Monday, February 02, 2009

Stimulus with Borrowed or Printed Money totally Bogus

Who doesn't get it by now. The Federal Government has no extra money and in fact is in a deficit downspiral. is there a special clubhouse we're all unaware of? One where these people promoting another stimulus for the economy, let alone the first one, learn the same song? Gimme gimme gimme gimme more...

Meanwhile, stepping up to the freebies? Two Democrat Fayette County commissioners. We kid you not. They've hired a consultant to go get it, at a cost of some $9,500 per month. Money the General Fund did not have for the hire, until leftovers from a believed depleted bond issue was 'discovered.'

PS Don't miss the refinancing of this same bond issue over the past 8-years and counting. Every few years, the county commissioners seemingly find another great deal refinancing the bond, or some portion thereof.

So folks, where is the money put in escrow from the bond to pay for the interest on the bond? Is there any monies which have been put in an account somewhere with some bank in or out of the area which commissioners are aware of but have not revealed?

Exactly how was it possible for monies from the bond issue, thought to be depleted, when the Budget for 2009 were discussed for months, then adopted, to be found?

Where on earth was some $155,000 of county bond money and for how long?

county refinancing bond issue over the years

Thursday August 23, 2007

Moved by Commissioner Zimmerlink and seconded by Commissioner Hardy naming Eckert Seaman Cherin & Mellott of Pittsburgh PA to perform bond counsel services as per their August 2, 2007 proposal at a fee of $9,500.00 with respect to the Fayette County’s refinancing of bonds issued in the year 2000 through the
Washington County Authority Bond Pool/Loan Project

Commissioner Zimmerlink: aye
Commissioner Hardy: aye
Commissioner Vicites: abstain

Thursday June 28, 2007

Moved by Commissioner Zimmerlink and seconded by Commissioner Hardy to award RFQ 07-
04 an Investment Advisor to provide professional services for advise and reissuance/refinancing
of the current bond issues known as the Washington County Authority Bond having an
approximate balance of $4.6M and the County General Bond having an approximate balance of
$11.38M held by the County of Fayette to Janney Montgomery Scott of Pittsburgh PA
Commissioner Zimmerlink: aye
Commissioner Hardy : aye
Commissioner Vicites: aye
Motion passed unanimously

Proposal refinance county bond issue

Fayette to refinance bond issue Paul Sunyak 1.03.2002,%202002%20Refinance%20Bond%20Issue.pdf

Net the Truth - Online

Grant consultant hired for Fayette
By Liz Zemba
Friday, January 30, 2009

Fayette County commissioners will spend thousands of dollars each month on a consultant to seek state and federal grants.

Commissioners Vincent Zapotosky and Vincent Vicites on Thursday voted in favor of hiring Delta Group of Mechanicsburg to prepare grant paperwork on behalf of the county and push it through the appropriate state and federal agencies.

Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink opposed the hire. She wanted to delay the vote until additional information was gathered, including questions over how the agency will be paid.

Fayetee to refinance bond issue
By Paul Sunyak, Herald-Standard

The Fayette County commissioners voted 2-1 Thursday to refinance the county's $11.7 million bond issue using the same investment banker that floated the original bond two years, provided the minimum savings is at least $235,000.

Commissioners Sean M. Cavanagh and Ronald M. Nehls voted to have RRZ Public Markets Inc. do the job for an approximate cost of $123,000, with both commending the firm for the outstanding preplanning job it has done in an ongoing effort to help the county save money.

"I'm not kicking RRZ to the curb ... because of the hard work that (it's) done," said Cavanagh. "I don't think that it's a big issue. The bottom line is we won't refinance the bond unless we save the taxpayers money."

However, Commission Chairman Vincent A. Vicites opposed what he views as a rushed-through selection process that didn't take into account the opinions of the county solicitor or the county's bond counsel. With interest rates pretty much stabilized at a low level, Vicites also said the county should take the time to obtain proposals from other interested firms that might offer a better deal.

"You've got to give other people a chance. This is government; it isn't private industry," said Vicites, who noted that the Uniontown office of Parker/Hunter Inc. sent him a letter of interest Wednesday. Cavanagh said the letter "amazingly"
arrived the day after Tuesday's agenda meeting when the refinancing proposal was publicized...,%202002%20Refinance%20Bond%20Issue.pdf

A 40 Year Wish List Wall Street Journal

Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."

So said White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in November, and Democrats in Congress are certainly taking his advice to heart. The 647-page, $825 billion House legislation is being sold as an economic "stimulus," but now that Democrats have finally released the details we understand Rahm's point much better. This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years....

County hires firm to seek grant money
By Amy Revak, Herald-Standard
Updated 01/31/2009 12:06:08 AM EST
Email to a friendPost a CommentPrinter-friendly
The Fayette County commissioners voted Thursday to spend money in hopes of getting much more money in return.

Commission Chairman Vincent Zapotosky said the motivation behind retaining a firm to apply for funds is the potential for the county to obtain millions of dollars in grant money. He said there is going to be reauthorization of a highway bill and an $800 billion stimulus package that must be appropriated.

We need to position ourselves to have the expertise to receive funds," Zapotosky said.

Following a lengthy discussion on the matter, Zapotosky and Commissioner Vincent A. Vicites voted to enter into a one-year contract with Delta Group for funding assistance to seek state and federal grant money. Commissioner Angela M. Zimmerlink, who voted against the motion, wanted to postpone the action.

Although Delta Group submitted a proposal that includes a $9,500 monthly fee, the commissioners agreed to speak to the firm in an attempt to lower the county costs. The county also received a proposal from Ron Klink that included a monthly fee of $5,000.

Zapotosky, who initially brought up seeking proposals, said now is the time to act.

"It's our tax dollars and I'd rather get more than less," Zapotosky said.

Citing Greene County, Zapotosky said the neighboring county has obtained $30 million in grants over the last few years, including $18 million in money that wasn't already earmarked for the county. Last year Greene County opened a multimillion-dollar water park, while Fayette County doesn't even have a county-owned swimming pool.

Zapotosky said if the county were successful in obtaining just one large grant, it would be worth the price.

"There's a lot of money out there. We need folks that know the system and are able to represent our needs," Zapotosky said.

Vicites said having the contract is an investment for the county because now there are opportunities he never has seen in his 13-plus years in office.

Vicites said money could be used for not only infrastructure, but to improve the quality of life.

"I support doing this. I think it's worthwhile," Vicites said.

Zimmerlink pointed out that the fee must be paid whether or not any money is received.

Regarding the cost, Vicites said he recently learned that $155,000 of an amount that was obtained in 2000 through a bond issue and earmarked to conduct a countywide reassessment is still available.

At a rate of $9,500 per month, the contract would cost $114,000 for a year.

Vicites said because the county is in the third year of a reassessment the bond money could be transferred to the tax assessment office and the equal amount of money that had been placed in the tax assessment for the reassessment costs could be used to pay the contract fees.

Zimmerlink questioned why the bond money wasn't set aside for reassessment costs during budget planning, to which Vicites said he wasn't aware of the money at the time.

Vicites said he thought all of the money had been spent.

While Zimmerlink suggested tabling the motion, Zapotosky said they are on a time-sensitive track and must issue papers to the House and Senate explaining why projects are needed must be done soon.

For posterity

Reader Comments

Added: Friday January 30, 2009 at 02:23 PM EST
It is just fantastic to see so many others understand this.
The "stimulous" is anything but. It is merely political payola to a degree that FDR could never imagine. The same is true of the bogus plan put forth last year by Bush, that didn't work and this won't either.
The Vinces are simply poking their heads into the trough with the other pigs.
As for the "Bond" that was floated years ago, anyone who wants to know how every dime was / is spent simply needs to go to the County Controllers office and tell them " I want to see the list of expenditures for the bond fund money from the day the bond was passed by the Commissioners" and it must be given.
We did this years ago and found that while the Commissioners said the bond was for the reassessment, the wording in the paperwork included a "catchall" phrase allowing them to spend it on whatever they wanted.
Some of the things purchased with the bond money included carpeting for the Commissioners offices, coffee machines, cars for the Sheriff's Department, and many more things not related to the reassessment. Just go look it up, it's all there.
No government has money, It's the people that have money. The government cannot give anyone anything that it does not take from someone else.
In this case, the government isn't necessarily taking the stimulous money from us as we don't have it, they are borrowing it in our names just as the Commissioners borrowed the bond money in our names.
"Outraged" is right to be outraged. Isn't Murtha the big kahuna in Congress? He sure tells everyone he is when he's up for election. Why do we have to lobby the government to get our own money? Perhaps we should just be keeping more of it to begin with.
Groups like Fay-Penn and officials like the Commissioners have no real interest in truly improving conditions in Fayette other than for window dressing. If things actually improve, the grants and programs go away and that means that the friends and family of the politically connected that administer the programs would be out of work and would have to get jobs in the private sector where they would be accountable and required to produce results. And we just can't have that!
There is a very, very good living in the poverty business. That's why despite the millions and millions of dollars that have been and continue to be dumped into Fayette Co. things just don't get better. There not supposed to, but we must be convinced that Fay-Penn et al are doing everything humanly possible to make it better.
I encourage everyone to go to Fay-Penn's offices and get their annual reports, they are required to give them out, look at who is on their Board of Directors, then obtain Fay-Penn's tax returns they are available to the general public because Fay-Penn is a "non-profit" and look at the salaries paid out and the value of their property holdings.
In addition, after learning the names of their employees look at the value of the homes those people they live in, especially Mike Krajovic, it's all public information.
I hope everyone realizes what a tremendously valuable service the Herald/Standard is providing with this comment board and I thank them.
Brian K. Lutes, North Union Twp., Fayette Co., PA

Added: Friday January 30, 2009 at 12:13 PM EST
Outrageous 2
That should have been $66 billion with a b. Still it's all funds the federal government does not have, nor will it get the money from the current crop of federal taxpayers as there simply is not enough from that source to pay whatever other bills the fed government racks up. We are trillions in debt with a T. The entirety of the stimulouse money will be a burden the children of our children of our children will have to repay, eventually. It wasn't quite clear how the $9,500 monthly was going to be paid for Delta's services. Commissioner Zimmerlink was right to ask the motion be tabled to at least have a definite plan of where the fees were going to come from. But even if the money is going to come from so-called freed up money from the General Fund (newfound $155,000 from bond to be used for reassessment purposes), it is still wasteful spending when what is happening is county general fund money is going to be used to pay somebody else to lobby for government money from federal and state. And the only place that money comes from is state and federal taxpayers. What is not obscene about using taxpayers' money from one source, that is county, to pay for obtaining taxpayers' money from another source. In the case of the state, what do we have a county grant writer/s for in the Planning Dept.? Why are we in league with Fay-Penn Economic Development Council who has any number of grantwriters? Why do we have commissioners who travel to the state to talk to our local representatives there? By the way don't forget, the federal government has no money for the stimulouse package. That is a fact. Borrow and print, print and borrow. No wonder the cost of living goes up and up. The U.S. dollar is worth less and less. It buys less here in the states. Overseas, it buys more. Get it? There is still time for the pair to pull out of this outrageous slight on the taxpayers of Fayette. Maybe there will be a penalty of some sort, but it will be far less than the amount the pair will drain from the General Fund which could go to authentic county obligations and duties. It's scary Commissioner Vicites boasts the money could be used for 'infrastructure' or for quality of life projects. Yeah we see that gleam in the eye for promoting building a new county prison facility. Or even better, right, a county 'water-park.' Yep first drowning not covered by insurance and we're broke. As scary, Zapotosky saying there's 'lots of money out there.' Sure there is sure there is keep saying it over and over and maybe everybody will be hypnotized. Ah, commissioner - there is no lots of money out there from the federal government and last time we checked the state government was seeking stimulouse money too cause its coffers are not so much. (Plus it's free money!) If people don't get by now the reason Fayette remains distressed, they've got more than wool in their eyes. Outraged

Added: Friday January 30, 2009 at 10:58 AM EST
How outrageous is this. The county has an additional $155,000 left over in the 'bond' issue so let's turn it over to 'lobbyists' high paid grant finders to seek federal monies from the 'stimulous' package. But we can't do that outright, we have to transfer the bond money to the tax assessment office and take out money from there to pay the 'contract fees.' Have these two commissioners been spending a bit too much time in government perhaps? This is by far the worst idea ever presented in a county which politically remains in a distressed classification to receive just such grant monies. $5,000 each month to a former U.S. Congressman/lobbyist or $9,500 to Delta group which had a part in the county's strategic planning years back - yeah that's not inside the family dealing. There is something wrong with flipping the bond money around like it's a personal bank account to the county. Taxpayers have to pay back every dime of the bond with interest over the years and it should be used only for those projects specified. Transferring money from it in the way described seems unethical if not again, wrong. At the least, it's an affront to the taxpayers who believed the bond money would be used for certain types of formerly outlined projects. Somehow I don't think a description of uses for bond include high priced lobbyists to vie for taxpayers' monies from different taxpayers' pool! There's something really obscene about that, too. By the way, the federal government is in a deficit! It has no stimulouse money. It has to print and borrow, borrow and print. Any 'funding' we get from that source is on our children's children (children) to repay down the road. thanks for playing that game, Commissioners Zapotosky and Vicites. Were you aware that only approz. $66 million is going to be used for so-called 'infrastructure' anyways? ($66 million the feds have to borrow) You'll be paying how much of local taxpayers' money (bond switcharoo) a year for what. somebody else to go meet with our U.S. Congress-critter/s? And here we thought you already had the attention of area U.S. Congressmen John Murtha. Send him an email, it's free! Outraged

Added: Friday January 30, 2009 at 05:20 AM EST
Say What?
I thought Zappy was really good friends with Rep Mahoney and Mahoney acts like he is up Murtha's rear.
That's all anyone else needs to get grant money.

This is a giant waste of money, plus they are going with the highest bidder.

The Vinnies think they are King Zappy and Queen Vinny running Fayette. Actually, they are both acting like queens going to the bathroom together.

I hope the braindead voters remember all of this BS when election time comes around, because these 2 morons are going to put Fayette even further in debt.

The 2 Vinnies are so dumb, that I bet they would trade me the County cash cow for these 5 magic grant beans that I have.
CJ, Dawson, PA

No comments: