Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Auditor General Drops Erie Pension Issue

The Associated Press is reporting today that Auditor General Jack Wagner has decided to drop his court battle with the City of Erie over a pension issue.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner is dropping his long-standing challenge to a deferred retirement program for Erie's police and firefighters.

The Commonwealth Court rejected Wagner's challenge and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court earlier this month refused to hear Wagner's appeal.

That's why Wagner told city officials on Tuesday that he's ending his court fight, even though he still disagrees with the plan.

Hazleton has a court case ongoing with the Auditor General. With the passing of HB 1828 the issue will probably be resolved. But it just goes to prove that those detractors of Mayor Barletta who were waving the Auditor General's findings as proof of improper activities failed to realize that his findings had to stand up to a court test in order to be found correct. Todd Eachus was using words like "illegal" yet he failed to wait for a court case to back up his personal attack.


Anonymous said...

are you sure Eachus didnt have anything to do with the writing of 1828? i mean the language that was included to make Hazletons problem go away was done by Barletta and the Senate without Eachus's input?

Anonymous said...

you continue to write about the pension but just cant get yourself to admit, that the Mayor collects a special tax, which he is allowed to do, BUT if he provides "other benefits" he is to REPORT them in the actuarial. so it isnt that he collected a tax illegally, it is that he isnt reporting the use of that tax properly.

i wrote it slow Mr McGruff, was it easier for you to understand this time?

Not printing comments really makes me suspect of your motives.

i am starting to wonder who Blogger X (Mr McGruff) is...... do you remain hidden because the people you write about would be disappointed in you if you revealed yourself?

McGruff said...

Please don't mix my words up. Eachus had nothing to do with the wording that helped Hazleton with its issue concerning the Auditor General.

The language introduced in the Senate was "may no longer be assessed or used for any purpose other than to defray the
additional costs required to be paid pursuant to this act and
which are directly related to the pension plans of the
municipality and which are included in the calculation of the
financial requirements of the pension plan and the minimum
municipal obligation."


Here's the proof from me. Go to this link

Click on Printer Number 2609. The three previous versions to the right do not include those words in them. 2609 is from the Senate, not the House.

McGruff said...

To Anon at 10:23PM

You are a quite hysterical person. You have written the same statement at least five times. You post under Anonymous and want to berate me. LOLOLOL as a matter of fact ROFL no PMSL...

Your comments are personal attacks that I don't have to tolerate just like the one you finish here. Stick to the issues and your comments will make it. Personally attack and they will make the trash bin like the ones before.

My psychological assessment of you is that you are obsessed, controlling, manipulative, but really insecure. I don't have to say what you want me to say. I don't have to tolerate your berating, and quite frankly won't anymore.

The comments about the PAC money wasn't printed because he isn't the office holder who is receiving money and can directly influence legislation for those PACS. Kanjorski was in 25 years and what did we get for his seat in the financial services committee. The worst recession since the Great Depression started in the financial sector collapse.

You are free to write your own blog and post what you want. Don' t expect me to do your work for you.

Anonymous said...

well lets take a look at the contributors that the Mayor does DO business with .

try this link

i see he can be influenced By these contributions. Hell i bet some can get below market value gasoline, ambulance contracts that put a 100 yr community ambulance organization out of business,

or here FOUND ON PAGE 4 where you can do business with garbage and dredge contractors!

here is the one i like a lot, you can also help reelect a Luzerne County Judge, or as he is now known as DISGRACED JUDGE

McGruff said...

Are you talking about the $100.00 contribution from Mascaro. Wow that's an influencing contribution. Oh wait maybe it's the $100 contribution from Karchner. Why do you fail to mention the $67,320.00 loan the Mayor made to his campaign? And you say I use the distraction tool well....LMAO.

I'll even do some work for you since you posted the wrong file. Look at 2005. Are you talking about the $80.00 donations from the owners of other entities that would give rise to influence. If that'a your case good luck.

Keep in mind it was your shot across the bow that brought this response. Lets take a look at who Eachus got his money from.

How about Powell donations?

His business was going to get $250 million from Todd's efforts.

As to your last assertion again you're post the wrong file. Are you talking about a $200.00 donation to Conahan on 10/6/2003 or the $125.00 contribution to Ciavarella on 3/30/2005?

Todd Eachus's donation to Ciavarell on 4/8/2005

No one could have known what was brewing, Eachus or Barletta, at that time. Those words were echoed the other day by Supreme Court Justice Max Baer.

Baer said the state Supreme Court, which is responsible for supervising the judicial system across the state, and leaders in Luzerne County did "nothing" and offered an explanation.

"Two of my colleagues had become corrupt, and there was nothing in history that could suggest that could happen," Baer said. "It was so ungrounded in any historical event. It was so beyond anything in our collective experience that in good faith we failed to see the possibilities. As we rededicate this courthouse for the next 100 years, I say we rededicate ourselves to ensuring that it never happens again."

Even a novice in politics would scoff at your anemic assertions.

McGruff said... Eachus PAC money
Eachus Powell's donations

McGruff said...

I left out Mr. Mericle

Anonymous said...

Mr McGruff, you almost had me,and i cant believe you forgot that the Mayor ran for Congress, TWICE> now i can or i am sure you have in that binder there all the contributions he received from the same people that does bushiness NOW with the city that gave to him. it adds up to tens of thousands of dollars, doesn't it?
and i find a lot of humor in you are labeling me something i am not, i have told you a few times now i am self employed and you have me as an insider. as you are well aware there is so much info on line, that is where i get my info, but you wouldn't let facts get in the way of some propaganda now would you?

McGruff said...

Almost had you...funny as were the one posting the highlights, not me...You are the one who posted the same link 3 times...and I almost had YOU!!!??? You had yourself.

Why would I have a binder?? Now who is assuming something that one is not....As you stated there is plenty of info out there....Rest assured this particular contributor has no binder..

How many times did Eachus and Kanjorski run for office??? Talk about the distraction tool...Kanjorski kept pushing the airport when no one was interested...Why...Eachus spent taxpayer money to produce a DVD for the airport when he took tens of thousands from one person, not many as you allude to. Where is the airport today?? Where it belongs, nowhere. There were so many lies about that airport that it was a sin it was perpetrated upon the people of this area as HOPE. But you keep your drum on Barletta. You were the one to throw the first snowball about the judges only to have it come back.

If you haven't been paying attention or are new to the block this blog is a conservative blog. You really shouldn' t expect to find alot of sympathy for liberal thinking.

Fair and balanced is key but we will sniff out those who pretend to want fair and balanced but are posturing for position.

If you have had a chance to check out the references of material you will see that they are factual, not opinion. And as you said there is plenty out there.

BTW did you get home early from work today???

Anonymous said...

yes but if i am correct, every time those two ran, they WON> lol

so will you post the contributions from the ambulance, garbage, and dredge people that gave over tens of thousands of campaign dollars to the mayor while he was in office and could direct business their way?

i seem to remember the garbage company saying they had to raise fees due to the high cost of fuel, only to find out they were getting it improperly ( there is that word again) at below market value from the City that didnt have a permit to sell gasoline.

i didn't work today, rotten local economy.... but i am waiting on the local businesses that are coming to downtown hazleton.

by the way, did you ever see the taxpayer funded handout the Mayors administration puts out promoting the City. is that any different?

McGruff said...

One more thing I should correct you on. Kanjorski did not win every time he ran.

He ran 3 times before being seated.
He lost against Ray Musto, Jim Nelligan, and Frank Harrison before beating Harrison.

Anonymous said...

well being you didn't correct me on the tens of thousand of dollars received from the City's vendors i take it you are in agreement with me on that.

oh there i go again repeating myself.

i wonder what good news came out of tonight's council meeting?

McGruff said...

I don't correct obvious erroneous statements..Isn't it past bedtime?

Anonymous said...

and you dont answer this guys direct questions to you. did this barletta take money for his congressional race?

McGruff said...

Direct questions Yes. Are they factual questions? Nope,not even close. And don't be so sure this poster is a guy.

American Patient Transport Systems is the first responder for the City of Hazleton. The poster is referring to donations made by principals in the company to various campaigns including Barletta's congressional and mayoral races.

Anyone who wants to take the time to go to can download the campaign reports to look up the donations.

However, what this poster is not stating is the fact that APTS responded to a Request For Proposal(RFP) in order to be considered for the first responder status. Their proposal as well as all that responded were graded by the police chief, the fire chief, the city adminstrator, and outside independent consultant before the award was made in 2003.

Their recommendation was given to the City as it concluded that APTS has superior manpower and equipment. The award was approved by Hazleton City Council not Barletta.

Another important point left out by that poster is the fact the APTS was first responder for basic and advanced life support long before the current principals bought the company. So most of what this poster states is false.

Barletta ran in 2002. The current APTS owners did not donate in 2002. And one out of five did not donate in 2008. Therefore they did not donate to the congressional race prior to the contract award. Check for yourself.

Did he take donations from some individuals associated with APTS in the last election? Most definitely but again that was a matter of record. The total amount of all principals who donated in 2008 was $3,800.00 hardly what I would call tens of thousands. Even if you add the $2,800.00 donated by William Rinaldi, Hazleton Creek it doesn't add up to the first ten. Another false statement.

And that was out of almost $1.4 million raised in that campaign.

Did he personally award the contract? NO. Did Lou Barletta know these people long before running? Most definitely. Would they have donated anyway, absolutely.

Of course this poster is the one who is letting propaganda get in the way of facts not me.

Anonymous said...

seems you left out mascarro and karchner and some barlettas that worked for the dredge, keeping adding it up, seems you arent being totally honest with your answers,

so how does barletta pay you for this ?

Anonymous said...

the rest of the story is apts put out of business a community based voluneteer group!!!! all of that over some campaign contribtuing group of investors.

McGruff said...

You have some audacity hinting that the answer was dishonest. Why don't you take the time to post what you want to post. Don't expect me to do your work for you.

Mascaro gave a total of $ what a friggin find... but why don't you be the honest one here. Mascaro got his contract by aren't you the one trying to fraud the readers? Again, who awards contracts in Hazleton???

Karchner as in Karchner Logistics located in Hazle Township...Karchner has no contract with the City...

As far as the dredge issue goes..Now your are referring to the land reclamation project using material deemed safe by the state...Right..or did you forget that fact. Oh that's right your boss says its unsafe despite his state agency stating otherwise.

Hazleton has received almost $1.2 million for its taxpayers from that project with another almost $600,000.00 to come forgetting about the possible sale of the land. There are at least 200 contractors involved with the project. If each only employed two people that would be 400 jobs. In these trying times are you telling me you are against jobs.. ?? Are you against the police that were hired with that money???

As for family donations..are you kidding want me to defend them...hold your breath... butt. Ther person who is feeding you doesn't know squat. You are very reckless with your comments and statements. Why don't you spend the time to get facts rather than assuming them.

All of this it pales in comparison to the money Sally Mae, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac gave to Kanjorski. For all that we got the worst recession since the Great Depression.

So it is obvious your attack is on Barletta not what is right for the taxpayers.

McGruff said...

The community based volunteer group caused its own demise. Let's use some of your own words, well the words of your gang.

Gasoline to hurt its competition-So all the while the community based group(CBG) was getting free rent from the City at the Pioneer garage wasn't that hurting its competition? You never heard them complain about that tidbit. And to tell you the truth there was nothing wrong with helping a CBG.

The CBG was getting free rent while it had basic life support primary responder status. But that wasn't enough. It wanted Advanced Life Support(ALS)status, something APTS had as primary responder way before the dentist you referred to in prior posts bought the company.

The CBG against sound financial advice decides to build its facility on Chestnut Street. They also decide to hire a paramedic which now means an extra salary. Now the problem is the revenue needed to keep that facility soars. As a consequence management decides it needs ALS primary repsonder status to stay open and fund its mistake.

It starts demanding that the City give it primary ALS status. The City tells it that APTS has superior equipment and management so it should leave things alone and be content with BLS status. It continues to press on so an RFP is let out to see who responds.

In the prior post an adequate explanation is given regarding the outcome of the RFP.

So in the beginning the CBG was getting free rent but now you want to cry fowl. Again disingenous statements that are easily dismissed with facts.

And before you go on about the gasoline issue it has been resolved and actually cost APTS more than it would have so put that to rest. In the end if it cost more than it would have how do you sum up that it hurt its competition? Again another twist of the facts by you.

In the end if you look at primary responder status as a result of EMS regulations and 911 calls testimony to the House(which you should be all too familiar with)you would know that the need to designate a primary responder is much bigger than Hazleton. It emulates from the need created by 9/11 and the terrorist attack to develop a coordinated emergency response. With the dwindling volunteer availability CBGs like the one in Hazleton are facing similar financial pressures that ultimately lead to dismantling of the organization. Viable for-profit and municipal services seem to be in good shape.

But what the heck would you know about sound financial decisions. Its day 96 now isn't it?

As far as your beer garten comment, you gave yourself away. And you also gave yourself away in another unforseen twist of events that is cracking us up at SOP. But let that for another day.

McGruff said...

implying?? how about we let you in on a little secret...nahh...well should look up the abilities of the stat how was you trip to Tampa??? you almost had us fooled with the remarks coming from Florida...but then the flight on Sunday was okay...take care

McGruff said...

BTW initmidation is not a trait we would expect of you in your position.

McGruff said...

Ohh..and we forgot. Here's what happenes when a person tries to state somebody did something improper.

Make sure that makes it around the "beer garten."