Is it Editorial OCD?
RAVES of chuckles reading today's ed piece, "Honeymoon," on heraldstandard.com,
for the sheer kick of providing us with an early Sunday morning laugh, counting yet
another instance that the editorial board or writer(s) seemingly gets off by parroting
its ever too sickeningly familiar reminder that former commissioners childishly fought
with the public during recorded meetings, even calling the public "morons."
Only it isn't really funny.
"Honeymoon," written at the start of the tenth month work performance review period
together of the current board of commissioners, slaps out at Commissioner Angela
Zimmerlink for voting against recent LERTA giveaways and against the
reappointment of a county authority member.
What the thinking public knows -- for some time, too -- is that Zimmerlink opposes
LERTA and Koz giveaways. People who voted for her knew so. There's no surprise
there. Plenty of people view those types of tax free zones as corporate welfare
What the ed piece online today fails to remind readers is that two former
commissioners in August of 2015 approved a LERTA by a 2-1 vote, yet, quite
pitifully, were unable to identify the parcel or area receiving the LERTA and could not
or would not publicly identify the name of the property owner to receive the LERTA.
"Honeymoon" failed to remind us that two former commissioners blindly voted on that
LERTA 13 months ago unable to say with any respectable degree of certainty
whether that LERTA would pertain only to one parcel of land or an entire business
"Honeymoon" failed to go one of many more steps it should have gone, to follow up
with past LERTA businesses to update on expansion of staff or production since
LERTA fringes kicked in, for example, for that one particular property owner 13
At the time, the business on the property receiving that LERTA employed 130 full-
time workers and wanted to hire 175 more staff through 2018. Have any new
proposed jobs been created there since that vague LERTA was approved 13 months
ago? As a whole, how about others who have benefited from other past LERTA or
Koz tax breaks? How many stuck around to provide sources of employment for
county residents under LERTA status, stayed for the complete duration of the 10-
year periods, or stayed beyond the LERTA period without tax breaks?
"Honeymoon" failed pretty miserably to tell us why Zimmerlink and others are wrong
to oppose LERTA designations by saying nothing more in its copy than officials need
LERTA. "Honeymoon" failed to throw out any new information or solid data proof of
benefit that LERTA designations in the long run contribute significantly to public
funds and revenue and employment opportunities for an area.
As for the appointment of the authority member, "Honeymoon" fails to acknowledge
that three commissioners in early 2016 unanimously rejected the re-appointment of
an authority member in favor of new blood. One or two citizens sent letters of interest
and were interviewed, including the authority member initially rejected for
reappointment, only now re-appointed this month again to fill the vacancy.
Nobody here, either, understands why Zimmerlink would motion to name someone to
a county authority who had not sent a letter of interest to be considered, but she had
just as much a right the second time voting last week to oppose the original authority
member's reappointment as the three commissioners unanimously did the first time
voting for new blood on the authority in earlier 2016.
RANTS, though, that the ed piece takes the low road by pointing out that citizens
had to intervene or interrupt or be obstructionists to get a board of commissioners to
conduct proper business as per County Code and laws. RANTS that the ed piece
concludes that "The only good thing with these disputes is that Zimmerlink and her
supporters haven’t tried to shout down Vicites and Lohr like they did Ambrosini.
Things have been civil, and let’s hope they remain that way. It’s quite possible to
disagree without being disagreeable. But unless Zimmerlink starts working more with
Vicites and Lohr, the honeymoon will definitely be over."
RANTS that the media, this week, instead, was not all over the recent decision by
Lohr and Vicites to spend Act 13 funds improperly by disregarding PA DOT's policies
on Act 13 fund distribution. The two officials wrongly believed that the state's Public
Utility Commission governs the funds and sought approval from the entirely wrong
state entity before approving a $45,000 expense.
RANTS, once again, that the paper continues its sad preoccupation with slapping
Zimmerlink and the citizens who once interrupted illegal or improper meeting
business when County Code and laws were violated and commissioners accused
one another publicly of bid rigging and the media ignored it all. (25 Sept 16)
CLARIFICATION: Robert Gordon did submit a letter of interest to
serve on county boards or authorities. It is noted above that
Zimmerlink nominated him to serve on a board and that he had
not applied. This is incorrect. Gordon did request to sit on any
county authority or board.