Thursday, January 3, 2008

The moment of truth

The moment of truth is almost upon us. Montgomery County commissioners will reorganize next week and as we've reported in The Times Herald, Republican Jim Matthews has formed an alliance with Democrat Joe Hoeffel to wrest control of the county from incoming commissioner, and Matthews running mate, Bruce Castor.
Unless there's a last minute deal the Matthews/Hoefell duo will be running the county and Castor will most likely be spending more time at his law firm.
To those of you who donated to the Matthews/Castor campaign, if it were me, I'd be asking for my money back.
Look, this isn't really about some unholy alliance. There's a chance that Matthews/Hoeffel will do just fine running the county, but that's not the point. This is about all of the people who thought they were voting for a team only to find out one member of the team jumped ship right after pulling into the harbor.
There will be reorganization meetings all over the county next week. Drop me a line and let me know how you think things shook out in your town. Not that I'm implying that there's any kind of shakedown going on here, but, boy, won't it be interesting to see who the next county solicitor is?

28 comments:

warpeace1 said...

This is really not much of a shock. Castor made a big issue prior to the Primary as to his choice as political partner and County Commissioner and it wasn't Matthews.

What is written that he with the most votes is chairman.

Anonymous said...

The next county solicitor will be a friend of one of the commissioners. Isn't that what the commissioners are there for... to hire their friends??

Anonymous said...

Popularity does not confer the ability to lead. When it came down to working, Matthews had the choice between a novice pretty boy or someone with experience. I think this was the first intelligent decision that we have seen in a long time. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Let's look at the facts, within days of becoming DA, Ferman established a permanent system to break the cycle of child abuse. What systems did Castor establish during his rein? Matthews shouldn't just put him in the back seat, he needs to throw him out of the moving car. (oops- criminal solicitation and a terroristic threat- the police will be after me.)

celticwarrior said...

Getting our money back is one thing, but what about all the time invested in working for the campaign? Putting signs together, manning phone banks etc...that's what makes one really ill. You can't get that back. I know Matthews in my personal life and now I'm embarrassed that anyone knows that. I just can't wrap my head around this at all. I think I can speak for many who supported him when I say I feel used and betrayed. If the Republican party in Montco was bleeding a little before, it's hemorrhaging now. Well, what goes around comes around, I just hope I'm still around when Matthews gets the come-uppance that such a degree of treachery warrants. I don't know how he can sleep at night or look at himself in the mirror.

Cassandra said...

Yes, the County Commissioners and all the local BOS will "reorganize" next week, business as usual will continue, and the bloggers will get all whipped up over who is appointed to which advisory board or which "team" is in power. It is okay to show an interest in how your tax money is spent, (or your political contributions, if that is your true interest) but guys!! have you really looked at your tax bills?

The biggest hunk of change goes to your local school district. They tax you for thousands and thousands more than your township or county. School boards all reorganized in December, so business as usual is already underway. They will talk about building and expanding and renovating, too, indeed they will, although almost all of their budgets go to salaries for teachers, administrators, and support staff.

Most of it is money well spent, but who knows? Nobody goes to their meetings. Is is because everyone has a teacher somewhere in their family? Or is it because school boards hold their meetings IN the schools, and you are afraid your old high school English teacher will jump out at you from a locker down that dark hall and demand that you turn in your overdue term paper?

People on school boards have so much unchecked power that they don't bother to think about running for any other position. On the other hand, Matthews, Hoeffel, and Castor will ALL run the county as a sort of day job while they prepare to run for something larger. Imagine the table-pounding that must have occurred when each man found out that Connie Williams will vacate her seat in the PA Senate!

Duke said...

Very easy looking themselves in the mirror, they smile, throw up the middle finger and say I got you. Why be embarrassed, politics comes with a shake of a hand,a knife in the other waiting to plant it in your back. Stan, your not a kid reporter anymore,you have been in the arena long enough to know that the back room deals have already been cut. Watch and see how many people with peception of the truth, and are informed in their positions will be replaced with lap dogs. Let's wait and see what Matthews,Hoffel,and Cator do before we cast stones.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Castor did prefer another person as his running mate, but, the committee people did not endorse her, so see what we have now? A young person with a great mind is exactly why I voted for Castor. Now Matthews is long overdue to getting a reality check. Me first is not how the vote came in...check his rein... You know Location, Location as used in his Real Estate Language only applied to Professionals, not Blue Collar citizens when the family was in trouble. But,Judge Toby did, and now DA Ferman, that worked under Castor's reign is doing something about it. Castor will support her...will Matthews and what's his name??? help with the funding of this project? Sure hope so...maybe the bridge over Swede Street can wait...fresh air and exercise will be very good to cool off the red face elderly men and they can be assured of a photo op. and interview on all things that will come down from here on.

conshy mole said...

Mr. Huskey; Hypothetical: Mr. Castor gets all of committee people to get a petition to have Mr. Matthews removed from office. I don't know the % of the last vote counted ,and weather that can be done anymore. If he is removed from office,will the next person in line (Mrs. Damsker) take his place? If so what does Mr. Castor gain? Sometimes, when you rattle the cage something falls out that your not wishing for. Mr. Castor will just have to sit tight and not worry about control at this time, his time will come when he runs for a higher office, and we will all be left sucking our thumbs. Chairman is just that--chairman. Maybe get to go to a few more (Free diners). It's an EGO trip. We voted for you Mr. Castor because we believed you were a man, the nonney is not part of the job.

Suffering in Montco said...

Stan,

That's an easy one, the new solicitor will be Barry Miller, he is part of the problem not part of the solution. His ego will only get in the way of doing the job, one I personally don't think he is capable of, as he has demonstrated in the past. The sad thing of all of this is that the only person who really wanted the job to do the job was Ruth Damsker. The rest of these guys are all busy feathering their nest and looking for their next run up on another political office further up the food chain. These three commissioners really aren't interested in the daily chores of a county commissioner. They will be spending more time on their cell phones than doing their job. Other that political appointments to their friends, not much interest here. Oh well, people get the government they deserve anyway. Maybe the electorate will wake up next time and come out and vote for someone willing to do the job of governing our county. Until then, we just have to suffer along.

Flying Jack said...

Mr. Huskey, You requested info on local reorganization meetings. Not much to be said about Lower Providence. Same old chairman, same old vice chairman, same old 3-2 vote. The only interesting item was the removal of a qualified member of a board and replaced with ?? Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I am relieved Castor will have limited power. My son did something stupid (something 50% of teenagers do) and was SEVERELY harassed by the local police. It probably cost the taxpayers $5,000 for his $50 worth of damage. He was placed in with adult offenders for "rehabilitation." It was a horrifying and enlightening experience. When I told the detective that a 12 year old was considering suicide, the detective laughed. Later, another son was severely assaulted. (He is still undergoing plastic surgery.) The police blew it off, blaming the victim because he dated a girl from Norristown. As DA, Castor didn't hold the police responsible. He sure isn't going to hold them responsible from a distance.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how our new/old Commissioners see the County Seat. I agree with Castor...Norristown has deteriorated over the past 15 years. There isn't any small clothing/toy stores or department stores in which to shop.. the theaters are gone.. clean streets?? .. the feeling of being safe?? ..Overall the facade of the present buildings that makes the town look and feel like it has it all together is MISSING. Take off your blinders... The County Seat should reflect those that are running the county...Commissioners.

Anonymous said...

Castor is right, Norristown is not safe. Who is responsible for invesitigating crime, prosecuting criminals, and making the place safer? If Castor couldn't make it happen while he was DA, he sure can't make it happen as a politician.

Anonymous said...

You say you are going to enter in your blog more frequently. Your last entry was Jan. 3 and this is the 10th. Get with it!!!!

flying Jack said...

Mr. Huskey, The truth be told: It has come to the residents of Lower Providence Township attention that the solicitor of the Zoning board and municipal authority will be replaced. The replacement for the zoning board was bragging before Mrs.McFarlands replacement was installed. I guess everything is now locked in place, Mayor Craig
has full control of his kingdom. Watch and see who the NEW chairman of the zoning board will be. And you think the county is bad.

Anonymous said...

Stan just found out what happened in Trappe with their Council reorganization. Your boys the Trusted Team Trappe's new elected Councilmen that are backed and influenced by Marino and Kane promised change and provided change at the community expense.Their change is put money in their political campaign and you might have a chance to be appointed to a committee or Trappe Borough position.It has only just begun with more changes to come these are positions filled thus far and money contributed thru
their own political committee or back door money given thru Marino.
Borough Attorney Robert Kerns $1000,Borough Engineer Gilmore Associates $650,
Zoning Attorney Robert Brandt $450,
Vacancy Board Robert Manley $500.Gilmore Associates past engineer was fired for Borough was fired in 2006 for poor performance and overbilling taxpayers. Brandt developer attorney trying to cram 88 house development in a piece of property zoned for 30 homes at the Old Trappe School.The Trusted Team fired the Borough Treasurer with over 20 years service no complaints because his father in law backed the Trusted Team opposition and of course did not get a contribution.Stan you think the County has problems why do'nt you come to Trappe.

Anonymous said...

The District Attorney's Office is not responsible for law enforcement in a Boro. Norristown has a Police Department, plus the additional Police that were added from other law enforcement agencies. Now, if the Commissioners would like to take on this job of securing the County Seat (Norristown) making it safe for everyone and having a great person to oversee this special project... Look to the #1 Vote Getter (Castor)... Don't be so childish you can do this... First admit your short commings,we all need help in seeing the big picture as we age, and proceed from there. We are waiting Matthews and what's his name? We have the money...use it for the benefit of all taxpayers in Montgomery County and visitors doing business in Norristown or just vacationing in the area.

Anonymous said...

Again I have readng these blogs with much amusement and additioally following the various letters and articles in the Time's Herald regarding the leaders of Lower Providence Township. I am starting to wonder which political group should win the grand title of HORSES'S PATOTTIES, the Board of Supervsors or the Zoning Hearing Board? I would have assumed it to be Boss Craig and his mimes, but Janice, Jim, and Bo are running a close second. Watch for the winner and the awarding of the grand prize of a case of "Preperation H".
Wonderous

Anonymous said...

Stan, Who is this BO guy on the L.P. zoning board. I don't believe that any of the members have BO.

Anonymous said...

The posting by Anonymous 1/11/08 comment amuses me. Did he/she just wake up from a long hibernation or just simply clueless?
The Professor

Anonymous said...

Bruce Castor had plenty of involvement with crime in Norristown. As the DA, his Detective Bureau ran the countywide narcotics taskforce. Castor spent years speaking out both sides of his mouth...one moment saying that Norristown needed to be revitalized and then the next moment saying that Norristown was a crime ridden place nobody would ever want to go. I live and work in Norristown and I believe Bruce Castor has done more bad with his big mouth than he ever did good with his actions.

The mouse said...

Three Cheers for the writer of the last blog on the 18th at 5:41. You certainly know what your talking about.

Anonymous said...

It has been almost a month since the original Blog with many opinions that followed...But here is one great big...I TOLD YOU SO... In todays Herald the front page had an article written by Ms Gibbons.."SEAT OF CONFLICT" quoting discord between Castor & Hoeffel,it was a tongue-in-cheek statement made by Castor regarding the appointment to DVRPC (which previously was held by Matthews) and contracts and red faced Hoeffel replied "Bruce the Campaign is over". I guess Hoeffel wishes it were over and also the Sunshine Law were not in place. The SUNSHINE LAW will be enforced so that this is truly a nonpartisan mode. Remember...THREE COMMISSIONERS MAKE THE DECISIONS...perhaps we need to add one more to the Commissioners Staff, so we can truly believe we have first class government in Montgomery County.

Anonymous said...

Stan, Maybe this will answer Mr. Castor's request to Mr. Miller.
Open Meetings/ Open Records // The Sunshine Act and the Right to Know Law.
Executive Sessions: Executive sessions may be held during the recess of a public meeting, at the conclusion of such meetings, or announced for some future time. The reason for holding an executive session must be announced at a public meeting occuring immediately prior or subsequent to the executive session. There is no time limit placed on the length of an executive session. In those cases where an executive session is not announced for a future time, agency members must be notified of the executive session 24 hours in advance. An official action taken on the basis of discussions held in an executive session must occur at an open public meeting.

Anonymous said...

It was a beautiful letter from Matthews...it took this long for him to come up with this excuse (not the reason)on why he turned his back on the will of the voters. What is the saying "Taxation without Representation"...is exactly what the people of Montgomery County are getting. Keep the money (Taxes) coming...Matthews & Hoeffel will earmark it for one of their pet projects...

Anonymous said...

I HOPE Matthews and Hoeffel DO earmark my tax dollars for a pet project, preferably something like a children's playground in Norristown, a recreation center, or mentoring programs for at risk youth. These "pet projects" have been proven to be more effective in reducing youth violence than more police officers, harsher punishments, and scared straight. If we fund effective programs now, we will not be housing children in prison where they can learn better tricks!

Anonymous said...

You are right Anonymous...better educated children and parents could solve many problems. LP sure doesn't need to have a larger holding tank for all these young people that were not taught by their parents right from wrong. Most parents include the teaching of their young the saying from the Bible..."six days thou should do all thy work, but the seventh is the sabbath"... and of course you are suppose to rest and worship. That is not the case...we take off on Sunday and bike or ski instead of giving thanks for all we have been blessed with, but have not earned, only thru the grace of God. This type of teaching comes under RESPECT.