As last night's Hazleton City Council meeting Sam Galski reports that Councilman Jack Mundie proposed extending the rebate period for Hazleton property owners to pay their tax bill to the City. Despite his twelve year tenure as a councilman Mr. Mundie tried to replace the taxing ordinance with a resolution, something not allowed under the law. His obvious pandering to the property owners of Hazleton met with credible resistance. His fellow council members exposed his "playing up to the public" for political gain.
Most property owners have their tax money placed in escrow waiting to be dispersed to the proper taxing bodies. His suggestion would only injure the City of Hazleton who saved taxpayers by not seeking a tax anticipation note for 2012 or 2013. The City also saved taxpayers money on mailing costs by incorporating the city tax bill with Luzerne County. Mr. Mundie's proposal would negate those savings thereby necessitating another tax increase on the people.
Mr. Mundie's political vendetta against Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi and other City Council members is reaching new lows. Mr. Mundie voted "NO" on paying Hazleton's debt at the beginning of the year. He voted "NO" on the property tax increase necessary to replace lost revenue from the mine reclammation project. He voted "NO" on collecting the correct earned income taxes from out of town employees working in the City that would fund the City's pension obligations. He told residents to fight parking tickets at the Magistrate level to deprive Hazleton of its income.
Mr. Mundie opined that Hazleton should hire someone to negotiate union contracts for the City.
"I just want to know, shouldn't we have somebody with experience negotiate with the unions," Mundie asked. "If they thought they did a good job negotiating, health insurance (contributions are) $20 per month and we're getting a 24-percent (overall cost) increase."
From the Minutes of 1-25-2012
Resolution 2012-19 Authorizing the City of Hazleton to Utilize the Services of Special Legal Labor Counsel on an As-Needed Basis Presented by Perry. Seconded by Cabell.
On the Question:
Mundie asked Lieb if she knows what the hourly rate is for this service. Lieb said all the rates are listed in the letter from Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn, which was given to Council. Lieb said a partner of the firm charges $250.00 per hour, with a 10% courtesy discount, and half of the travel time involved. Lieb commented that this firm is located in Kingston. Mayor Yannuzzi said we are able to go to Attorney Goldberg with questions, personnel issues, to negotiate contracts, etc., because this is his specialty. Lieb said he is a labor attorney.
Roll Call: Bast-yes; Cabell-yes; Mope-no; Mundie-no; Perry-yes
His policitally motivated attacks and votes are part of Mr. Mundie's orchestrated campaign to financially cripple the City of Hazleton just as he did to the Hazleton City Authority in the 90's.
Despite proclammations that he would put together a budget for the City he contributed nothing in the process. He told City Council to pass the budget so he could make amendments. That never happened.
During the budget debate of 2009 then Mayor Barletta had this to say about Mr. Mundie's "NO" votes.
Speaking in the general direction of council, Barletta said, "Anybody can vote 'no.' That's easy. Why vote 'no' if you have no better ideas. Everyone who voted 'no' is being very irresponsible. I hope you're satisfied. Good job."