Where the Waste Is: Why Not a Flipcam? Edition

A PA system does not cost $14,500, it costs about $400-700 dollars Forks Township supervisors agreed to solicit bids for a proposal that would replace an aging audio system with digital technology to stream audio on the Internet from municipal meetings.Township Finance Manager Jim Farley will solicit bids from vendors for a new sound system [...]

Regional Policing Moves Forward in Nazareth

Pamela Sroka-Holzmann at the Express Times brings us some encouraging news on regional policing: Borough council on Monday unanimously agreed to negotiate a contract for police coverage from the Colonial Regional Police Department.Borough council wants to move forward on a three-year contract with Colonial Regional. A committee including councilmen Jack Herbst, William Matz, Daniel Chiavaroli [...]

Casino Money and Budget Transparency

Doling out casino money seems like a good source of leverage for Northampton County to make municipal governments put their budgets online. To get any money, municipal governments should have to make their budgets available on the county website as machine-readable data, not PDFs. If you had everybody’s budget data, you could compare per capita [...]

Where the Waste Is, Cont’d.

Jan Murphy reports on a state transfer to municipal governments that’s exempt from any reporting requirements: In February, Howe Township received $150 from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. There was nothing mysterious about it. Every year for decades, the Perry County township, like hundreds of others across the state, has received a check from the [...]

What Should Liberals Want From Local Government?

Apologies up front for a really sloppy post, but I wanted to throw some thoughts out there on a topic whose importance has increased recently because of Gracedale and budget shortfalls: What do liberals want local government to accomplish? The conservative answer is easy: the bare minimum provision of law enforcement services, paid for through [...]

The Day of Reckoning Fallacy

It’s hard to understand why Bernie thinks Doug Reichley’s political cowardice is a “reality check.” Consider the following quote from Reichley: I was at a candidates’ night last week of school board candidates where four of them promised they will not raise property taxes to abounding applause from, primarily, seniors. So we’re gonna’ have the [...]

The Liberal Case for Selling Gracedale

Rich Wilkins invites me to convince him not to vote for the Gracedale initiative: Gracedale- I’m voting to keep the home. Supporters of a sale say we’ll get a $20 million, one time pay in, after all the costs are subtracted from the cost. After that, we’re done. This county is in great fiscal shape, [...]