Saturday, September 19, 2009

Walter Griffith for Controller


Luzerne County Republican candidate for Controller Walter Griffith had a gathering last night at the Ramada in Wilkes-Barre with a nice turnout.
.
Just about every other county Republican candidate came out to show support for Walter and the rank and file in attendance expressed a unity that I have never heard from our local GOP.
.
There was a microphone set up in the front of the room which always acts as a magnet to any politician but thankfully all of them kept their remarks short.
.
All quotes are paraphrased.
.
Gene Kelleher was the emcee of the event and the first to speak was former State Senator Charlie Lemmond. He wasn't planning to speak but the crowd demanded it.
.
He said a conservative is a liberal who has mugged by reality. We keep exchanging one Democratic administration in the Controllers office for another and nothing ever changes. We need somebody to watch store and Walter is the guy to watch the store. This is going to be a retail election.
.
Next up was Commissioner Steve Urban. It's no secret that Urban and Griffith have not always seen eye to eye in the past so his ringing endorsement of Walter put all that to rest. He pointed out that the Controller has to keep an eye on a Human Services budget $250 million, a General fund of $120 million plus serve on the Salary Board, Retirement Board and starting in October the Prison Board. That is a lot of responsibility and Walter is up to the job. Urban then blasted the local Democrats saying one party rule has resulted in 15 indictments so far. He claimed not to know the name of his opponent offering that the only name I need to know is Walter. He then made a point about row officers actually showing up for work asking how we can elect a controller who is working at PNC Bank all day then maybe showing up for a few hours.
.
Court of Common Pleas nominee Dick Hughes said that before he started campaigning for office the only thing he knew about Walter was what I read in the papers. Since then he become a partner seeking to reform county government.
.
Everybody sung Carolee's praises and she said she looks forward to another term in the Courthouse to continue to clean up the mess.
.
Wilkes-Barre Area School Board candidate Harry Haas was called on next. We need to take the county back and one party rule doesn't work. He reminded us that the public schools are the foundation of the community and loss of the faith in the system is one of the reasons that people move away from the area.
.
Walter finished up and decried the arrogant in your face attitude of elected officials with a sense of entitlement. Make them accountable! He was the good soldier and endorsed the rest of the GOP ticket and thanked everyone for their support.
.
A few things that I have learned about Walter over the last few years. He doesn't get caught up in personalities but digs for the facts. He is tenacious. He is incorruptible.
.
Walter Griffith is a pain in the ass and that is a good thing.
.
The other Controller candidates are Democrat Bob Morgan (no website) and Independent Wilfred Toole.
.
(L to R) W-B Area School Board candidate Harry Haas, Prothontary candidate Carolee Medico Olenginski, Walter, Commissioner Steve Urban, Judge candidate Dick Hughes, retired State Senator Charles Lemmond.
.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Dobash who regulary posts at NewsTalkPA which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ever growing GrassrootsPA internet empire. You can aslo find more pictures by Kathy on her Facebook page and Fotolog.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

PittstonPolitics.com Good grief

Anonymous said...

Wil Toole, Independent....that's a funny one.

Wil Toole said...

After more than a year, I am pleased that at least two of my suggestions are being put into effect. I suggested the county owned office building in Hazleton be sold and it is in the process. I suggested that the Controller be added to three Boards, the Prison, Arena and Community College. One out of three isn't bad but the other two are as equally important. The most pressing suggestion I have made is to cancel the planned 27th pay scheduled for December 31st which will give the county employees a two week bonus on top of their yearly salaries and add $2 million dollars to the 2009 budget and increased deficit. It is interesting that the savings of every employee layed off will not cover this extra pay. I have strongly urged the commissioners to return to paying twice monthly which will eliminate the 27 pay phenomena forever. Common Sense Government.

Some of my other suggestions are listed on my campaign web site, www.BestControllerCandidate.com. I urge all readers to contact the Commissioners and ask them to change the pay schedule of county employees from bi-weekly (26 pays) to twice a month (24 pays). For those who don't understand the current problem, I'll give you a short explanation. When the pay schedule is bi-weekly, that requires 26 pays but there is a phenomena which occurs every 7 years which requires an extra pay for a total of 27 pays. This occurrence is scheduled for next year but because the first pay of 2010 falls on Friday, Jan 1st, the Commissioners want to pay a day early due to the holiday. That action moves the first pay scehduled for 2010 to be moved forward and into the 2009 budget and it was not included in this year's budget. I suggested at a Commissioner's meeting as well as a letter to the editor that the Commissioners issue the pay checks dated Jan 1, 2010 and the employees can cash the checks on Jan 2nd.

The easiest solution is to simply revert to paying twice monthly for an even 24 pays and eliminate the problem forever. Having the extra payday would also require that the yearly salaries be divided by 27 rather than 26 to allow for the extra pay in 2010. This was not done in 2009 to account for the extra pay; thus the 2 week bounus. Again, Common Sense Government.

Wil Toole said...

Anon 11:25 Commented, "Wil Toole, Independent, that's a funny one"

I see no humor in it. I've stated previously that I have been out of active Democratic politics for almost 15 years. I made this change simply because I do not want to owe Party Politics anything. Winning the Controller's seat as an Independent removes any type of IOU's to anyone. After many years of political involvement, I knew going into this that it is a tough job to run a county wide election, especially alone. Physically it is difficult at best. Independent by its very nature means that there is no physical help available. Financially, it is impossible to match Party candidates because individuals involved in either Party are reluctant to help an Independent defeat their Party's candidate. As of right now, my campaign is approximately 80% self financed.

I knew what to expect going into this and I made the decision to take the shots from the politically motivated (anonymous) stone throwers. The fact is that over the years I have attended various county meetings and have offered many worthwhile ideas to help solve county fiscal problems.

Brainstorming is never a bad idea and all I have tried to do is to present alternative solutions to current fiscal problems. I have never made a criticism without also offering a solution. Anyone can criticize but my experience allows for workable solutions. Again, I refer the reader to my web site. www.BestControllerCandidate.com

Don Williams said...

Wil: Nice response to Anon 11:25. Gort has a great site with a solid following. He does not need to support individuals who don't have the moxy to post under their real name.

Anon 11:25: Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Wil: Good luck.

The Scranton Guardian said...

The GOP should sweep or Clean Sweep.

Anonymous said...

Oh please Mr Williams, please don't quote the bible or the crazy guy from Pittston will start with his bible quotes. No body on this site deserves to be preached at by the bible guy or anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Wil Toole can finance his campaign with the money that he was able to get from the Pittston City when he retired with a fat 30,000.00 check and a disability pension as well. This guy is unbelievable in that he says he is independant but didnt even circulate his own petition. The only thing independant about Wil Toole is his ability to speak out of both sides of his mouth while looking you in the eye.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:09, looks like Wil Toole peed in your cheerios. I think when you thorw those kinds of accusations around, you should confront him face to face. From what I can gather from the people I know, he was a great administrator who simply worked himself into bad health. He isn't the only workaholic I know. What you should do is get the facts and compare apples to apples. I met him him back in July at a friends house and had a long conversation with him. He will get my vote based on what I learned about him, and I won't cast him aside based on anonymous comments.

Anonymous said...

Wil is one sharp cookie, I'll tell you that. Go back into 1997, search the news stories about Pittston and see the good work the man did. Particularly ingenious was his ability to be at the Gramercy Restaurant most of the day while still working at City Hall. He had to put in really long hours at night, cause he wouldn't ever pull one over on the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Better still, go forward from 1997 and see what the replacements did to the city, not for the city. How do you spell bankrupt?

Anonymous said...

This BS smacks of the West Side Blogger. He just doesn't get it. He's the only one with a hard on for Toole and that's because Toole sued him. Get over it Westsider, your becoming boring and other than your half dozen followers, nobody really wants to hear it. I for one am interested in this election.. There are two judges to be or not to be retained, two judges to be elected and three Row Officers. Stick your old news where the sun don't shine and stop polluting the blogs.

Anonymous said...

More people than you think have a hard-on for Toole...how can they not? I mean, come on, just look at that wavy head of hair!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:02
This is exactly the mentality I would expect from someone that wants and supports a guy like Wilfred Toole. Wil Toole is a political opportunistand a person looking for a place to put more of his friends in a political do nothing job. If you want facts look at the fact that Wil Toole was opposed to Home Rule and Wil Toole said that the Judges would never had known about the two corrupt Judges. This guy is all about himself and not the taxpayers. I would never vote for Wil Toole because he is a political bitch for the Democrats.

Anonymous said...

I just read Wil Toole talking about how tough it is "physically" to run for office, particularly as an independent. Didn't he retire from his job in Pittston because he was "disabled"?

Anyway, 2:00 PM is correct...in Pittston, bankrupt wound up being spelled L-O-M-B-A-R-D-O.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11;02 Did you get all of this out of your bible? You sound like a real Christian minus Chairity. The girls at the restaurant are right ---- Quotes the good book but not very nice. Any more candidates like Skrep in your bag of tricks?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:01. I had a similar conversation with Wil Toole over the weekend and from what I got out of it was not that it was pysically tough but rather difficult due to how large Luzerne County is in mileage. I didn't read what you refer to but my guess is that he was trying to express that as an Independent one man show, it is a big task to cover the entire county.

I had to smile at the comment made by Anon 11:02 that Wil Toole will be a lap dog to the Democrats. Wil must surely feel he owes the Democrat Party Big Wigs some heavy favors for all they have done for him and his campaign - not. Personally, I love the idea that he owes none of those phonies anything. The talk at a local watering hole is that the Petrilla gang has no clue what their in for with Toole as Controller. All of the guys say like him or not, he knows government and the days of doing what they want under the dome will end. This is better than my wife's soaps and I know my soaps. I got addicted when I broke my leg. Hated to go back to work, but taping became my savior. Can't wait till January, I might take vacation days just to attend county meetings. What a show!

Anonymous said...

I think it is time for those with a personal problem with Wil Toole to pack it in. I agree that this is an important election and the people keeping us off point either have a personal problem with Toole or they are working for Morgan or Griffith to muddy up th election waters. Let's get back to the election children, we don't need these jackass comments. Just grow up.