(The following guest op-ed comes to us from Rep. Mike Schlossberg of Allentown’s 132nd House District)
I’m petrified about what is happening in Lehigh County, a swing county and one of Pennsylvania’s most populous counties. Tea Party extremists like Scott Ott have a majority on the Lehigh County Commissioners Board. There are only two Democrats on the board, and Scott Ott is running for Lehigh County Executive. I’m concerned not only because my district is in the county, but because I live in Allentown, the third largest city in the state.
When Scott Ott ran for County Commissioner two years ago, he stated that if elected, he would “cut everything that I legally can.” This year, they just crafted and adopted a budget that will increase taxes by $3.5 million and increase the deficit while putting the nursing homes, our courts, the crime center and the 911 center at risk. These arbitrary funding cuts will create more crime, and they were made despite appeals by the (Republican) District Attorney, the President Judge and the Criminal Justice Advisory Board. So, let’s review; in 2014, Scott Ott is raising taxes, cutting services, eliminating jobs, and jeopardizing public safety.
The tea party must be stopped from running Lehigh County. Look at the havoc they’ve wreaked in Washington, D.C. With control of only one of the two houses of Congress, they managed to shut down the federal government and nearly caused a catastrophic default. Do you want that repeated in Lehigh County?
The Democratic candidate for Lehigh County Executive, and my good friend, Tom Muller, has been Director of Administration for Lehigh County for the past seven years and has over 40 years of business experience in both the national and international business world. Tom isn’t an ideologue; in fact, he was a Republican until recently, but switched when he became too disgusted with the direction of his former party. County government is the most basic level of government, and it should be the least ideological. Tom Muller will protect the basic values of government while ensuring that it is run by competent professionals; Scott Ott and his team will ensure that the Tea Party rules.
We need to do whatever we can to elect Tom and keep the Tea Party from taking over Lehigh County. You can help Tom by donating to his campaign by visiting his web site and clicking here: muller4exec.com.
Here’s my point: If you want Lehigh County to be as dysfunctional as Washington, D.C., don’t help Tom Muller. If you want Lehigh County to become a Tea Party laboratory, don’t help Tom Muller. But if you want a managerial expert, someone who believes that county government should have an appropriate role in creating jobs, protecting the public and providing appropriate county services, you need to support Tom Muller and the other Democrats running in Lehigh County this fall. You need to volunteer for him and donate to him; I’ll be doing both before Election Day, and I need you to as well.