On DCED, Bridy told: 'What goes around, comes around'
SUNBURY - "What goes around, comes around."
That was the message expressed Tuesday by Point Township Supervisors Montie Peters and Randall Yoxheimer to Northumberland County Commissioner Stephen Bridy.
The supervisors chastised Bridy, who is the commissioner in charge of the county planning department and Adult Social Services, for failing to notify taxpayers for months that the county will be responsible for paying back up to $250,000 of a $365,000 Homeless
Prevention Rapid Placement (HPRP) grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for low-income families that reportedly was distributed by the two county agencies to unqualified individuals.
Bridy and Clausi were critical of Point Township officials earlier this year over a $381,000 grant discrepancy with the federal Housing and Urban Development HOME Program that the township addressed and eventually rectified in August with DCED without having to pay back any of the grant money.
Peters, who resigned in July as chairman of the Northumberland County Planning Commission because of the Point Township grant controversy, and was removed from the board July 24 by Clausi and Bridy, told Bridy, "We straightened everything out with DCED without costing the taxpayers any money. It was mostly a paperwork issue that had to be resolved. I think your attack on Point Township was absolutely ridiculous and must stop."
Bridy, who acknowledged the county may have to pay back $250,000 to DCED, said the county has not received any official notification from the state about the repayment. Bridy said he wasn't made aware of the county grant discrepancy until July and was against administering the program once he was notified about the problem.
He said Clausi, who is accused by Shoch, Peters and Yoxheimer of knowing about the repayment to DCED in January, didn't notify him until July.
"I was kept in the dark even though I am in charge of planning and Adult Social Services," Bridy said. "As an elected official, we pay for the sins of prior elected officials."
He said the person responsible for administering the program is longer employed by the county.
He added, "Since I found out about the repayment, there have been three people working with DCED to resolve the problem."
Peters said, "This in an embarrassment all the way around. Everything I told you about our situation in Point Township came true. You called it a complete debacle. But that didn't come close to what you are facing now with DCED. I'm tired of Point Township being abused by this board."
Yoxheimer echoed Peters' sentiments.
"Point Township handled its problem well, but the same can't be said for the county," he said. "You were outraged when you heard about our problem. Where's the outage now? I think it was deplorable the way you and Mr. Clausi criticized us. You acted with blind vengeance. Mr. Clausi knew about this in January, but he ignored it."
Yoxheimer concluded, "What goes around, comes around."
Peters told Bridy, "Don't you think your time over the last several months would have been better spent trying to fix your departments' DCED grant issue rather than fixating so much on Point Township, and the fact that Commissioner Shoch is our solicitor?"
Peters accused Bridy of joining Clausi in his vendetta against Shoch.
Clausi, who wasn't in attendance at Tuesday's meeting, has said he'll respond to concerns about the county's DCED grant at a press conference today.