flooding started.
As readers here know, both businesses now have man-made wetlands
and regular flooding as a result of bad county development errors.
Readers here also know that Laskey received the former commish
chair's word, as shown in the video, that problems would be resolved
when a new jail was built there.
Now that a new jail is not being built across from Laskey's property,
and after an attempt to help correct the problem with Act 13 money
was stopped in 2014 (because of pending legal action Laskey has
against the county redevelopment authority), Laskey still sits, literally,
underwater when it rains heavily.
Thinks his new jail viable, with 2 new commishes
Ambro bans public from
In follow up to this morning's craziness going on with Commissioner Al
Ambrosini trying to reconvene his former jail ad hoc committee work
group, extra RANTS are ordered up for Ambrosini for blocking public
citizens from attending his little pow wow meeting.
Initially, sources state that Ambrosini moved the meeting to his office
when he became aware that private citizens wanted to attend.
Once held up in his office with the warden and media, Ambrosini
refused to allow a citizen to enter to monitor the committee meeting or
RAVES, however, as sources state that only one staff heeded the call
to regroup the ad hoc committee. Don't these people have real work to
do? (16 Jan 15)
Reconvening jail ad hoc work group?
Ambro: in dire need of
our prayers, divine
RAVES of hope that someone of influence intervenes. If not humanly
possible, then perhaps divine intervention is needed to stop
Commissioner Al Ambrosini's delusional world from trying to halt
progress in Fayette County.
As per a courthouse source, Ambrosini's email went out this morning,
reconvening his former jail ad hoc work group committee to meet
today to plan his state of the art jail and memorial to himself.
Please, God, we beg you to help this desperate, delusional man re-
enter the world of reality and stop jerking the staff and citizens of the
county around. Amen. (16 Jan 15)
Latest: past response letter from Baker
to airport exists
While impeccable sources state that a response letter from the Baker
aeronautics engineer firm to the airport authority exists, it is unknown
whether this letter was mailed or it were sent only via email.
Another source recently had stated that email was sent to the airport,
but bounced back to Baker. That source was unable to state that
either party attempted to contact each other by phone, snail mail, fax,
courier, or sky writing during the couple-month lack of communication.
However, today, word was received that a correspondence previously
was sent to the airport, in response to the airport authority's request
for information. Six days ago, the authority voted to replace Baker on a
hanger project and give the contact to a local engineer.
At the meeting to remove Baker, whose contract was due to expire in 7
months, airport authority members stated Baker had not responded for
a few months to the county's request for information. This letter from
Baker, as per today's inside source, documents that the firm
Nonetheless, the airport board said no contact was received from
Baker, necessitating the contract for a hanger upgrade project to be
pulled from Baker and given to a local company.
In addition to the hanger project, a significant runway expansion
project is planned. It will be interesting to see who the lucky engineer
is for that one. (16 Jan 15)
Letter writing season is underway!
One sign it's re-
RANTS that an airport authority board member could not keep from throwing
political stones in his letter to the heraldstandard.com editor. Seriously, he
almost got it done, but just couldn't resist.
While it was amusing to read the pre-mature touting of the horn -- i.e., since a
$1 million gift needed for airport projects is not in the bank yet and the
authority is approaching deadlines to hold public hearings and project
deadlines -- the writer should have left out his personal, political opinions,
but did not.
The letter lost any chance of having any sense of class with his added
personal political opinion:
"One can only wonder how much further ahead the airport would be if
more politicians were helpful rather than spending their time throwing
stones and being obstinate."
One can only wonder, too, how much further ahead the airport would be if
some hadn't resisted for so long to relocate out of the line of construction
and progress to another hanger, too, and if the airport had more active
tenants who actually fly planes regularly and purchase fuel regularly. (15 Jan
"Quotes Of The Day"
"So... it seems everyone, everyone, is lawyering up these days."
Pete, to Dave, in an almost whisper and slight huddle, today at the diner,
referring to scuttlebutt county issues that any competent judge should quickly
dismiss and squash if/when/should the matter appear, out of nowhere, before
the courts (wink, wink)
An unlocked knife in an unlocked jail office?
He has a what stuck into his desk!
RANTS to hypocrisy in its purest form, such as demonstrated by a county
worker in this pathetic instance of negligence and carelessness!
At the Fayette County prison, where there has been no work release
program because administrators fear that contraband would become a
bigger, uncontrollable problem, we learn a deputy warden received a 5-day
suspension for keeping a knife stabbed into the surface of his desk in his
RANTS to administrators with no common sense and to the government
entities that tolerate these repeated instances of stupidity and negligence on
the public's dime.
RANTS since the real job world would not tolerate these types of
shenanigans from such high maintenance staff, too inefficient and too much
of a liability for a private sector employer to keep. (14 Jan 15)
Ambro comically dramatic when abstaining
RAVES for laughs so early on a Wednesday, winter morning from reading in
the local paper this morning that Commissioner Al Ambrosini abstained from
voting on whether or not to advertise to seek human resource contracting
Was information withheld from him to prevent him from making an informed
decision? Of course not. This was a no brainer. Cue the drama king.
This, after all, was only a vote to add an agenda item to the next regular
meeting schedule... and Ambrosini abstained? What kind of leader is that,
given there were no reports or no information kept from him at the time of
RAVES that he's so comically dramatic about it. He might command respect
if he voted a flat out, strong no, if that's how he so feels, rather than play silly
little kid games. Can 2016 come soon enough? (14 Jan 15)
Sources say Baker is at fault
Not so fast, jt, they say!
RAVES to readers who respectfully and nicely express a difference of
opinion or relay information to clarify a situation. To such extent that
apologies are issued, here goes.
A source, and then an unrelated or unconnected, different source, both
offered this situation to consider.
One admitted that operations at the airport have been as loose, at past times
-- i.e., such as hanger rent checks getting misplaced and then produced -- but
said that the airport is running smoothly and that the authority received no
communication for months from Baker.
Sources in a few areas outside the airport seem to agree that the engineer
made no calls, sent no letters, sent no hard copy correspondence and sent
no faxes to the airport.
If this is true, then the authority had a right to seek alternate service.
How the authority went about it, though, just doesn't make sense. If it's not a
requirement already, bidding engineering services for projects paid for with
grant money should be required. (13 Jan 15)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"So a slew of department heads were recently suspended from Fayette
County offices. All I can say is, disciplinary action all around seems long
Pete, today at the diner, referring to televised news that the county jail
warden was suspended for 3 days and the deputy warden suspended for 5
days, for not reporting unspecified issues to the county commissioners, and
a newspaper account that one commissioner is calling a suspension of other
department heads as a "witch hunt"
"In the private sector, most of those people would have been terminated
long, long ago."
Dave, in response, and running down from memory various instances when
different department heads and key staff have been derelict in their duties,
with incidents on record at public meetings, proving his point is valid
"And while we're speaking about being derelict in their duties, I want to say
that I really hope the airport authority doesn't have to have professional
services out to bid due to the RCAP grant money being involved. How
embarrassing would that be, so close to the (June) project deadline, if
nobody there realized it before yanking the hanger project from Baker!"
Dave's wife, a retired state bureaucrat who once audited grant programs,
who also said she hopes that no reorganization meeting at the airport board
was needed, since no such meeting occurred.
Airport authority cans aeronautic
engineer experts for job for local pal
RANTS that the county airport authority board booted long-time aeronautic
engineers to the curb for such a controversial local engineer, for such an
important grant and match expansion project.
Anyone who didn't see this coming -- i.e., following a 2014 public meeting,
when a female rep from the engineering firm urged authority members to
move quickly with an expansion project and was rather rudely treated by
some there -- was not paying attention.
RANTS that an authority member spoke unkindly at the meeting this week,
then in media, about the long-time engineers this week. Even though he said
he wasn't doing just that, he did still diss the long-time aeronautics engineers.
Given that the disgarded firm reps had to have wanted to bang their heads
through the wall on too many occasions, dealing with the procrastinating
locals, it's perhaps a long shot -- but one possibility that cannot be
overlooked might be -- that the ball dropped on the part of the locals in this
situation and nobody there realizes it yet.
The "sudden" severing of ties with the long-time firm seems suspect. An
airport authority board member was quoted in the paper as saying they
needed to move a little faster.
Given the authority's reputation for dragging its feet and disregarding
engineering technical advice -- and the personal, quick response always
received here from the long-time engineering firm when a question was
asked of them -- how can the move to remove the long-time aeronautic
specialists not be suspect? (11 Jan 15)
Tells Kriss Hell's coming to his back yard
Al's after meeting comments
keep speaking volumes
Fay Penn should be mad as hornets that Fayette County Commissioner Al
Ambrosini took it upon himself to be that entity's spokesperson, who
announced what sounds to be a significant land purchase deal and company
or business operation, moving in the Dunbar Township land once considered
for a new county jail.
While Ambrosini, ousted as commish chairman in recent months, usually
speaks privately to the press after mute or near mute communication from
him during public meetings, he two days ago turned to a private citizen after
a pubic meeting to vent thoughts and introduced first-mention of the pending
relocation of Hell over the hill from Kriss' historic home.
From the sounds of it, Ambrosini turned to and approached the private
citizen to beam and gloat.
Following Thursday's special meeting to appoint county board and authority
members, citizen Terry Kriss, owner of the historic Meason House near
Laurel Mall and opponent of a county jail being built there, said that
Ambrosini approached him to taunt that something more imaginably worse
than a prison will now be built there.
"Al came up to me and said, 'If you didn’t like a prison behind your
house, there is something even more detrimental to be built there,
as Fay Penn sold that property for even more than the county's $1.25 million
While Ambrosini had arranged to purchase the land from Fay Penn without
bids in meetings largely conducted privately, the former county commish
chair, of course, did not tell Kriss how he came to know this supposed new
Nothing about a land deal or new company moving into the area has been
mentioned on the organization's website or area newspapers. No new sales
or transfers of land have been recorded on the county's property
Whether Ambrosini was telling Kriss the truth is unknown. Was he just
joshing to try to anger Kriss or see if he could get Kriss' blood pressure to
rise and rival his own?
Or was Ambrosini simply off again, in Al-la-la-land, babbling on with
Nothing about this claim from Ambrosini has been mentioned yet in the
media. An email was sent to him recently, asking for comment. When
Hell freezes over, a reply may come.
I trust the media's lack of coverage of Ambrosini's statement that something
horrible is coming to Kriss' back yard and the Dunbar Township land means
that the media has investigated and found Ambrosini's claim to be unfounded.
Otherwise, we're left hanging not knowing if Ambrosini's thoughts are
delusions or lies, until someone formally makes an announcement or applies
for zoning special exceptions or variances.
What's sadder or more pathetic about Ambrosini taunting Kriss like this after a
public meeting is that Ambrosini still doesn't get the fact that all but one Mt.
Braddock family and business signed the Referendum Group's petitions to
place a referendum question on the ballot, asking for people to decide whether
to spend $40 million dollars on a pyrite money pit for a jail.
Most importantly, he doesn't get it yet that he has taken Fayette 50 steps
backward into progress and change with his reckless spending, personality
indifference, back room meetings and his genuinely goofy logic demonstrated
on too many occasions to minimize as being understandable or excusable.
Why is he afraid to speak much at public meetings and, for the most part,
instead, run his mouth after meetings?
The better questions to ask might be why is Ambrosini so afraid of rebuttal
when two other commissioners are seated by him in a public meeting, and
what personality disorder exists that includes a compulsion to taunt Kriss,
after a public meeting with a sarcastic news flash that Hell will soon will open
up behind the Meason House? (10 Jan 15)
A one-time special feature
poison pen Letters to the ed
Al whines to extend interview period after blowing off Dec interviews
Anarchist* appointed to airport
RAVES to good, smart, wise, honest people such as John Cofchin of
Uniontown for asking to be placed on a county board. Congratulations to him
for being named to the county airport authority board.
Cofchin's appointment to the airport authority was approved by a 2-1 vote.
Commissioner Al Ambrosini appeared at the early morning meeting to
appoint new county board members before ditching the county prison board
special meeting today.
Ambrosini, a pilot and tenant at the airport, opposed Cofchin's 5-year
placement at the airport authority. Ambrosini complained he wanted more
time to interview people, yet, reportedly, did not respond to requests to
schedule interviews last month.
At the public meeting this early morning, Ambrosini was unable to state even
one name of anyone he wanted to interview. He simply said he wanted to
interview anyone he doesn't already know. Other commissioners were
expected to be psychic, to have known who he doesn't know. Prior requests
from the other commissioners and the commission chairman's assistant
reportedly were sent to Ambrosini and Ambrosini's assistant multiple times
in late 2014 to schedule interviews.
Meanwhile, Ambrosini today at the special meeting to appoint board
members claimed to be unaware of all of those prior written
correspondences to him. Never saw them, he claimed.
Would it be an exaggeration to say Cofchin's placement on the airport
authority distressed Ambrosini? Is that why he opted to go off on an
unrelated tangent to whine and sing praise to his once-proposed and shelved
all-new jail in Dunbar Township?
Cofchin is said to have been the only new person appointed today to any
county board or authority, with all other openings being filled by the same
board member wanting reappointed for another term on the various county
RANTS that Ambrosini had to go off on that goofy jail tangent at a meeting to
appoint board members and then didn't show up for an 11 o'clock prison
board meeting. Ambrosini participated in none of the scheduled interviews
of persons interested in serving on county boards and authorities.
RAVES that the other 2 commissioners pulled the plug on today's meeting at
that point. He had no right really to whine at this late date about not
interviewing potential candidates.
Cofchin's appointment today has him replacing departing 10-year airport
authority member Myrna Giannopoulos. She felt so harassed by her 4 fellow
board members that her personal attorney accompanied her to the airport to
conduct regular airport business.
While two board members berated Giannopoulos and a newspaper reporter
at one meeting in a disgraceful, formal agenda item, and the airport manager
once blocked the authority member from entering an office to obtain airport
business information, those parties recently -- and pretty comically if you ask
me -- asked Giannopoulos to stay on the board another 5 years.
RAVES to Giannopoulos for sticking to her personal belief that members
need limited to serving 2 terms. Last year, she proposed a change in bylaws
to limit terms, but her proposal died for a lack of a second.
RAVES, again, to Cofchin for wanting to be part of airport business. RAVES to
the county for approving him. If the board had to lose Giannopoulos, the
commissioners were very wise to seat Cofchin in her place. (8 Jan 15)
*term of endearment coined about Cofchin and others by Jim Killinger, in the 1
Oct 14 commentary on heraldstandard.com titled, "Studies show new prison is
best option for everyone."
Serious problems with jail staff?
Ambro ditches work again
RANTS that Commissioner Al Ambrosini did not attend and participate in the
special meeting called today for the county prison board. Personnel
problems called for a lengthy executive session, after which the county
human resource director stated that no disciplinary action was taken. The
warden, who sometimes is involved with prison board executive sessions,
reportedly, was not included in today's private session.
Neither Ambrosini nor the county district attorney attended today.
We here sincerely hope that the former county commish chairman is not
feeling under the weather today. He seemed to be in good spirits and health
on New Years Eve at Nino's. (8 Jan 15)
In Fayette, bullies merely 'suggest' what illustrators should draw
Writers, illustrators slain over religious satire
RAVES of hope that French authorities swiftly capture two armed cowards,
who slaughtered a conference room full of satirical writers and illustrators, all
in the name of God and religion.
Perhaps reactions to the nightmare are a sad sign of the times, too. We're
stunned, thoroughly angered and saddened, yes. The intensity of the anger
and sadness is still there, but the duration of it seems to pass more quickly.
It's more than we're just becoming too used to hearing about mass killings
for this and all kinds of reasons that we don't embrace and accept.
Judging from comments received here and heard and watched in televised
French interviews, those speaking eloquently and respectfully expressed
their anger and sadness, but, quickly thereafter changed the subject... almost
as though they were trying to move on to much needed down time,
distancing themselves from the what just happened nightmare to one that is
becoming an all too frequently occurring nightmare.
Before any lump in the throat here cleared enough to speak, a long-time
friend commented, in reaction to the Paris killings and video-captured
escape of the armed men, "That wouldn't happen here."
To someone who does not know him, my friend might seem to have the
utmost faith in homeland security or regional intelligence knowledge of any
-- if any -- types of cells here. He has no such blind faith. I know this. Thus,
"They would not have escaped alive after an attack in an office building in
most places in America. So many of us are legally armed.
"One of us would have shot one or all of them," my friend confidently stated,
looking like someone who would volunteer to aim if the shooters were
brought before an execution squad. Then he spoke with as great a certainty.
"More of the people I work with now might want to get and carry a gun for
protection," he said, continuing in a direction that I didn't expect.
He figures that his odds of surviving an office killing and the odds of
witnesses taking out the shooters anywhere in an American office building
significantly increased today.
In other words, my friend talked about any and every thing else,
understandably, all around the subject, to try to forget about Wednesday's
horror in Paris. (8 Jan 15)
County to fill board vacancies
Tomorrow at 11 AM, county commissioners are to meet in the courthouse
conference room to appoint interested citizens to fill vacancies on various
county-wide boards and authorities.
RAVES to those people who submitted letters of interest. Perhaps this time
around, the most qualified people will have a chance to serve.
In past years, clearly one man's choices filled past vacancies. Those poor
choices resulted in some legal actions or zoning foul ups and higher court
opinions being needed to reverse stupid mistakes of those stacked deck
boards. (7 Jan 15)
Take 2 redo for engineer
CYS project out to bid again
RAVES that a legal notice was recently published a second time now to seek
construction bids for the much-needed CYS building expansion project.
The project was put out for bid a second time after the county's project
engineer stalled progress unnecessarily by stating incorrectly to contractors
gathered at a pre-bid conference in recent months that the time to submit a
bid was extended.
This time around, a pre-bid conference is scheduled on January 13, at the
CYS building. Contractors, as per the legal notice, have until 3 PM on January
22 to respond.
May this second time around seeking contractor bids go more smoothly and
professionally. If not, then the county needs to grab a new engineer and
project manager and not look back. (7 Jan 15)
"Neuman's Quote Of The
"The whole reason the "Adventures of Alfred and Vincent" came about
was due to the cartoonish comedic similarities between Alfred Ambrosini
and Alfred E. Neuman."
Neuman, satire writer, today -- or so the person claimed to be --
commenting on his motivation for writing the popular underground
adventure series, sending these photographs of Ambrosini and the
MAD cartoon character, to illustrate those cartoonish, comedic
Thanks, Neuman -- if that's who you really were -- for the contribution of
quote, photos and visuals at the link above.
The artsy photo contribution is so appreciated. It somewhat helped ease the
pain of losing a talented but spineless illustrator, who quickly bowed to
political pressure on him, by certain county Democrats, not to draw here
under any name. (6 Jan 14)
Al: does he even realize how funny he
RAVES, on second thought -- and in a really round-about way, that is, such
as being an optimist and looking for humor or truth in each passing day, and
savoring some of those more special moments that often follow to appear
here, ranted or raved -- that the former county commission chairman does
speak to the press after his mute or near mute appearances at public
If getting a kick out of his girlie-looking New Year's Eve bling wasn't enough,
and wrongly thinking that was the end this week of finding potential Alland
humor out there... today's Herald Standard provided one of the most warped
Alland quotes to date, obtained after yesterday's county salary board
Of course, only after the meeting, the former commission chairman became
the pot calling the kettle black, when he explained his voting to the Herald
Standard, in the piece, "Zapotosky named as salary board chairman."
He explained that he did not vote for the minority commissioner to be the
vice-chair of the salary board because "the salary board is very important...
(Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink) has often voted for political reasons rather
than what is good for the county."
Lets try not to laugh and spit our hot morning coffee or tea all over each
other, won't we?
RAVES -- again, and only in that round-about way of seeking humor and truth
in each day kind of way -- that Commissioner Al Ambrosini doesn't think
before he talks to the press.
Otherwise, a search to find a chuckle this snowy, cold Russian's Christmas
Eve morning just might have taken a bit longer. (6 Jan 15)
County removed inmate photos to
fix the online records problem
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note that the plug has been pulled on the 3-
month-long contest to correctly guess when the county's online prisoner
records would be corrected.
In September, a random sampling of prisoner online records through the
county's "Inmate Lookup" system showed a high percentage of incorrect
photographs on the wrong inmate records.
In some cases, male photographs were shown incorrectly for female inmates
and the same man's photograph appeared on multiple files of male and
female inmates. Commissioners were asked for comment then as to when
these mistakes would be corrected. Shortly thereafter, the entire "Inmate
Lookup" system was taken down when the county experienced server
While the "Inmate Lookup" system now is back online, the contest is
cancelled since the county opted to remove inmate photographs to the
online system to fix the system.
Readers of this website were invited to submit their guesses of a date when
the photographs would be corrected. Readers submitted guesses of dates
from early October through January 3, 2015 when they thought the photos
would be corrected.
As a result of the photos being removed and the system not being fixed, per
se, the $50 contest prize will be donated to a local charity. (5 Jan 15)
Happy New Year!
"New Year's Eve Quotes Of The Day"
"Nowhere in the local paper's top 10 stories do I see Ambrosini attaching the
controller's name without her knowledge and publishing the bid for
contractors in the building trades without county approval."
Pete, this morning at the diner
"The $1.25 million dollar no-bid land purchase deal for the jail didn't make the
"Nor did the rogue solicitor pursuing the jail land appeals without county
Pete's wife, who listed a few other items, including Judge William Ober's
decision to overturn the county zoning hearing board's approval of special
exceptions and variances because the former commission chair applied as a
private citizen for county zoning exceptions.
"The ousting of Ambrosini as commission chairman, nope, not on the list,
Dave's wife, adding that the grand jury investigation into fixing a DUI charge
for a judge's nephew also didn't make the paper's list
"Happy New Year, everyone! We're heading to the cabin for a family party.
We'll see you all next year!"
Dave, helping his wife with her coat, taking off for the top of the mountain for
their event, which includes babysitting for their 9 grandchildren, all under the
age of 7. May the force be with them!