Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What mystery?

TL: The mystery is over. It looks like Luzerne County’s 2007 deficit will be around $13 million, possibly more, county Commissioner Greg Skrepenak acknowledged Tuesday.
Skrepenak said the county will likely resort to debt refinancing to plug the deficit.
Shortfalls in revenue from land sales, tax collection and some flooding expenses contributed to the deficit, Skrepenak said.

Anybody paying attention knew there were big holes in the Democratic Commissioners election year budget announced last December with the banner headline No new taxes in the 2007 Luzerne County budget. The smoke and mirrors financial plan relied on juggling future debt repayment and hoping to sell the land that the Valley Crest Nursing Home sits on for $4 million. Another big if was getting $3 million from beefed-up tax collection. Steve Urban voiced doubts about the plan before the election and I've been harping about it for months.

I have to give props to Skrep and friends for avoiding any serious talk of a deficit before being reelected. Can he honestly say he didn't see this coming? That explains why the much ballyhooed quarterly budget reviews never happened. They were also able to push off the reassessment values until next year.

To add to the madness they are talking about another golden parachute scheme like the life transition plan. Before they go down that road again they owe us a report on how many positions were eliminated the first time around and how many are still employed through the temp service. Remember they floated yet another bond to finance that plan that will cost $23 million over 15 years in the hope of saving $2+million if salaries are kept in check.


danny said...

If Steve Urban was so concerned about the county's finances, he would have swallowed his pride and made a ticket with Bill Jones for commish. Urban loves being in the minority, he relishes in TL interviews and being a pain in the tukus. Republican voters called his bluff by nominating Jones, a decent candidate, and Urban threw a hissy fit and refused to work with him. If Urban has so much political stroke, how come his wife lost both of her elections in W-B this year?

Anonymous said...

d.b., Jones is a Skrep crony. He's as much a decent candidate as Skrep or Petrilla, which is to say none of them are. If you keep typing this crap, are they going to give you a taxpayer-financed job where you can sit on your ass and do nothing all day like the rest of the Dems in Luzerne County?
You blow as much smoke as Skrep does. Urban is doing the best he can in a broken party. A party, mind you, which could have lent some type of financial support to Urban and/or Bill James if they really wanted to take control, which they don't, because Lynette is a Luzerne County RINO.

Anonymous said...

wow danny you are really ignorant of politics in this area. if jones and urban had won the majority, which would not have happened if they joined forces, urban would still be in the minority. jones was part of those that hired skrep at crestwood. i would prefer a minority commish. that questions than goes along to get along. skrep and vonderhied attempted to get a "favorable" republican totie last time and the voters stopped it.
here is one simple fact, no matter how great a team the repulicans put out there they will never win the majority in luzerne county.
but danny and the other democrates would like a to get a minority wallflower in office so the majority could keep rolling over the voters of the county

Anonymous said...

danny bauder is a disease like the rest of the local dems.