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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer hires: Old news is hardly breaking news

This one should be fun to watch. Especially with this fomenting controversy over the mayor’s kid being hired to a temporary summer job.

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It’s written by Citizens’ Voice reporter, Andrew Staub, who I believe is the City Beat reporter.

As for the hiring brouhaha, a couple of points. Let’s do this instead of trading any additional hostile electronic pulses.

First of all, these temporary summer jobs have been filled by many a recognizable surname for as long as anyone can remember. This is in no way news. At least, not to the people who pay even a modicum of attention.

Does that bother me? Yes, it does. Always did. As a matter of fact, I asked a long, long time ago, during a previous mayor‘s tenure--in print--why more of these summer jobs couldn’t be offered to kids living on welfare in subsidized housing. But that mayor told the press that anyone could sit in their parent’s basement and type whatever they wanted on the Internet…he didn’t care.

Having once been one of those kids with limited options, I've always been partial to giving those sorts of kids another option.

I tried.

If Tom Leighton did in fact violate some state ethics rule, well, then I suppose he’ll have to reimburse the taxpayers for whatever his daughter earned by dumping some quarters out of the coin jug. Whatever that figure might amount to, I seriously doubt that the recouping of said monies will result in any impromptu paving projects.

And if those in the know knew this was common practice in Wilkes-Barre (as well as every other local municipality) for as long as they knew, why now? Well, because there’s a general election coming due.

Plus, I’m wondering where the massive outcry and the mad dash to the state’s ethic commission was when the previous mayor’s first official act in 1996 was the hiring of his brother as the parks director. I know I pointed it out at the time--in print. Meanwhile, the docile electorate made nary a whimper.

I tried.

Anyway, however this thing shakes out, it’s kind of old news to me, as well as to the folks trying to pull a premature October Surprise.

Am I condoning anything? Nope.

But with that said, I’m also chuckling at all of the feigned outrage.


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