Monday, October 05, 2009

Skrep wants to borrow more money

"I am alright with borrowing."- Luzerne County Commissioner Gregory Skrepenak

No matter how many jobs they eliminate or expenses that they cut in the end Majority Commissioners Democrat Maryanne Petrilla and Republican Steve Urban will have to vote to raise property taxes if they want to avoid borrowing even more money. Nobody wants to pay more taxes, I know I don't, and they just may pay for that decision in the next election.

The reason this is coming to a head now is because the last administration of the Bond Brothers, Skrep and Todd Vonderheid, put out unrealistic budgets full of fictitious revenues then scrambled the next year restructuring debt and borrowing even more money just to meet payroll.

Nobody has been as hard on Petrilla as I have been. I would like to interview her and ask some questions about the 2004 campaign but she has been upfront on the county's fiscals woes.

It's hard to follow the incompetence and fiscal recklessness of the previous administration. Just ask Barack Obama.


Stephen Albert said...

Greg Skrepenak is GROSSLY UNQUALIFIED to be the head of anything. His election as county commissioner in Luzerne County had more to do with stupid-assed football hero worship than it did anything else.

Laying the blame for this current budget mess solely at "Skrep-Daddy's" feet is short-sighted...the real blame lies with the voters who elected this man in the first place. Mind you, I'm no big fan of my (the Lackawanna County) commissioners, but at least each can claim some form of qualification for the job...even Corey O'Brien at least has a legal background. What's Skrep's chief job qualification, his size 20 neck or the humorous gridiron stories he can tell at award ceremonies?

Greg Skrepenak is the punishment that voters in Luzerne County get for not thinking when they entered the voting booth.

Wil Toole said...

For the Commissioners to think they can balance the budget on the backs of the employee's is simply wrong. There were employee cuts last year and some of the cuts had little or no effect in services while other cuts did cause havoc. A good example of this is in the Controller's office. Reducing the Controller's staff was actually hurting the checks and balances of county government. The office charged as the watchdog of tax dollars suffered a reduction in staff while audits continue to be in arrears. Apparently, there was no lesson learned by the debit card fiasco. The Controller's staff requires an increase, not a decrease or status quo.

The Commissioner's need to stop and take stock in what it is the county should actually be doing. Determine responsibility of current functions, and what should be done by the state and federal government must be relinquished to their control and responsibility. Luzerne county taxpayers can no longer shoulder the financial responsibilities of other government entities.

I have personally offered many criticisms of county government but I have never criticized without also offering a potential solution to the problem I've identified. Taxpayers and elected officials do not need to be told what's wrong, they need suggestions on how to fix a financially broke government.

My campaign web site, has a link on the front page to solutions to problems I have criticized either at public meetings or through letters to the editor.

By virtue of the Controller's responsibilities, I view the position as being more than the county auditor. As a member of the Salary Board and Retirement Board, I see the Controller as being a part of the county management team. As such, to offer criticism without solutions is nothing less than grandstanding and headline grabbing. Now more than ever, I believe experience is crucial to our county's fiscal recovery. We don't need the "gotcha" attitude that seems to be prevalent in these days of turmoil, we need cooperation and cohesiveness in county management. I do honestly believe that my life's work has prepared me for the responsibilities of this office. My management style has always been that no employee should know more than I do and my business experience and government experience creates a perfect marriage for me and the Controller's position.

As the county Controller, I would like to see the Commissioner's form a think tank consisting of the three Commissioners and the row officers. At various times, I think it is crucial to include and make use of successful members of the business world to help address appropriate and related problems. Using terms such as transparency and open government are fine but I would like to include the philosophy of inclusion rather than exclusion.

The problems are clear, the tools are available and I think I have the ability to "getter dun."

Anonymous said...

I think you can balance the budget by cutting expenses. There is more blubber in the courthouse than a blue whale. Here's a simple but very visible example: 3, yes 3 crossing guards, 5 days a week! Can't the courthouse employees cross the street like the Wilkes students at the cross walks without having their hand held????? Maybe that should be a test for qualification of employment!

Look at the benefits (self insured health plan) and see how out of touch they are with other organizations in the area.

There are so many do nothing jobs - we deserve better - but we won't get better until we vote change the system (Say Yes to Home Rule).

Anonymous said...

Vonderheid continues to work his fiscal magic - the Chamber of Secrets, I mean Commerce, is ready to go belly up. But Vonderheid continues to get a huge salary - as long as he gets his - to hell with the organization. He did the same at the county.

Anonymous said...

Wil Toole,
Is this how you fixed Pittston Finances as well. by a think tank to get you a bigger pension? seems to me that you are all about protecting the status quo and not about anything else. The County is in serious trouble financially because we have no one watching the spending, period. The Controller is someone that will watch for people that are doing things that are not in the best intrest of the taxpayers and that is done by doing the audits and doing them correctly. If the County has to many people in various offices then there needs to be cuts made in those offices. The Commissioners need a real controller like Steve Flood, and that is Walter Griffith not you. Please explain to the people why you took a disability pension and logged in overtime to inflate your own pension in Pittston City. The last thing this County needs is another political hack in the courthouse. "Getter Dun"

Anonymous said...

Joe, give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

Sorry 8:36, it isn't Joe, it's the spineless retired prison guard who is angry he could not get Skrep to give his son a job. He acknowledges that the county needs someone who can do audits and also thinks a mechanic has the background to do it. I hate to drag you into this Walter but that's what happens when idiot suporters begin to throw stones. No offense but you're a bit over your head and with this guy beating your drum, it is nothing less than a death knoll. For your own sake, put a muzzle on him or get him out of town till
November 4th.

Anonymous said...

Its getting close to the election so the over zealous supporters will now begin to cause problems for their respective candidates. These wannabe king makers just don't understand the damage they do to their canidate when they begin the mud pie fly game. Throw the mud and your canidate pays the price. Do your canidate a favor and just shut the F _ _ _ up! You don't help your candidate, you may very wwell drive a potential voter off the fence and into the other guy's camp. I understand that you know everything but just for a moment, please consider the rare possibility that you might be wrong and you are actually hurting your candidate, not helping him.

Wil Toole said...

Anon 10:32 Thank you for some sage advice. As a candidate, I would prefer to fight my own battles. I have not asked for any supporter to defend me and my personal policy is to ignore the ranting of people with personal vendettas. I do appreciate the good intentions of those who want to defend me from personal attacks but Anon 10:32 makes an excellent point. Please, simply allow the mud slingers to do their thing and do not reply. There is much truth in the old saying about getting into a fight with a skunk. Just consider this as their time to flex. I do believe intelligent voters see through these personal attacks. For those who wonder about my management of the City of Pittston, I encourage you to seek out any employee who worked there under my administrative tour, I will let them answer for me. I thank Gort42 for the opportunity to respond.

Anonymous said...

Stephen Skrep is just grotesque.

Anonymous said...

Does that mean you are going to drop the lawsuit that you have with the Pittston people ??? Lets talk about corrupt Wil Toole and what he did at the Pittston Tomato Festival. The reason Wil Toole wont ask anyone to fight his battles is because there are so many of them. Wil Toole is a political hack plain and simple and is a Democrat through and through and the reason he is running as a Independent is because no one on the Democratic Party will support him because he is in this for the wrong reasons. JOBS JOBS JOBS.

Anonymous said...

Wil Toole really has you guys on the run. First you say he is a Democrat, then you say he isn't, he was Morgan's boy, he was a good ol' boy and now it's jobs jobs jobs. You're to much! By the way, what jobs is it that Toole plans to get? All I read about is the county cutting, cutting, cutting. Like I said, you guys are funny, not to mention pathetic. Wil, keep up the good work, these guys are beginning to talk to themselves.

Anonymous said...

Wil Toole has no one on the run except for those people that are running away from him. Wil Toole wants the Controllers position because he wants to collect the paycheck only.I guess the money he swindled from Pittston City taxpayer wasnt enough. Talk to Mayor Walsh.

Personal Loan said...
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Anonymous said...

Will Toole has about as much of a chance of winning the election as Steve Corbett has of being thought of as an objective, insightful, intelligent pundit. ZERO