Bartos: I won't back down from Clausi's intimidation
To the editor: I would like to address Commissioner Vinny Clausi.
Let us speak about your record over the past six years, and, most of all, about the families of Northumberland County. You have used tactics of bullying, intimidation and personal assaults on everyone who disagreed with you or would not do your bidding. You claim to be rooting out corruption as you tout your mantra, "I am for the people," but it is these same people whom you attack and systematically try to humiliate.
As Meg Bartos stated in her response to you, "No employee, elected official or citizen of Northumberland County should have to endure this type of intimidation by one of its public officials."
The patterns of your attacks are reminiscent of the governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932. He was nickenamed the "Kingfish," and for good reason, as he used the same tactics. His story is fictionalized in the novel "All the King's Men." The similarities between this historical figure and you are alarming. There should be no place for this sort of behavior.
You speak of corruption for almost every individual who would stand to oppose you. These individuals are good men and women. These persons include Rick Shoch, Frank Sawicki, Monte Peters, Kym Best, Tim Bowers, Steve Reiner, David Fisher, Joe Jones, Mike Boris, Frank Brown, Dennis Hepler, Dave Kaleta, Bill Knapick and others. Each has one thing in common: they chose to stand up to your tyranny and would not knuckle under to your intimidation.
There are threats from testimony in legal documents of dealing with people with a 10-cent bullet, slicing someone's throat, firing them or just misrepresenting the truth. I personally know every one of these people and their families and I consider them all heroes for standing up for what is right.
Those who still surround you and assist you to govern are afraid, and for good reason, because they know what you are capable of should they dare to disagree.
Yes your record stands for itself. You promised to keep Mountain View Manor in the hands of the county, and you sold it to a private entity for a one-time fee. Is that profit tucked away for a rainy day for the taxpayers or was it a one-time infusion of cash? Or how about the Northumberland County Transportation Department? That also was privatized under your leadership. How about the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA)? The county awarded a $1 million contract to a builder not even within the county borders. It makes perfect sense; we bring outsiders in, and we might as well give them the jobs that go with the park.
Also, why did you vote for ending prisoner transports by the constables? Only the county can be reimbursed by the state for such transports, but you chose to place that burden on each municipality and its taxpayers. The cost of these transports for Shamokin alone will exceed $100,000 a year.
What about the supervisors and citizens of Point Township and how you have to tried cause harm to them while the county's own HOME program is under investigation by DCED?
How about all the taxpayer money used for defending you in lawsuits and the associated settlements? What is the actual cost?
You certainly do have a record, it is just not the one you would like everyone to perceive or know about. You manipulate the news media and distort the truth to your advantage. When that doesn't work, you make personal attacks.
I can only imagine how federal, state and business officials from outside our county must look on in horror on how business is conducted here.
David Fisher's deposition was sworn testimony taken under oath and discusses in detail your tactics of bullying and threats. I encourage every citizen of Northumberland County to read it and see what it is like to be behind the scenes in government with Vinny Clausi. I especially encourage anyone who has accepted Mr. Clausi's endorsement in running for political office to read it so you may realize what the payback will be for his endorsement.
All this leads me to the last point: A recent order issued by Judge Charles H. Saylor notes your inappropriate contact with court administrators. So serious was this matter that Saylor had to recuse himself from the case, along with the county's other judges. Judge Saylor, Judge Wiest and Judge Sacavage, along with District Attorney Tony Rosini, have all had to endure your taunts and attacks.
Every politician I have ever known, except you, considers families - especially their children - sacrosanct when it comes to elections and debate. Your attacks on my family and children demonstrate that nothing is beneath you, and that you are clearly cut in the same cloth as the Kingfish, to win at all costs. Whether by threats, intimidation or coercion, your governance over the past six years is filled with these tactics, and highlighted by obtaining loyalty through the fear of reprisal.
Just like the other men and women who have chosen to oppose you, I won't back down, nor will Meg Bartos.
Stephen D. Bartos