Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Northampton County Executive Race Pt. 1

It's the week before Pennsylvania's municipal elections and we are about to elect a new County Executive.

Republican, John Brown seems to be following almost the same approach against Democrat, John Callahan that the two men he defeated with over 50%  of vote in the primary.  If it did not work before why would it work now?

The the big difference between the primary and the general is that Mr. Brown is attempting to not be entirely negative.  He has a positive message on one side of his mailer whereas the other Democrats only sent out negative mailers.

The most patently untrue claim is that John Callahan voted to raise his own salary 4 times.

That is against the law in Pennsylvania...It is illegal for office holder to raise their own salary while they are in office.

What Mr. Callahan may have voted to raise the salary of the people who would win office in the next election.  If he was to be the winner of that next election so be it but it would be a different term and therefore he is eligible to receive that raise.

Mr. Brown claims in his mailer that:
He NEVER raised taxes as during his tenure as Mayor of Bangor 
He Cut taxes, balanced the budget and streamlined government operations
Turned the borough's projected into a nearly $1 million SURPLUS

These really are some "fuzzy math" claims about about his record and I am trying to figure out how he accomplished them since the Mayor of a Borough in Pennsylvania has no real authority to govern.  The day to day operation of a borough falls to the Manager and the he/she reports directly to the Borough Council via the Council President.  All financial decisions are made through council and that includes taxing and spending.  The Mayor has no vote on any of these issues he can participate in the discussion if he so desires.

When problems arise in the Borough it up to council to resolve them, in fact if the Mayor is made aware of a problem he is required to report the issue to the council.  A Borough Mayor can only vote on an issue before council if there is a tie and he presides over the Council meeting when the members gather to elect new officers.

I have no doubt Mr. Brown is a good guy and everything I have read and heard about me leads me to believe that he has a bright future in politics if he so chooses it.  But, when I read these claims of his campaign they raised a red flag and I had to research them to find out the facts.

I have attached Borough Mayors Manual created by the Governor's Center for Local Government Services.

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