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Most Wanted Man in America- Eric Matthew Frein


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Goodbye Baloneygate Hello Holiday Meatballs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The “Holiday Christmas Party” is still on at the Luzerne County Transportation Authority. But, as of last Thursday at about 7 p.m. – about the same time my show ended – county authority public servants are going to have to bring their own food.

So long Italian meatballs, baked ziti ands chicken tenders.

Hello pot luck.

The reason for the change in plans, according to LCTA Executive Director Stanley Strelish, is because he decided to reject the LCTA board offer of up to $2,000 in public funds to pay for the bash. Strelish said he decided to kiss the free food goodbye after receiving a telephone call about my breaking the news Thursday night about the party.

Strelish said the majority of the board – seven of nine, excluding Patrick Conway and Mary Susan Riccetti - voted at the November 27 meeting to fund the affair because of the good job LCTA workers have done despite facing obstacles during the year. That’s an understatement considering a state investigation into ridership numbers, accusations of ghost riders and turmoil over sexual harassment claims.

Strelish also said in a telephone interview this morning that he cancelled the raffle drawings for gift baskets and lottery tickets scheduled to be held at the Dec. 17 party which runs from about 10 a.m. until about 7 p.m. - maybe even all night - to accommodate all LCTA workers, including bus drivers, who might want to attend.

Nobody will be attending “on company time,” said Strelish. Everybody will go on their own time, including the human resource director who gets an hour for lunch, he said.

The woman who will set up the party is taking a vacation day to help, Strelish said.

Has she already put in her vacation request?

“Yes,” said Strelish.

The party space is a “training area” that goes unused about 90 percent of the time, he said.

Strelish said he opposed the public funding – the first time in the 20 or so years the party has been held. But he said he didn’t oppose the funding publicly at the authority meeting and did not tell any of the board members about his opposition. Strelish said he told some LCTA workers after the meeting and had planned to take a vacation day and not attend if public money was used. Strelish said he did not take issue with the board members at the meeting because “They’re my bosses.”


Strelish said he cancelled the raffle last Friday.

Why?

“It’s not legal,” Strelish said.

An invitation that included a message from “Stan” prominently mentioned the raffle    and includes the first names of four LCTA workers to be contacted to buy tickets.

Strelish said he does not know if any LCTA workers sold raffle tickets and accepted cash during work hours or if the LCTA public employees sold tickets by taking calls on publicly-funded LCTA telephones.  He said he would check.

Strelish said he hadn’t even seen the invitation signed “Stan.”

“That’s not my signature,” Strelish said.

Did somebody sign his name to a message he didn’t write?

“That’s another story,” he said.

Strelish then got mysterious, saying that whether the LCTA looks good or bad in the eyes of the public will come out in the lawsuit.

“What lawsuit?” I asked.

Strelish said he misspoke and couldn’t talk about it.

“I was just thinking outside the box,” he said.

Then Strelish launched into a disjointed discussion about the Australian radio jocks who impersonated the Queen of England and Prince Charles, asking me what I thought about the prank that left a nurse dead. I opposed such stunts, I said. Strelish said he was, too.

Then Strelish tried to lay a guilt trip on me.

“Would you like to hurt people having a Christmas party?” he asked.

I told Strelish that his question was ridiculous because I was merely trying to account for public money in Luzerne County – where about a half-a-million dollars-a-year is budgeted to the LCTA and where workers have been laid off and services are being cut.

Besides, I didn’t turn down the public funding and kill the illegal lottery.

After refusing to challenge his bosses, Strelish thought better of it and said he contacted board chairman Paul Maher who agreed that the money should not be used.

The board never should have offered in the first place.

So, as it should have been from the beginning, it’s so long sausage and peppers.

“My wife and I will be baking cookies for the party,” Strelish said.
 







Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The “Holiday Christmas Party” is still on at the Luzerne County Transportation Authority. But, as of last Thursday at about 7 p.m. – about the same time my show ended – county authority public servants are going to have to bring their own food.

So long Italian meatballs, baked ziti ands chicken tenders.

Hello pot luck.

The reason for the change in plans, according to LCTA Executive Director Stanley Strelish, is because he decided to reject the LCTA board offer of up to $2,000 in public funds to pay for the bash. Strelish said he decided to kiss the free food goodbye after receiving a telephone call about my breaking the news Thursday night about the party.

Strelish said the majority of the board – seven of nine, excluding Patrick Conway and Mary Susan Riccetti - voted at the November 27 meeting to fund the affair because of the good job LCTA workers have done despite facing obstacles during the year. That’s an understatement considering a state investigation into ridership numbers, accusations of ghost riders and turmoil over sexual harassment claims.

Strelish also said in a telephone interview this morning that he cancelled the raffle drawings for gift baskets and lottery tickets scheduled to be held at the Dec. 17 party which runs from about 10 a.m. until about 7 p.m. - maybe even all night - to accommodate all LCTA workers, including bus drivers, who might want to attend.

Nobody will be attending “on company time,” said Strelish. Everybody will go on their own time, including the human resource director who gets an hour for lunch, he said.

The woman who will set up the party is taking a vacation day to help, Strelish said.

Has she already put in her vacation request?

“Yes,” said Strelish.

The party space is a “training area” that goes unused about 90 percent of the time, he said.

Strelish said he opposed the public funding – the first time in the 20 or so years the party has been held. But he said he didn’t oppose the funding publicly at the authority meeting and did not tell any of the board members about his opposition. Strelish said he told some LCTA workers after the meeting and had planned to take a vacation day and not attend if public money was used. Strelish said he did not take issue with the board members at the meeting because “They’re my bosses.”


Strelish said he cancelled the raffle last Friday.

Why?

“It’s not legal,” Strelish said.

An invitation that included a message from “Stan” prominently mentioned the raffle    and includes the first names of four LCTA workers to be contacted to buy tickets.

Strelish said he does not know if any LCTA workers sold raffle tickets and accepted cash during work hours or if the LCTA public employees sold tickets by taking calls on publicly-funded LCTA telephones.  He said he would check.

Strelish said he hadn’t even seen the invitation signed “Stan.”

“That’s not my signature,” Strelish said.

Did somebody sign his name to a message he didn’t write?

“That’s another story,” he said.

Strelish then got mysterious, saying that whether the LCTA looks good or bad in the eyes of the public will come out in the lawsuit.

“What lawsuit?” I asked.

Strelish said he misspoke and couldn’t talk about it.

“I was just thinking outside the box,” he said.

Then Strelish launched into a disjointed discussion about the Australian radio jocks who impersonated the Queen of England and Prince Charles, asking me what I thought about the prank that left a nurse dead. I opposed such stunts, I said. Strelish said he was, too.

Then Strelish tried to lay a guilt trip on me.

“Would you like to hurt people having a Christmas party?” he asked.

I told Strelish that his question was ridiculous because I was merely trying to account for public money in Luzerne County – where about a half-a-million dollars-a-year is budgeted to the LCTA and where workers have been laid off and services are being cut.

Besides, I didn’t turn down the public funding and kill the illegal lottery.

After refusing to challenge his bosses, Strelish thought better of it and said he contacted board chairman Paul Maher who agreed that the money should not be used.

The board never should have offered in the first place.

So, as it should have been from the beginning, it’s so long sausage and peppers.

“My wife and I will be baking cookies for the party,” Strelish said.










Tags :  
Locations : Luzerne County
People : CharlesMary Susan RiccettiPatrick ConwayPaul MaherStanley Strelish


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