Sunday, January 22, 2012

Luzerne County Boards, Authorities and Commissions

This was sent along from my friend Kathy.


It is my hope the newly elected Luzerne County Council does not hastily appoint citizens who do not qualify for positions on Boards, Authorities and Commissions. I also hope other citizens are given time and concern to apply and adjust schedules for interviews. Do not use this process to discourage or limit interested applicants. Below is part of a recent email I received:

"Dear Kathy,
Thank you for your interest in serving your fellow citizens of Luzerne County as a member of the new Accountability, Conduct and Ethics Commission.
The Luzerne County Council requests your presence at a group interview session.
Due to the number of interested applicants, several interview sessions have been scheduled.
You are invited to participate in the 8:15 interview session on Monday evening, January 23, 2012 at the Luzerne County EMA building, Water Street, Wilkes-Barre."

When I requested another date and time to accommodate my work schedule, I received notice it was the only time available.

Only one meeting time is set to interview candidates for appointments to the ACCOUNTABILITY, CONDUCT AND ETHICS COMMISSION. More courtesy was given to the County Manager candidates in regard to confidentiality and interview times. Let's toss mutual respect out the window when interacting with those who live here in Luzerne County. Since, communication with County Council members is biased, my only option is to continue with public comment and keep in communication with the press. When trying to convey my concerns about several items, one phone communication resulted with a Luzerne County Council member, Mr. Eugene Kelleher raising his voice to get his message across and hanging up in the middle of the conversation. He was defending Chairman's Bobeck's violation of the Luzerne County Charter. He then was overheard that same evening boasting about it to Chairman Bobeck that he "hung up on Dobash". Mr. Kelleher broke his campaign promise. I guess this is just another average politician at work. This County Council member campaigned and gave out his phone number prior to election as a person who is approachable. This is a great disappointment. I believed in his integrity. Has power and position gone to his head? Intimidation strategy will not work with me. Your ego is very inflated.

I will not be intimidated by Luzerne County Council members. The frequent loud intonation utilized by Mr. Kelleher to give his opinion at meetings is ineffective and projects as another political grandstanding tactic. The citizens who attend meetings and make time to address issues at public comment are not children or students. Luzerne County Council members who are former teachers cannot apply teacher classroom management strategies to this position. Let's be real here.

I hope and pray The Luzerne County Home Rule Charter is followed. A precedent has been set with one breach of the charter by Mr. Bobeck. He worked for Luzerne County while serving on the Luzerne County Home Rule Transition Committee. Luzerne County Council elected him Chair. I read a prepared statement. I stated my concerns at the January 2, 2012 meeting and requested Council not to elect him as Chair. This has been deleted from the meeting minutes posted on the website. The meeting minutes do not reflect the recorded minutes which are public record. I filed a right to know request for the recordings. I am surprised at the tampering with historical record. Why are the minutes now 'watered down'? Why do you need to protect yourselves? Why throw out documented statements by citizens and elected officials? The correct minutes should be available for the public to review. Again, this lack of respect and blatant disregard of charter prohibitions can be viewed as a direct insult to every Luzerne County citizen. This is not accurate documentation of the meeting. I am grateful we have an honest Luzerne County Right to Know Officer who follows the law and provides the truthful and accurate public record when requested. Chariman Bobeck, why are you taking time to alter the meeting minutes before posting them on the County website? Luzerne County Home Rule is about open and transparent government which allows for citizen participation.

Does Luzerne County Council respect Luzerne County residents in regard to work schedules or is this another way to limit citizens to serve on Boards, Authorities and Commissions? Candidates for the hired County Executive were catered to by using Luzerne County tax dollars to pay for accommodations, etc. during the interview process. Mr. Kelleher announced at a Council meeting he gave the candidates tours. Luzerne County citizens should be given courtesy and time to interview properly for appointments to Boards, Authorities and Commissions. These are non-paid positions to serve the public.

I respectfully withdraw my name as a candidate to serve on the ACCOUNTABILITY, CONDUCT AND ETHICS COMMISSION. I cannot attend the interview. I ask for appropriate notice with other appointments in regard to interview times and schedules so more applicants may attend the public interview.

Luzerne County is one of the poorest counties in the nation. Many people work 2 or 3 jobs to live here. Please accommodate interested citizens who strive to live here, volunteer during times of disaster, volunteer to improve the quality of life and work to make Luzerne County better.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Dobash,

Hazleton, PA


Anonymous said...

Poorest counties? Check your sources Kathy...check your sources.

Anonymous said...

Kathy Dobash needs to let this issue die. The facts remain that James Bobeck is here to stay and if she would have been more possitive on the campaign she may have too. The Home Rule Charter and Luzerne County is blessed to have Eugene Kelleher's knowledge and spirit on the Council and Kathy Dobash needs to stop listening to Steve Urban Sr and maybe she will be elected in two years.

Anonymous said...

Kathy, honey -
Steve Urban is an idiot and so are you.

Back Mountain Fairy