The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 4, 2014

Judge blocks Northumberland County pay cuts

Bridy calls jurist 'a leech'

SUNBURY — Two Northumberland County commissioners blasted a Centre County senior judge — with one calling him “a leech on the taxpayers” — for an opinion the judge released Thursday that said county row officers deserve their salaries and a plan to reduce their pay was unjust.

Commissioners Steve Bridy and Vinny Clausi also vowed once again to reduce row officer salaries by 50 percent despite what Senior Judge David E. Grine said in his opinion.

The salary reductions and increase in benefit co-pays would cause “serious harm” to the office holders, the judge said in a 15-page opinion after a review of testimony from a hearing last year.

“The reference in the testimony that suggested that a public servant was little more than an hourly worker in the service industry not only suggests profound ignorance of the responsibilities of the office, but a lack of full appreciation of American history — a history which, unique to other countries in the world, rests solely on the blood and sweat of public servants,” Grine said.

Bridy and Clausi were not happy with the opinion.

“What makes these elected officials better than their constituents who don’t benefit from the same salaries, benefits and pensions as they do?” Bridy asked. “Many of those who fought for this great nation can’t afford their tax bill and this double-dipping judge wants to keep the status quo to protect his pension. He is a leech on the taxpayers and his opinion is to protect the other elected officials that are doing the same thing.”

Clausi said he heard about the opinion but said he couldn’t care less.

We’ll do it again

“He is a politician protecting other politicians,” Clausi said. “It doesn’t matter what his opinion is because we are going to do this again and we will continue to fight to save the taxpayers of this county. Why should taxpayers have to foot the bill for all these high salaries and insurances? Why should the taxpayers suffer because politicians want to make all this money? Let the taxpayer alone. The judge obviously wants them to keep footing the bill.”

In his opinion, the judge said the county code was enacted to offer guidance to local governments, but it was also intended to provide protection to public servants.

Furthermore, Grine said the fact that the commissioners left the salary and benefits of the county controller alone meant that “the application of whatever logic accompanies the salary reduction was obviously skewed.”

“The parties right to relief on the salary reductions is clear, the salaries for everyone were reduced in October 2013 save for one man — the county controller. His salary represented a stand-alone constant in a world of tumultuous change,” he said.

Provisions in the county code state that “any salary increase shall be on a percentage basis and applied equally to all county officials.”

The health benefits after the proposed cuts would have differed from those afforded to other employees in the county, and the commissioners were not complying with the law, Grine said.

Commissioner Rick Shoch agreed with Grine.

Text Only
  • rundown25zope.jpg Blighted block going bye-bye in Atlas

    Nearly an entire township block in Atlas will be torn down in Mount Carmel Township, utilizing funds from Northumberland County and its Housing Authority in an effort to fight blight. Half of this block is proposed to be developed as low-income senior living units.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1WEATHER.jpg Deadly storm strikes Virginia campground

    A fierce storm packing powerful winds and rain toppled trees and flipped campers Thursday at a Virginia campground this morning, killing at least two people and sending at least 20 more to hospitals, officials said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Official: Air Algerie flight ’probably crashed’

    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria’s capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali and “probably crashed,” according to the plane’s owner and government officials in France and Burkina Faso.

    July 24, 2014

  • 1gaza25.jpg Israeli fire hits UN facility in Gaza, killing 15

    Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1execution.jpg How Arizona, Ohio, Oklahoma, executions went awry

    Since the start of the year, executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona have gone awry, with inmates gasping for breath as lethal drugs coursed through their bodies.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's Editorial: One more job appears at risk

    July 24, 2014

  • Rabbi Conflict in Israel grounds Sunbury rabbi

    TEL AVIV, Israel — While the Israelis and Hamas traded rocket and missile strikes for a 16th day, Rabbi Nina Mandel is struggling to find her way back to Sunbury after the FAA on Wednesday announced that it would extend its ban on travel at Ben-Gurion International Airport for another 24 hours.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fatal24 Danville woman dies as logging truck crushes car in Valley Township

    DANVILLE — An 84-year-old Danville woman was killed when her car and a logging truck collided Wednesday afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Docs: Fractures helped save rock victim's life

    DANVILLE — Sharon Budd’s condition is progressing nearly a week after a 13 1/2-hour procedure in which a team of surgeons rebuilt her facial bones and removed a damaged part of her brain, said two Geisinger Health System physicians who are part of that team

    July 24, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.