Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kevin Blaum, another good guy

With all the shenanigans of various Luzerne County officials in the news we have to remember that we have some very good public officials such as Leonard Piazza and long time State Rep Kevin Blaum.
Kevin has stepped down as chairman of the Luzerne County Convention Authority that oversees the operations of the Wachovia Arena in W-B Twp. The arena is one of the best things that ever happened to our area and without him it may have never been built. His leadership has transformed an abandoned strip mine into the most vibrant retail and entertainment district in Luzerne County.
I first met him when he was a young high school teacher that won a seat on the Wilkes-Barre City council at the ripe old age of 22. We both worked on the 1976 Jimmy Carter campaign and he later defeated a long time party hack for the state rep seat. We had a ton of fun in that campaign as we both got to spend a day with the next President of the United States.
The good news is that he is not going away and will be writing a political column for Times-Leader starting Jan. 27.


David Yonki said...

That long time political person was Bernard O'Brien, better known as Bernie. I believe he served for about 14 years from 1966 to 1980 before being defeated by Blaum. He was not the most charismatic guy to come down the pike but aided in the recovery efforts of the flood. The contrast between the two was quite remarkable and Blaum won in a walk in the primary.

JTK said...

Sounds like a good guy. Where can we find 6 or 8 more like him?

Gort said...


Bernie O had all the charisma of an alert plant. I remember asking him some questions once and all he did was grunt at me.


We have some good people in elected and appointed offices but you have to look for them.

I'm enjoying your blog.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Brien is my great uncle and I felt I have to add he was very stoic, and I believe ran for 18 yrs. May not have been the most charismatic but he did well.