Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tom Gabos- When Is Enough ENOUGH? Or Is It Just Plain Wrong?

After a recent Hazleton City Council meeting Tom Gabos was finally able to make a claim. Gabo’s tenure as a City Councilman is not loaded with lofty ideas to help Hazleton. Until that meeting Tom Gabos failed to introduce one piece of legislation to address the pressing issues facing Hazleton. Hazleton City residents had to pay Gabos for over 3-3/4 years before he stepped up to the plate and did what the electorate asked him to do. In his re-election bid it will be hard for Jim Perry and Karin Cabell to debate Gabo's record. He really has none.

Reason would have it that Mr. Gabos was busy with other projects that commanded more attention than the City Council position. After all he owns his own electrical contracting business.

In his entrepreneurial spirit he opened an arcade, along with his wife, Gale Zelenack, in downtown Hazleton which was announced here on July 22 , 2009.

But, as all of us know, in these dire economic times things are very tough for the unemployed. Having a political position allows one get to the head of the line for consideration.

As if those two businesses were not enough money for Gabos he was hired April 23, 2009 as a part time substitute maintenance person. Even the money from that position wasn't enough. He was hired as a full time maintenance person for Hazleton Area School District on September 24, 2009 for the Hazleton Elementary/Middle School, also known as "The Castle". Not only did he use his political position to get himself hired but he also used it to be placed at "The Castle" where he is part of the Castle Fund trying to raise money to repair the auditorium. According to records twenty eight candidates applied for that position.

The Board of Directors of the Castle Fund includes himself as President and three Hazleton Area School Board Members, Elaine Curry, Steve Hahn, and Carmella Yenkevich, who voted to hire him full time as a maintenance person for the Hazleton Area School District this year. This Standard Speaker article found on McKissick Associates from 2004 highlights the close association between Tom Gabos and Bob Childs, another member of the Hazleton Area School Board. Childs isn't, but knows the building well, as he is close to Tom Gabos and Bob Tombasco.

Gabos is President of the Greater Hazleton Historical Society along with his wife, Gale, as a fellow member of the Board of Directors. According to this HASD agenda dated March 26, 2008 under Finance Committee 39 - Recommend Board approve the payment of $2,500 to the Greater Hazleton Historical Society and Museum for cleaning and related costs of the chandeliers in the Hazleton El./Middle School. So the school board members who hired Gabos as a part time maintenance person voted previous to pay another charity where he is its President $2,500.00 to clean chandeliers. This action begs the question on whether Tom Gabos ultimately received the $2,500.00 as President of the Greater Hazleton Historical Society for cleaning the chandeliers.

A review of IRS 990 Forms found on confirm that as a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Hazleton Historical Society Tom Gabos has been paid for work every year since at least 2002. Gabos is President of the Greater Hazleton Historical Society, his wife a member of the Board, and the same society that received payment from the Hazleton Area School District voted on by three members of the HASB that sit on the Castle Fund where Gabos is President.

According to those IRS 990's filed for the Greater Hazleton Historical Society (2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2000)
he was paid a total of $7,233.00 for electrical and maintenance work from 2002 (excluding the year 2005 because that return is not on the net or at ) through April 30, 2008 as a member of its Board of Directors then becoming President in March, 2008. The form for the year 1999 to 2000 there is no notation that he was paid for electrical or maintenance work. The prior year, 1997-1998, indicated no payment.

As an example here is the statement submitted to the IRS for the year 2006.

Gabo's wife, Gale Zelenack, was also approved as a substitute maintenance person for the Hazleton Area School District listed as item #73 on the HASD June 25, 2009 agenda.

Gabos- Electrical Contractor
Member Board of Directors- Greater Hazleton Historical Society with yearly contracts
Elected to Hazleton City Council- 2006
Hired as Part-Time Maintenance Substitute- April 23, 2009
Wife Hired as Part Time Maintenance Substitute- June 25, 2009
He and Wife open Arcade - July 22, 2009
Hired as Full Time Maintenance Person- September 24, 2009

Tom Gabos and his wife, Gale, should win the Nobel prize for making lightning strike multiple times in the same places. In summation Gabos is an electrical contractor who owns an arcade business, paid as a Hazleton City Council Member, paid as a full time maintenance person for the Hazleton Area School District, paid as a part time maintenance person for Greater Hazleton Historical Society, and a wife who was hired as a part time maintenance substitute with the Hazleton Area School District. And that is just plain wrong.

Tom, when is enough ENOUGH? How about leaving a job for some poor family who is struggling to make ends meet and could use a job for a family member. It's a shame that Gabos and his wife are getting jobs because of political favors during an economic slowdown when many blue collar workers are losing their jobs.


Austin said...

Nice work.

Anonymous said...

Why did you forget about Councilwoman's Graham's many HATS? And of course her late husbands'? She got federal money to open her private pool. Her companies, which she has been listed as an officer in, enjoyed a nice contract at the Hazleton City owned airport. My God, she even tried to vote on the original contract awarding her family owned company the contract. Then I suggest you move on to investigating the numerous purchases made over the last few years to the computer company owned by our present council president, Joe Yannuzzi. Their make be some ethic violations here!

McGruff said...

You would bring up someone who is dead??? That is such a low tactic that a snake would be higher off the ground.

Despite your outright lies I allowed this comment to stand so I could destroy it.

So you want to complain about Mrs. Graham's non- profit Graham Foundation hat that kept the pool open for the community with her own money. The pool didn't make any money it lost money. She had to donate to her foundation year after year until someone wanted to sue her. That is what closed the pool.

It is an outright lie that Mrs. Evelyn Graham received federal money to open her non-profit pool. It was not her private pool but owned by the Graham Foundation- . Federal money was expended on the extending sewer line under Mayor Quigley which is not any different than the federal money spent on sewer lines all over Luzerne County. If it benefits the community what is your problem? Jobs created at the pool, Jobs created by the installation of the sewer line...ohh forgot you don't like job creation.

"Nice contract"--don't make me piss my pants. No one wants the FBO(fixed based operator) contract at the Hazleton airport. It is not a money maker. Mr. Graham's two operations, Koro Avation, and Kago Aviation never made any money. However, they did employ at least six to seven people. So you are against jobs??? At least you are consistent about that.(the kingston post didn't fool me) But you wouldn't be talking about the $135,000 Mr. Seymour Graham gave to the City to replace the windows in the terminal buildiing at the airport, would you now??? You wouldn't be talking about all the jet fuel the aviation businesses owned by Mr. Graham purchased there would you now? You wouldn't be talking about the hangar rent paid to the City of Hazleton that is still occurring would you now?? Go look at the fuel purchases now. They are practically non-existent. If you want to call God, go to church.

The purchases- You would be talking about Crossroad Computers where Mr. Yannuzzi is a principal in the company. You know very well there are no ethics violations since all the purchases were disclosed. The City Administrator called several computer repair companies for quotes on their service to make sure that Crossroads billing was consitent with the going rate. That work required no bids as it was repair work, not purchases of equipment. Your recklessness with your words is dangerous.

If you want to talk about something not ethical, Mr. Gabos came to council meetings for three years and ten months before he introduced his first piece of legislation. So the taxpayers paid him $15,400.00 for attending meetings but no thinking. When he did think he voted against the budget that funds the police department. Then he complains about prostitution. If I follow your thinking was it ethical for Mr. Gabos to get paid by his non-profit organization where he was and is an officer???

Let's get back to Mrs. Graham. Would you want to climb in the ring with her and go toe to toe with how much money she donates in this community with yours? Did you forget about the money spent on the old post office building to repair the roof that now houses Lackawanna Community College police academy. How many jobs created there?? Ohh..forgot you are not about job creation.

Despite the efforts of Mr. Eachus and Kanjorski to withhold funding from the City of Hazleton it appears Graham, Barletta, Yannuzzi, Mundie, and Nilles were very creative if not all on the same side.

If you want to investigate something there is a story about a legislator threatening officials at DEP with withholding funding it a certain action was not taken against the Hazleton Creek project. DEP did not take the action, and what happened in the budget- 30% reduction. Go check that story out.