Thursday, May 29, 2008

Business Plan for Norco Civil Division

Strategic Plan Paper
Darcel Gibson
University of Phoenix
MBA/580 – Strategies for Competitive Advantage
May 19, 2008

With trends, consumers want everything available at their fingertips. For example, the consumer pay the bills, check banking, order food and other products on the Internet. Suppliers are affected by trends because if consumers do not purchase their products then the suppliers are faced with an excess amount of goods.

Companies are faced with creating short-term strategies to lure in customers. For example, technology is a basis for many companies. Companies are always looking for ways to please the customer so the company will invest in high speed hardware and software along with creating new ideas to reach an unchartered market. New technology is being invented and in the next five to 10 years, consumers will be able to access everything from home. Many companies will have to downsize because they would need a handful of employees to fill orders; deal with customer care and monitor the computer system to make sure everything is in working order.
A project team must be able to address the issues that the company is faced with. The one strategy that a company could use is strategic thinking. Strategic thinking focuses on finding and developing unique opportunities to create value by enabling a provocative and creative dialogue among people who can affect a company’s direction (What is Strategic Thinking, 2001). Northampton County will have to research companies that have gone through similar issues and how the companies have overcome the situations. For example, the arrival of a global marketplace, information technology and intense competition caused many companies to reevaluate middle management activities to determine just what value was truly being added to the company's products and services (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). The Administrative Office would have to think of some action plans that could help the department.

Company Background

On February 17, 1764, the Assembly initiated an act authorizing trustees to commence construction of the first Northampton County Courthouse which was opened in 1766 and George Taylor (one of the signers for the Declaration of Independence) was one of the trustees that was in charge of the construction (History of the Courthouse, 2007).

The first courthouse was fashioned after the Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia and was located in the center of Public Square in Easton. Two years later, the bell cast was placed in the cupola of the courthouse so that the public could be notified of the events. The courthouse had many events, including a group of petitioners that wanted the courthouse to be moved to another location. On August 23, 1860, the County Commissioners accepted an offer of land at $1 that was west of the original courthouse and the structure was built on top of a steep hill for $53,000 (History of the Courthouse, 2007). On June 18, 1861, the first court session was held.
The courthouse has added two additional wings because of the population growth and to satisfy the judicial needs.

In 1978, various offices, such as, the Clerk of Criminal Courts and Clerk of Civil Courts, moved to the newly constructed administrative building to help improve efficiency.

The County Executive is responsible for overseeing county operations that serve the residents and municipalities of Northampton County, and oversees the departments of Administration, Community and Economic Development, Corrections, Court Services, Fiscal Affairs, Human Resources Department, Human Services, and Public Works, and the offices of the Coroner, Public Defender, Sheriff, and Solicitor (Gateway to Government, 2008) and has a four year term.

The courthouse does not have stakeholders, but the public plays a big part in the elections. The executive shows the employees leadership and have the employees share in the same vision. If the County Executive does not work out, the public will vote the party out so that a new replacement could take over the position.

The clerk of courts – civil is also known as the prothonotary’s office. The primary function of the office is to docket and file all legal documents pertaining to civil complaints, civil lawsuits, equity actions, mortgage foreclosure actions and indexing of judgments as well as federal and commonwealth tax liens (Department of Court Services, 2008). The other functions that the office deals with are: processing passport applications; issuing writs of executions for mortgage foreclosure in real estate and personal property; assist in the processing of naturalizations twice a year; and court minutes, such as, commitments from mental health; articles of incorporations; naturalizations, awards of ownerships; legal name changes and swearing in ceremonies. The clerk of courts - civil has another office called the protection from abuse that deals with domestic violence matters. That office assists the victims with filing the paperwork; getting victims before a judge to get a temporary abuse order and later, a final abuse order.

The office consists of clerk of courts – civil/prothonotary, five deputy prothonotaries that have the authority to sign documents on behalf of the prothonotary and assist in supervising the office, six clerks who process civil matters, two clerks who process protection from abuse cases and a file clerk (Department of Court Services, 2008).

Value Statement

The Civil Division has been faced with creating a webpage where consumers could review the Sheriff’s Sales. Title abstracts companies and law firms have been pressuring the county to come up with a solution for them to review information on houses on the Sheriff’s Sale lists. Things are being worked out, but the project will be up and running in a few months.

The current problem is that three employees left their positions creating additional stress for other employees. The jobs will have to stay open until 30 days because of union rules and if the employee needs more time, they get an additional 30 days added before they have to give a definite answer about not coming back to the Civil Division.

The problem that the department is facing is that the Northampton County Civil Division does not offer online services for the public.

Vision Statement

The Civil Division will enter into the competitive market with the other courthouses so that the department will be able to increase its revenues by 60% within in the next five years.
The department will offer online services to the public. With implementing the new technology, the Civil Division’s software package will have firewall protection so that viruses will not attack the system nor will hackers have accessibility to the software.

The department will improve the work environment for the employees through training sessions and raising employee wages that would include the cost of living.

Mission Statement

Northampton County Courthouse’s mission statement is to plan, implement, and direct a comprehensive Personnel Management System for all County Employees (Human Resources, 2008). The definition of the mission statement is that a plan is implemented guide each department to achieving the goals set forth for the courthouse, each employee should implement a form of professional conduct towards the public and management should guide each employee about the rules and regulations of the company. The mission statement not only identifies what product or service a company produces, how it produces it, and what market it serves, it also embodies what the company believes (Pearce & Robinson, 2004).

When creating a new strategy, the strategic management process should be reviewed. First, the mission statement should be restructured if the company makes changes to the values. Second, an internal analysis should be done so that the company can assess the strengths and weaknesses of the company's management and organizational structure (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). The company could focus on future capabilities. Third, the external environment could have an effect on the competitive situation and the strategic plan. Fourth, the policies that empower action. Fifth, action plans and short-term objectives. Six, the long-term objectives should be implemented in the mission statement. The county would have to review the mission statement to see if changes have to be made.

Environmental Analysis

The Northampton County Civil Division must examine the internal and external environments because the two play an important part when implementing short- and long-term objectives.

Internal Environment

The remote environment comprises factors that originate beyond and usually irrespective of, any single firm's operating situation: (1) economic, (2) social, (3) political, (4) technological, and (5) ecological factors (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). A company will research the factors for opportunities, threats or weaknesses that would influence on a company’s decisions for the company. For example, the trade agreements that resulted from improved relations between the United States and China and the United States and Russia are examples of political factors that impact individual firms (Pearce & Robinson, 2004).

Social and Cultural Factors

One of the social changes that society has been facing is an increase in female employees in the labor market. This has not only affected the hiring and compensation policies and the resource capabilities of their employers; it has also created or greatly expanded the demand for a wide range of products and services necessitated by their absence from the home (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). Firms who act quickly to the change will offer child care services, microwave ovens, fast food restaurants and microwavable foods. A second profound social change has been the accelerating interest of consumers and employees in quality-of-life issues (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). At Northampton County Courthouse, the number of women hired has increased in recent years as well as the number of employees who are retiring and some of the retired employees come back to work because the pensions are not enough to get by. According to Pearce & Robinson (2004), evidence of this change is seen in recent contract negotiations. In addition to the traditional demand for increased salaries, worker demands such benefits as sabbaticals, flexible hours or four-day workweeks, lump-sum vacation plans, and opportunities for advanced training. Northampton County Courthouse employees have voted in a union because the employees want pay increases because the pay hand not increased in the last three years and the treatment of the employees was getting abusive at the workplace. The employees needed a neutral party to help with the employment issues, bring in opportunities to allow seniority to play a factor in promotions on the job, and training sessions for employees to improve behavior on the job. When the contract was negotiated, the employees received pay increases, more added time for vacation hours, and other demands. Some employment issues are being discussed in the contract, such as, a disciplinary board that oversees the complaints from employees (neutral parties are evaluating the situation and rendering a decision in the matter). Cutting across these issues is concern for individual health (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). Northampton County Courthouse changed insurance carriers because the company believed that employees would benefit with the new changes.

Political Factors

Political factors define the legal and regulatory parameters within which firms must operate. Political constraints are placed on firms through fair-trade decisions, antitrust laws, tax programs, minimum wage legislation, pollution and pricing policies, administrative jawboning, and many other actions aimed at protecting employees, consumers, the public environment (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). At Northampton County Courthouse, all employees have to follow the rules and regulations of the employment laws because the employer would have to pay for the consequences of the employees’ actions. The county has established policies that the employees have to follow in the company handbook. Employees can be given a verbal warning as well as a written warning. In recent years, some employees and some of the prisoners have filed lawsuits against the county because their rights have been violated and no one was listening to the problems that the individuals were having with the other employees. Human Resources have been lacking education in some areas of harassment on the job because some of the employees are not aware of the federal and state laws pertaining to employment. The county has started some training classes that involve communication, ethics, customer service, and leadership so that employees could be trained to prevent future problems.

Political activity also has a significant impact on two governmental functions that influence the remote environment of firms: the supplier function and the customer function (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). The supplier function occurs when the government decision affects the strategies of a company. For example, the County Executive’s decisions affects how business is done at the county. If prices are raised on the different filings in various departments, lawyers have to increase the fees with clients and the consumer will have to find a way to pay for the increased costs. The customer function occurs when the government demand for products and services can create, sustain, enhance, or eliminate many market opportunities (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). For example, the County Executive wanted employees to get an increase in pay, but wanted employees to keep out the union. HR wanted health and wellness addressed.

Technological Factor

A technological breakthrough can have a sudden and dramatic effect on a firm's environment. It may spawn sophisticated new markets and products or significantly shorten the anticipated life of a manufacturing facility (Pearce & Robinson, 2004).

Technology is a big factor at the Northampton County Courthouse because the county uses a computer system for daily activities. The computer system keeps a daily record of all activities within the courthouse. At the Civil Division (also known as the Prothonotary’s Office and Clerk of Courts – Civil), the public can come into the office to access any file that is not sealed by the courts. Thus, all firms, and most particularly those in turbulent growth industries, must strive for an understanding both of the existing technological advances and the probable future advances that can affect their products and services (Pearce & Robinson, 2004).

The Civil Division employees use the computer systems to make daily entries of filings and have access to email, but the employees cannot send civil documents to the public as attachments because the Civil Division does not have that kind of software package system like some of the other counties. For example, some counties offer civil documents on the Internet where the public can purchase civil docket entries and other civil document via credit card or Pay-Pal service along with filing electronic documents from attorneys and pro se individuals (individuals acting on their own behalf). The Civil Division will have to think of ways to please the public and to compete with the other counties with an upgraded computer software system.

If the Civil Division wants to make any upgrades on the computer software, the Prothonotary would have to meet with the County Executive, the Controller, the County Solicitor, and the Director of the Information Department to discuss the upgrades. Once approved, the Director and staff of the Information Technology Department will create a software package that will allow the feature available for the public, but will have to create firewall protection and other means of protection so that no one can plant viruses on the county’s computer system.

Demographic Factors

The demographic factors involve the relationship between business and ecology. Specific concerns include global warming, loss of habitat and biodiversity, well as air, water, and land pollution along with the threats to our life-supporting ecology caused principally by human activities in an industrial society are commonly referred to as pollution (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). For example, some law firms file lawsuits that concern asbestos cases with the Northampton County Civil Division because some of the big companies in the Lehigh Valley have had their employees working in buildings that contained a high concentrate of asbestos and after so many years, employees were diagnosed with different kinds of cancers and other health related problems. The Civil Division has one clerk that handles the filings for the asbestos where they are posted on Lexus Nexus plus that clerk has to go into court for the swearing of the jury and reading the verdicts for the asbestos cases. The courthouse has one judge that is assigned to hear the asbestos cases along with a court appointed attorney that argues the cases in the courts.

External Environment

A trend is nothing but the general direction of the price of an asset or market in general and can be apply to equities, bonds, commodities and any other market which is characterized by a long-term movement in price or volume (Trade Trending, n.d.).

A force is an interaction between two objects and their environment. For example, an environment relies on five forces to create a strategic agenda in a competitive market. The five forces are:

The threat of entry. New entrants enter into the industry bringing a desire to gain market share, new capacity, and substantial resources to shake-up the other markets to begin leverage in the industry (Pearce & Robinson, 2004).

The bargaining power of customers. Customers will have competitors in the industry against on another because of the demand for different products or services in the market forcing a price reduction. Consumers tend to be more prices sensitive if the consumers are purchasing products that are undifferentiated, expensive relative to the incomes and of a sort where quality is not particularly important (Pearce & Robinson, 2004).

The bargaining power of suppliers. Suppliers can squeeze the profitability out of an industry unable to recover cost increases in its own price (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). Suppliers will either raise the prices or reduce the prices of the product or service, but other industries are affected by the changes causing erosion in that particular industry. For example, bottling companies are in competition with powdered mix, fruit juices, and other beverage companies.

The threat of substitute products or services. Substitute products that deserve the most attention strategically are those that (a) are subject to trends improving their price-performance trade-off with the industry's product or (b) are produced by industries earning high profits and could rapidly into play if some development increases competition in their industries and causes price reduction or performance improvement (Pearce & Robinson, 2004).

Jockeying among current contestants. Rivalries amongst competitors in the market take a form of jockeying. The companies will use tactics, such as, introduction of a new product, advertisements that degrade the competition or competition with prices.

With the collective strengths of the five forces, the ultimate profit potential depends on the industry (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). For example, the tire and metal can industries will not have a spectacular return on investments, but the soft drink and toiletries industries will have high returns on investments.

Long-Term Objectives

The Civil Division’s strategic plan could be implemented, but the department would follow six strategic long-term objectives so that the Civil Division could enter into the competitive market. The objectives are: invest in upgrading the technology; offer online services to the public; hire additional employees to help with the increase of filings; re-train employees and hold stress management classes; downsize some of the job positions and raise employee wages so it includes the cost of living.

With a limited income, consumers are living paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to pay the mortgage. Mortgage companies will be filing more complaints in foreclosures. The filings will increase to about 60% at the Civil Division in the next 10 years. The situation would cause employees to become overworked; absenteeism would increase; conflicts will increase amongst the employees and the office would be understaffed. The Civil Division will need to hire more employees. The department would need 12 additional employees (six to help with the Sheriff’s Sales and six to input the increased paperwork) plus the county will have to increase employee wages. If an increase of unemployment occurs in the next five to 10 years, domestic violence and divorce filings would increase. Some consumers will become frustrated and angry causing more domestic violence cases to be filed with the PFA (Protection From Abuse) office. The PFA office will need to hire more employees because the office would be understaffed; an increase in absenteeism; overworked and would cause conflicts amongst the employees. The opportunity would be to hire seven employees in the next 10 years.

The department will have to invest in upgrading technology and hire tech support operate the online services. With the Civil Division implementing new technology, marketability would increase in the competitive legal market and increasing revenue by 60% in the next five years. The department would not need as employees working in the department because most of the new complaints will be processed via the Internet. The department needs two deputies (one handles mortgage foreclosures and the other handles the PFA department), five employees and a file clerk who will handle walk-in filings, mail; run receipts; file requests and mail. The county could train an assistant Director of IT to oversee and implement all managerial functions f or the Civil Division, train one IT specialist that will be trained to handle the job functions of the three civil deputies, and train eight IT technicians to do the civil functions of the department (the IT staff members would be replacing the prothonotary, three deputies, and seven employees). The change in positions would cut down on costs for hiring additional employees; increase the employees’ wages; decrease employee complaint and decrease unethical behavior from its employees causing an unhealthy work environment.

The department will enter into the competitive market in the legal system, offer ongoing training for the employees with stress management classes and raise employee wages so it includes the cost of living.

Strategic Analysis and Choice

Northampton County could research other courthouses, such as, Lehigh County and Montgomery County. The other company that could be researched is Delta Air Lines because the company had a great deal of issues dealing with situations, such as, downsizing, mergers, supplier diversity programs, Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the company figured out a way overcome the situations.


Lehigh County

Lehigh County’s Clerk of Courts Office, consists of the civil division, criminal division, Recorder of Deeds, and Recorder of Wills. The office is responsible for the complete, accurate filing and maintenance of original records for the Lehigh County court system (Clerk of Courts, 2008). The first strategy for Lehigh County was downsizing one of the supervisory positions so courts combined the two offices together so that one supervisor running one office so that money would be saved. Downsizing is eliminating the number of employees, particularly middle management, in a company. The second strategy that the courts used was allowing the public to access public records via the Internet. The software that is used is called Odyssey Public Access. For example, the public could go on the site and receive a tutorial on how to set up a subscription, a username, and a password. The new release of Odyssey's public access site is now certified to work with Internet Explorer version 7 as well as continuing to work with IE version 6, but Odyssey public access is not certified to work with browsers other than Internet Explorer (Odyssey Public Access, 2008). The third strategy was that the Clerk of Judicial Records position is an elected position. The clerk has a term of four years. This strategy allows the office to receive new ideas from a fresh face and offices problems are limited because each elected clerk has ways of doing things.

Northampton County could have the Prothonotary’s position for the Civil Division an elected one. The term would run every four years where the department. The department would get a fresh face with new action plans that could be developed to focus on upgrading technology for the office and considering downsizing some of the positions by combining different departments.
The idea would eliminate some of the issues and concerns in the office so that the Northampton County Civil Division could enter the competitive market with the other county courthouses in Pennsylvania.

Montgomery County

The Prothonotary is the elected civil clerk of the Court of Common Pleas and is responsible for recording all civil procedures before the court (Prothonotary’s Office, 2008). The courts came with a strategy to enter into the competitive market by creating a pilot program for electronic filings for court documents. The pilot program will be open to all Pennsylvania attorneys [current e-filing initiative is designed to handle all permitted civil filings in the Montgomery County Civil Courts starting with initiation of suit by a Summons or a Complaint-Civil Action. Initially, the system is permissive, not mandatory. (E-filing with Montgomery County, 2008)]. E-filing will allow legal documents with exhibits and attachments to be filed on the county’s website. The legal documents will not have to be delivered through the mail nor hand-delivery service. The process will cut down litigation costs and time. If attorneys wanted to file other paperwork that involved pleadings, the pleadings could still be delivered by mail or hand delivery service at the Court House in Norristown.

Northampton County Civil Division could create a website that attorneys could file e-filings so that the courts could cut down of litigation costs and time. The office could create a strategy with the information technology systems to create software that would help them enter into the competitive market with the other counties. The Net will allow the global enterprise with different functions, offices, and activities dispersed around the world to be seamlessly connected so that far-flung customers, employees, and suppliers can work together in real time (Pearce & Robinson, 2004).

Delta Air Lines

In the 21st century, the company dedicated to Supplier Diversity Managers who help coordinate certification, introduction, and ongoing performance measurement process for the small, minority-, and women-owned businesses because Delta wants to assure the highest quality products and services for managers to maintain continuous dialog with the buyers and this provides Delta with the necessary criteria for determining the most qualified diverse suppliers (Supplier Process Overview, 2007). The company has a four step process of: reviewing certified business, identifying suppliers, matching supplier with opportunity, and measuring performance that helps Delta determine which companies will participate in the diverse supplier program.
Delta hired Neil Shah as the vice president. Shah was hired to helping the company focus on building a world-class cargo business that leverages the size and scope of Delta’s global network and helps create the company to be one of the world’s extensive air freight operations (Delta Appoints Vice President to Lead Cargo Division, 2007). President Ed Bastian believes that this will be an opportunity for Delta to create a new form of brand equity and cargo revenues.
Delta Air Lines offers more destinations than any other airlines in the global market and has more than 600 weekly routes to 58 destinations. Delta carefully planned the company’s supply chain strategy [is the idea that applies to a total systems approach to managing the entire flow of information, materials, and services from raw materials suppliers through factories and warehouses to the end customer (Chase, et al., 2006)] to develop a plan to create a new form of revenue.

Northampton County Civil Division could research the ways of how outsourcing [the act of moving some of a firm's internal activities and decision responsibility to outside providers (Chase, et al., 2007)] and planning [for example: Long-range planning is generally done annually, focusing on a horizon greater than one year (Chase, et al., 2007)] that works for Delta. The Civil Division could examine how Delta selects companies that will benefit in the diverse supplier program through a four step process.

The Civil Division will need to examine alternative solutions that the department could help with employee satisfaction and update computer software that would satisfy the public.
The Controller would have to create a budget that would include any additional costs that may be incurred when implementing the projects.

Plan Goals and Implementation

The Civil Division will need to a project team that will benchmark other courthouses and corporation to create ideas to help the department to enter into the competitive market in the legal system along with offering different services to the public.

The Director of IT and staff will create the software for the upgraded technology along with will be installing new hardware, conduct tests to make sure the software is in working order, and create firewall protection on the software so that no viruses could get attached nor could hackers obtain access to the software.

The Controller would have to create a budget that would include any additional costs that may be incurred from the new projects and will have to re-evaluate the employees’ pay rate.
The Civil Division would need to be restructured so that the new technology would be acceptable by the employees as well as the public. The department would need on-going training sessions, such as, computer training, code of ethics, interpersonal skills training, stress management and managerial training. The county will have to hire an outside consulting firm that could help the Civil Division with restructuring. The outside consulting firm could examine the strengths and weaknesses of the department so that a training program could be implemented for the employees along with assisting the IT department with ideas concerning the computer upgrades. First, the outside consulting firm would examine the strengths of the Civil Division. The department does have its strengths that allow the Civil Division to be at its best.

The strengths are:
Each employee is trained to do a job.
The Prothonotary has four deputies that help her check each employee’s work.
Registers are counted daily. (This prevents employees from embezzling money). All checks and cash are put in locked bags each day with a deposit slip and sent up to the Tax Department to be re-checked and later sent to the bank.
Public is treated with care.

Second, the outside consulting firm will examine the weaknesses of the department. Unfortunately, the Civil Division’s weaknesses outweigh the strengths. The weaknesses are:
Poor management skills. (Prothonotary needs help dealing difficult employees).
Too many bosses. (A few employees believe that they answer to know no one and the Prothonotary listens to the solutions for the workplace).
Favoritism. For example, one to three people are being cross-trained on different job duties and others are trained to do three job functions.
Employees lack knowledge of the federal and state employment laws. For example, employees do not respect others.
Poor communication skills between management and employees.
No educational training classes for proper work ethics.
Increase in employee overturns. For example, three employees left the office in the Spring 2008 to pursue other jobs in different departments compared to two employees leaving in 2007.
More employees are dissatisfied with jobs.
Mission statement too vague for employees to understand.
Employees are disgusted with the union. For example, the union keeps everything a secret and does not hand out newspapers or meeting notes.
HR ignores the problems that are happening within the Civil Division.
The weaknesses are rising and if the problems are not fixed, the Civil Division will face more overturns; increase in absenteeism; conflicts amongst the employees; an increase in grievances and an increase in lawsuits filed in federal court. The result could be that the department gets closed down until the problems are resolved.

The Northampton County Civil Division has the opportunity to correct the weaknesses. First, re-training could be done for all the employees so that everyone is cross-trained on every job duty. This situation would eliminate the favoritism amongst the employees. Second, all employees will need to have pay increases so that they are not frustrated and take things out on other employees. Third, the county needs to have on-site stress management classes for the employees. The classes will help relieve daily stress from day-to-day functions on the job. Fourth, a disciplinary board could be created. The county could elect four individuals who oversee the conflicts, grievances and other issues that are going on in the Civil Division. Fifth, weekly or monthly meetings need to be created to open up communication lines between union, management and employees. Six, on-site training classes (involving work ethics, the federal and state employees, and business etiquette) should be on-going.

The other alternative that the department could implement is downsizing. The department would not need as many employees in the Civil Division because most of the new complaints and filings would be sent via the Internet. The department would only need two deputies (one handles mortgage foreclosures and the other handles the PFA department), five employees and the file clerk that would take in any filings over the counter; run receipts; handle file requests and handle mail requests. The county could replace the prothonotary, three deputies, and seven employees. The county could just have an IT department that handles all civil matters where eight IT technicians, one IT specialist (handles the three civil deputies’ job duties) and an assistant Director of IT (handles the prothonotary’s job duties) to be trained on all aspects of the civil functions. The changes would cut down on costs for hiring additional employees where the county could increase employee wages and the department would not have to deal with poor management issues or unethical behavior from its employees causing an unhealthy work environment. Employee complaints would be reduced by 80%.

Critical Success Factors

The first factor that influence the Civil Division that the County Executive because they are elected every four years and they bring new strategies to be implemented for that term. The executive will deal with new ideas; new projects; and cleaning up any problems that the last County Executive might have left unfinished.

A second factor that would impact decisions in the Northampton County Civil Division is the rise in prices in the economy. Many consumers are feeling the crunch. In the next five to 10 years, the situation is going to get worse. Consumers will be limited in purchasing products or pay the bills. The situation cause more civil actions to be filed at the county.

The third factor would be downsizing. Companies are becoming more advanced in technology and need fewer employees; some have merged with others and some have gone out of business because of the increased costs.

The fourth factor that would impact the decisions of implementing the new technology in the Civil Division is the appointed judges. Some of the judges may disagree with having civil filings accessible through the Internet because they do not like to use the equipment so the project leader would have to meet with all the appointed judges to discuss the importance of moving into a more competitive market and how some changes will affect their offices, but they could chose to hire an IT staff member to help with adjusting to the changes and to teach the judges and their staff members the new computer system for the Civil Division.

Financial Projections and Analysis

The Northampton County Civil Division has one of the lowest rates for no-fault divorces. The county charges $132. Attorneys have been filing divorce cases with the county so that the costs are reduced for the clients and profits are increased at their firms. The competitors are: Cameron and Potter counties because they try to increase revenue by offering no-fault divorces at a cheap, convenient rate.

The other situation is technology. Some counties offer docket printouts and scanned copies of files online to the consumer. Law firms and title abstract companies do not have to leave the office or home to receive a copy of public file. The Civil Division would have to invest in high speed software and hardware that would prevent viruses or spyware or hackers from getting into the computer system so that the department could compete with other counties. The fees for the civil filing will have to be adjusted because the department would have to put additional fees for printouts from the Internet site. The fees will have to keep increasing each year by 5%.

The Civil Division could increase the fees for filings, inquiries, and requested if the county offers online services. For example:
Fees for new complaints filed on the Internet would be $200.
Fees for divorce complaints filed on the Internet would be $350 and up (depending on the additional counts).
Fees for child custody complaints would be $300.
Requests for complete files sent via as an attachment by email would be $20 and up (depending on the files).
Requests for docket entries sent via as an attachment by email would be $3 for the first page and $1 for each any additional page.
Requests for divorce decrees sent via as an attachment by email would be $3 for an uncertified copy and $15 for a certified copy.
Requests for certain file request sent via as an attachment by email would be $5 for the first page and $1 each for any additional page.

The Civil Division will have to upgrade the payment system for all filings, inquiries, and requests from the website. The department would have to offer a pay pal system (the system would include debit card access, check card access, credit card and check by phone access). The pay pal system would help the department keep track of all payments.

The costs for the new equipment and software would be $40 million. The costs would include having all the county departments upgraded so that they will be able to be converted to Internet accessibility along with ongoing training computer classes, stress management classes, managerial training, and different employee training programs. The upkeep of the equipment would be less costly and more efficient.

Downsizing some of the job positions in the Civil Division would have a positive effect on the department. For example, the department would have a decrease in employee complaints; decrease in absenteeism; decrease in the employees’ unethical behavior and an increase in a healthy work environment.

With the necessary changes, the Northampton County Civil Division would be able to offer online services and compete in a competitive market in the legal system along with creating a health work environment for the employees.

Controls and Procedures

The County Executive is responsible for overseeing county operations that serve the residents and municipalities of Northampton County, and oversees the departments of Administration, Community and Economic Development, Corrections, Court Services, Fiscal Affairs, Human Resources Department, Human Services, and Public Works, and the offices of the Coroner, Public Defender, Sheriff, and Solicitor (Gateway to Government, 2008). A County Executive is elected every four years and a new strategy is implemented for that person’s term. The executive will deal with new ideas; new projects and cleaning up any problems that the last County Executive might have left unfinished. Each employee will be observing to see if the executive will tend to the needs of the employees. Some employees may not like the new strategic plan that the County Executive may bring and the employees struggle with the changes.

The courthouse does not have stakeholders, but the public plays a big part in the elections. The executive shows the employees leadership and have the employees share in the same vision. The organizational culture is similar to an individual’s personality. For example, that personality influences the behavior of an individual, the shared assumptions (beliefs and values) among a firm's members influence opinions and actions within that firm (Pearce & Robinson, 2004). If the County Executive does not work out, the public will vote the party out so that a new replacement could take over the position.

If the changes are to be made in the Civil Division, the prothonotary must meet with the Controller, the Director of Information Technology Department and the County Executive to get approval.

The Controller is the individual who will create the budget for any projects that the Civil Division would like to do.

The Director of IT will create the software for the upgraded technology along with the staff who will be installing new hardware in the IT department and the Civil Division. The Director and staff will conduct tests to make sure software is in working order.

The County Executive, HR, County Solicitors and Controller would have to restructure the Civil Division and create an organizational structure and chart to show the changes, such as, technology and downsizing. The County Executive would have to downsize the Civil Division if the department offers online services because there would be an excessive amount of employees. The department will only need two deputies (one handles mortgages foreclosures and the other handles the PFA department), five employees and a file clerk to work the counter, data entry, run receipts and retrieve files. An IT support team could run all civil functions and online services where an assistant Director of IT (will handle the prothonotary’s job duties), one IT specialist (will handle three civil deputies’ duties) and seven IT technicians could be trained to run the civil functions of the department.


Chase, R. B., Jacobs, F. R. & Aquilano, N. J. (2006). Operations Management for Competitive
Advantage, 11th Edition. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Clerk of Courts. (2008). Retrieved May 5, 2008, from
Corporate Information. (2007). Retrieved May 5, 2008, from
Delta Appoints Vice President to Lead Cargo Division. (2007). Retrieved May 5, 2008,
2007, from
Delta Stats & Facts. (2007). Retrieved May 5, 2008, from
Delta Through the Decades. (2007). Retrieved May 5, 2008, from decades/index.jsp
Department of Court Services. (2008). Retrieved April 14, 2008, from
E-filings with Montgomery County. (2008). Retrieved May 5, 2008, from,a,1673,q,64380,prothyNav,%7C.asp
Gateway to Government. (2008). Retrieved April 14, 2008, from
History of the Courthouse. (2007). Retrieved April 14, 2008, from
Human Resources. (2008). Retrieved April 14, 2008, from
Odyssey Public Access. (2008). Retrieved May 5, 2008, from
Pearce, J. & Robinson, R. (2004). Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation and
Control, 9th Ed. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Prothonotary’s Office. (2008). Retrieved Maya 5, 2008, from
Supplier Process Overview. (2007). Retrieved December 22, 2007, from
Trend Trading. (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2008, from

Monday, March 17, 2008

Is Freddy Lutz a Democrat?

The following is the text of an email I received from Freddy Lutz concerning his party registration.

Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions. I do not have a current “blogger” account, and therefore will respond via email.

For one, let me say that I did not (or did not intend to, if it was presented to you in that manner) refer to myself as the Chairperson of Catasauqua, but rather the Chairperson of the Planning Commission for the Borough of Catasauqua. I noticed several other minor typo's in the transcript posted on your website (as compared to the original letter I sent), but I’m guessing this was manually transcribed since I did not submit an electronic version, but the bulk of facts are accurate.

As far as my Party affiliation goes, I had registered as an Independent a number of years ago simply because I never considered myself a hard-line member of either principal political party. However, throughout the years I have found myself voting primarily in a manner consistent with many Democratic viewpoints, and intend on making this change formal not only for this potential appointment, but also so that I may voice my opinion in the upcoming primary election. As far as the rest of my qualifications go, I would agree with the fact that a simple resume or letter does not define any individual. I'm sure that all of the interested individuals, including myself, bring a unique set of talents to the table that should be considered in their own light. I trust the individuals responsible for ultimately selecting their candidate will base their decision on who they believe will best fill the vacant position.

I hope this satisfies your curiosity. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any other questions.


Freddy Lutz

Monday, March 10, 2008

Nancy Wilt Letter of Interest & Resume

Letter of Interest.
Please allow me this opportunity to inform you that I am sincerely interested in the District Three vacancy on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners and would greatly appreciate you adding my name for consideration for this appointment.

Currently, I have the honor of serving as a Legislative Assistant and Office Administrator to State Senator Lisa M. Boscola. This position (which I have held for the past 13 years) has afforded me the opportunity to learn about the intricacies of government including the legislative process and the relationship between the state and local municipalities.

I am a homeowner in the 13th Ward of the City of Allentown, where I live with my husband and our three children. Furthermore, I am a life-long resident of Lehigh County and am quite proud of my record of commitment to our community. Please know that I am active in several community organizations, as well as my church.

It is my sincere goal to continue to contribute to the betterment of our county in order to provide the brightest possible future for my children and our future generations. Although Commissioner Derr will be truly missed, I am confident that I have the right experience, energy and judgment to ably complete his term.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. I truly look forward to the opportunity to discuss my interest in this appointment with you further. If you have any questions about my interest in this position, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

To obtain a position that utilizes my strong organizational and communication skills in an environment of service to my community

Professional Experience:

Executive Assistant: State Senator Lisa M. Boscola (18th PA Senate District): Bethlehem, PA: 1998 to Present Responsibilities include generating and maintaining Senator's district schedule, overseeing daily operations of Bethlehem District Office, fielding of constituent telephone calls and working with constituent outreach projects, maintaining databases, maintaining office budget and completing appropriate expense vouchers. Additionally, this position requires strong written and oral communications skills, being detail oriented, the ability to work one on one as well as in a team environment and the ability to assess constituent cases and come to a satisfactory resolution.

Legislative Assistant and Office Administrator: State Representative Lisa M. Boscola (135th PA House District): Bethlehem, PA: 1995 to 1998

Responsibilities included generating responses for the Representative to incoming correspondence, fielding of constituent telephone calls, assessing constituent needs and working with the appropriate Commonwealth departments, maintaining Representative's schedule, maintaining of office budget, and supervision of interns

Canvass Director, Clean Water Action: Allentown, PA: 1994 to 1995

Responsibilities included recruitment, interviewing, training and supervision of staff, meeting fundraising goals, maintaining a budget, payroll, public speaking, understanding the legislative process and direct lobbying. Additionally, this position required strong written and oral communication skills, the ability to work on an individual basis, as well as with a group and solid organizational and time management skills

Field Manager and Canvasser, Clean Water Action: Allentown, PA: 1990 to 1994

Responsibilities included community education and fundraising regarding environmental legislation, meeting fundraising goals, training and supervision of staff and a thorough understanding of the political process


- Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA: Majored in Communications: 1987 to 1990 Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schnecksville, PA: 1986-1987 Graduate, Emmaus High School, Emmaus, PA: 1985

Volunteer Experience:

Past Member of the Board of Directors: Coalition for Appropriate Transportation
Volunteer: Various electoral campaigns for state and national government; registering voters, phone banking and GOTV
Past Member: West Park Civic Association
Member: West Walnut Neighborhood Association
Member: Union Terrace Elementary School PTA

Computer Proficiency:

Microsoft 2000 Professional Office Suite; including Word, Excel, Access, Publisher and Power Point

Dennis Pearson Letter of Interest & Resume

Letter of Interest.
At the moment the County's largest city Allentown has only one resident on the Board of County Commissioners, Dan McCarthy. People outside the city hold all the at-large seats. Given this fact, the next Board of Commissioner from District 3 should be an Allentown resident. That is most logical but it may not necessarily be.

During the mid to late fifties the Lehigh Valley was predominately agricultural in both orientation and thought. The then existing industrial complex being primarily concentrated in the cities (that is, Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton in Pennsylvania and Phillipsburg in New Jersey) and a few outlying suburban communities. We note the heart of this five county industrial complex comprised the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, New Jersey Zinc Company, Ingersoll-Rand, Mack Trucks, Air Products & Chemicals, Lehigh Portland Cement and Western Electric.

I initiated a study entitled "We Present the Truth, But You Still Don't Comprehend" believing that I can come to a general understanding concerning the chronology and decision-making that has led to the planned or unanticipated destruction of the character of the Lehigh Valley's landscape from largely rural to urban sprawl which in its extended form is called megalopolis.

A megalopolis, of course, is an urban complex encompassing several major cities and regions. Its application in the Lehigh Valley region would be the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (S.M.S.A) of Allentown-Bethlehem and Easton (A-B-E). The A-B-E S.M.S.A comprises the Counties of Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton in Pennsylvania and Warren County in New Jersey. We add that in regards to this study I concentrated on considerations that have impacted upon Lehigh County and its major city, Allentown; and I concerned myself with Carbon, Northampton, Berks or Warren Counties when developments there tied-in and matched my field of consideration.

Today the heart of the five county industrial complex has changed and the Count}' has dealt with this fact of life on a continuing basis as well as their response to the unanticipated destruction of the character of the Lehigh Valley's landscape from largely rural to urban sprawl.

As an lifetime resident of Lehigh County and the district I wish to serve, I have demonstrated my interest in the issues that face Local government whether it be the Allentown School Board, Allentown City Council or the Board of County Commissioners by being present at these meeting many times when I did not have to attend as most residents would do. In fact, my interest is such that it was even my practice to attend public meetings outside the City of Allentown.

It is my belief that I would be an asset to the County Board of Commissioners given the information I have learned from going to the before said meetings The fact, that I have been a leader in East Allentown for so many years and served these people with dedication and sincerity in a position of leadership that worked more to benefit the people of my neighborhood then myself.

If there is a learning curve to be a Commissioner I believe that my learning curve will be short given all this experience.

I would be most honored to fill the seat once occupied by Leon Eisenhart who offered his constituency one promise — " I will a good job." And doubly, I would be honored to succeed Kurt Derr as representative of the Third Commissioner District. Kurt Derr served his constituency well by doing his homework on the work that needed to be done.

Therefore, I Dennis LeRoy Pearson make this known this day of March 9, 2008 to the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners of my desire and interest to be appointed by the Board as the next Commissioner for District # 3. As Commissioner I seek to do a good job, do my homework and ask God if it is his will to serve me up with a little bit of wisdom to understand and react to the real concerns and needs of the people of my district and the people of Lehigh County.

To be appointed County Commissioner District # 3
A responsible, motivated and productive individual with over 25 years experiences in the industrial service section of a major metal-producing company. A hard-working and creative community leader who has demonstrated great ability in improving neighborhood livability. Very concerned about the needs of children and people. Certified Social Studies (PA/NJ), Elementary (NJ).

- President, Neighborhood Association
- Past Participant, Agere Technologies -Environment Advisory Group
- Board Member and Officer in effort to preserve the legacy of the individuals who worked in steel.
- Ability to identify needs
- Persuasive/influential
- Organizational Skills
- Motivational skills
- Capable of organizing and maintaining financial records
- An educator who was involved as an ESOL Adult Tutor, Catholic Relief Agency


*Northern Lehigh School District, Slatington, PA 2002- Present
*Sa!isbury Township School District, Allentown, PA 1999 - Present
*Southern Lehigh School District, Center Valley, PA 1999 - Present
*Parkfand School District, Aiientown, PA 1999 - Present
*East Perm School District, Emmaus, PA 2002- Present
*Bethlehem Area School District, Bethlehem, PA 1999 -Present
Northampton School District, Northampton, PA 1999 - 2002
*Saucon Valley School District, Hellertown, PA 1996 - Present
*Quakertown Community School District, Quakertown, PA2002- Present
*PhiIHpsburg School District, Philiipsburg, NJ 1999 -Present
**Whitehaff-Copiay School District, Whitehall, PA 1999 - 2002
(Short- Term Substitute Teacher --- * Denotes on list 2005-2006 term
Conduct classes on various subjects on a short-term basis as assigned.
Use various teaching methods.
" Summer School Instructor —- 2000 — Denoted by +)

Allentown YMCA/YWCA, Allentown, Pa 2000 - 2003
Tutor and Teacher - After School Child Care Program - Cetronia Elementary

Bethiehem Steel Corporation, Bethlehem PA 1973 - 2000
- Prepared incoming water for use by high-intensity boilers
- Analyzed water quality and treated accordingly.
- Worked to close tolerances.
- Maintained and operated boilers and auxiliary equipment
- Responsible for daily reports.
- Trained co-workers


4-Year College and University Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA
Act 48 Courses — 2002
Computer Training 1999
Certification (Social Studies 7-12 1970-1978
History (7-12) - BS Education 1965-1969
Muhlenberg Coiiege, Allentown, PA
* Act 48 Course — 2003
East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, Pa
Coaching 1999-1999
Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA
* Elementary Education 1996-1998
Penm State University
Business 1997-1998
Lehigh University, Bethiehem, PA
MA History 1969-1971

2-Year College and Other Training Performance Resources

* USWA/Bethlehem Steel Career Development Program 1993-1999
Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School, Bethlehem, PA
* Web Page Development 1998-1998
Community CPR and First Aid 2002-2002
Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations 1992-1992
Lehigh County Community College, SchnecksviHe, Pa 1991-1991
Texas Education Agency 1991-1991
* Space Science
L.E. Dieruff High School, AHentown, PA 1962-1965

Computer Skills:
Word Processing and Writing, Graphics, Siide Shows, Desktop Publishing, Database,
Spreadsheets, World Wide Web....

Programs: Claris Works, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Money,
Microsoft Excel, Power Point, HyperStudio

Operating Systems - Macintosh, M.S. Dos, MS 3.1, MS 95, MS SSMicrosoft

Freddy Lutz Letter of Interest

Letter of Interest:
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Freddy E. Lutz Jr., and I am writing to express my interest in filling the current vacancy on the Board of Commissioners, serving Lehigh County's Third District.

My wife and I have lived in the Borough of Catasauqua (3d District) since 2001, and while I am not a "native" of the Lehigh Valley, have considered this region to be my home since 1992. As many others, I have witnessed the growth and progress that has occurred in the area, and understand that only through my active involvement in local affairs can I contribute towards making the future growth of this area occur in a positive, sustainable manner.

I feel that my upbringing and history have provided me with the breadth of experience that would be a wonderful compliment the current Board. I also believe that, while each individual has the right to believe in what they wish, a certain degree of compromise and objectivity is required to truly represent those residents which they have chosen to serve.

As a Fine-Arts Major in college, I frequently found myself using my creative skills to find solutions for a variety of problems. I am a strong believer that in order to find the best solution, most times you need to keep an open mind, since progress is not only repeating those things that have proven successful, but also educating yourself to the issues at hand, and going in new directions. Most of us have heard the phrase: "If you risk nothing, you risk everything." I feel this philosophy is paramount to fully addressing the needs of the public for one simple reason - when you look back through history at all the life-altering projects improved a regions livelihood and sustainability, every one of them required taking a chance.

My Experience:

In my early professional career, I held a number of construction-related jobs, which have provided me the valuable "life experience" of constructing various improvements from buildings, to utilities, to road infrastructure. I have found that understanding the logistical issues and limitations of implementing these types of projects has been instrumental in my professional advancement since then.
In 2001,1 assumed a managerial position in local government, serving as a zoning officer in a Northampton County municipality. In that position, I served as a liaison to a number of Boards and Commissions, and acquired a wealth of experience in interpreting/applying the Pennsylvania Municipalities Code (MFC), as well as coordinating projects and addressing issues with virtually every municipal department, including Police, Public Works, and Water and Sewer Authorities. In that same period, I also became the municipal Geographic Information Systems (CIS) Administrator, which fostered an even deeper belief in "seeing the big picture", as I facilitated GIS projects with all the same Boards, Commissions, and departments.
Currently, I am an Office Manager and Executive Staff Member for a regional engineering firm, and am responsible for day-to-day activities of the firms Lehigh Valley office, including business development, personnel matters, and other administrative functions. In this capacity, I am regularly involved in municipal projects, as this is the focus of the firms business. As a result, I am immersed in the dynamic daily issues that most local and regional governments face. From regulatory agencies, to private resident concerns, I am frequently involved in mediating issues that require an understanding of both (or more) view-points relating to a variety of issues, from Subdivision and Land Development applications, utility and road improvements, stormwater management, and code enforcement, to name a few. I consider myself to be an above-average communicator, and have found that most adversarial issues can be greatly reduced by communicating effectively, and respectfully. Similarly, educating yourself to the issues at hand allows you to understand the viewpoints of others. While you may not agree with those views, you can at least make a more educated decision by understanding their concerns.

I am also currently the Chairperson of the Borough of Catasauqua, and have served in this capacity for the past 2 years. Prior to that, Ihad served as a member of the same board for one year. In this capacity, I frequently converse with a variety of persons seeking to improve (heir properties, sometimes not necessarily in compliance with what may be permitted or desired. As a result, it is often the case where we discuss what avenues may be open for them to achieve their goals, or how compromises can be reached that satisfy both the resident and Borough's concerns. I also communicate regarding these issues with Borough Staff and other Elected Officials, as necessary to make sure that the Boards input is conveyed in a clear, professional manner.

I stand prepared to commit the energy and resources to fulfilling the role of Commissioner, and look forward to the opportunity to meet in person for further consideration.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

David Jones Letter of Interest

Letter of interest.
I would like to formally submit my letter of consideration for the Democratic vacancy on the Board of Commissioners. I would consider it an honor and privilege to serve the citizens and families of Lehigh County by providing them effective government and core services.

I bring a solid professional background and global experience from 10 yrs in the Corporate sector. That experience includes leadership and organization development, change management as well as Professional Certifications in Six Sigma, Organizational Systems, Lean Processing Systems, This experience can lend its self to helping to shape our County Government to become even more effective as we navigate the constant state of change that Lehigh County finds itself in at this time.

Additionally I presently serve as the Executive Administrator for one of the largest Faith institutions in the County. Our multi cultural membership spans the entire Lehigh County region and beyond.
Resume (first page only).

David S. Jones Sr.

Profile Skilled administrator with 15yrs experience leading and directing various functions within organizations.

Professional leadership

A Track record of proven administrative, and interpersonal leadership abilities in business and community helping organizations improve effectiveness.
Able to effectively as a team

Demonstrated ability to work across functional, cultural and political boundaries to build coalitions of leaders.

Strategic thinker and decision maker, Successful 10 yr corporate career working my way up from an entry level position to Global HR Leadership role. Assisted city of Allentown to end a community riot and reduce tensions resulting from the accidental death of a young child.

Lifechurch Executiue Administrator

Operational leadership of the 2300 member church's ministry profile and infrastructure including managing $2.5 mil budget, supervising 40 administrative staff.

Implemented first comprehensive budgetary process resulting in net income increasing by 150%

Revamped the organizations programming profile to be more reflective of relevant needs of membership

Transitioned staff from a culturally entrenched entitlement system to performance based.

Global Operations Talent Development Manager

Direct training and development function for Averydennison's global operations consisting of divisions(6bil annual sales) and over 200 sales, manufacturing and distribution facilities. Managed the allocation of $6 mill budget working with vendors and consultants across global platform. Implemented first universal performance evaluation system for global operations (17,000 ees) Created first corporate wide talent council consisting of Operations and HR leaders from US, Asian and European divisions.

• Certified Six Sigma Greenbelt
• Quality Control Management Systems
• Kaizen Continuous Improvement
• Lean Manufacturing Processes
• Organizational Development, Executive Recruiting & Coaching
• Cross Functional Networking, Instructional Design Employment, Executive Administrator History, Global Operations Talent Development Manager,
Divisional Training Manager, Regional Training Manager, Business Results Leader

Kevin Easterling's Letter of Interest and Resume

Letter of Interest:
Please accept my letter of application to serve Lehigh County Pennsylvania and fill the current vacancy in District Three on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners.

I have been the Democratic Committeeman for Ward 19-11 on Allentown's South side for the last 2 year, a resident of District 3 in Lehigh County for the last 7 years and a resident of Allentown (Lehigh County) for the last 36 years. I feel my professional, community and business experience will bring a new perspective and even more professionalism to our Lehigh County Government.

From a county governance perspective, my experience in administering large organizations and developing efficient operations and budgets will play a significant role in helping me to make intelligent decisions on county budget issues. I have had first hand experience in creating opportunities for children, families and the business sector and will be able to use that experience on issues relating to Community and Economic Development.

(Attached you will find my resume detailing my professional, business and community involvement over the years.)

As you might already know, I was a candidate this past November in the 2007 Municipal Election where I sought a Democratic seat as a County Commissioner at Large. While I was not successful in securing the at-large seat, my efforts and participation in the election has given me an even greater appreciation for county government.

If the results of this past November's race are any indication of District Three's support for me as a candidate, I would like to think I have gained the District support. (Gloria Ham [sic] was the only other candidate who's [sic]number where higher than mine for District Three)

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to submit this application. Please feel free to contact me any time if you have any questions or need any clarifications. I look forward to meeting with you and the entire Board of Commissioners.

Employment History:

August 2007-Present: Parks & Recreation Department, 3000 Parkway BLVD, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18104, Superintendent of Recreation City of Allentown PA.

Responsible for various aspect of administering the City of Allentown's Recreation Bureau. Activities of the Bureau include all recreational programming, City owned Field S Court reservations, Allentown School District facility, Grant & CDBG funding coordination. Special event coordination, Pool & Spray Park management, Summer Playground Program coordination. Staffing for the bureau includes the management of (6) fulltime staff and (100) plus part-time, seasonal and contracted program staff. The Bureaus budget is 600K.

May 2005-July 2007: Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley, Inc 17th & Chew Streets P.O Box 722 Allentown PA 18105, Director of Advancement

Responsible for various aspects of fundraising coordination & marketing for organization: Grants (Government-PDE S CDBG), Foundations, Tax Credits, Major Gifts Cultivation. Donor-base creation S management, direct mail solicitation, various campaign coordination, (UW employee, Success Society), Leadership Gathering coordination, Website development, newsletters. (Hard copy & electronic). Coordination of Board of Directors Advancement Committee, program report coordination.

March 2001-May 2005: Alliance For Building Communities, 830 Hamilton Street, Allentown PA 18101, Fundraising / Marketing Coordinator

Responsible for various aspect of fundraising coordination & marketing for organization: Grants (Government-HUD & CDBG, Foundations, CRA (Banks), Donor-base creation S management, direct mail solicitation, Major Gifts, Website development, newsletters.

Dec 1999-Nov 2000: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, 720 N 6th Street, Allentown PA,
Resource Development Director

Responsible for various aspect of fundraising coordination & marketing for organization: Grants (Government-HUD & CDBG, 'Foundations, Donor-base creation S management, direct mail solicitation, Website development, newsletters

Nov-1990-Dec 1999: Positions held; Educational Director, Unit Director, Director of Operation (5 Facilities), Camp Director (Camp Horseshoe)

Planned, coordinated and managed various Youth recreation programs for various facilities of the organization. Responsible for managing a full-time and part-time staff.

July 1994-2005: Black Heritage Association of the Lehigh Valley Inc. PO Box 4385 Allentown PA 18105

Founder and President Black Heritage Festival & Basketball Tournament, Valania Park Youth Recreation Leagues (2000-2005)

Responsible for direct oversight of organizational operations: personnel, finance, public relations, development. Responsible for motivating and managing volunteer board of directors & staff.


Kutztown University, Kutztown PA. 1984/1985/1993
Currently pursuing (AFP) CFRE Certification
Lehigh University Educational Technologies-ITEC Certificate 1989-1991
Lehigh Carbon Community College- Networking & E-commerce classes 2000-2001
Dieruff High School, Irving Street Allentown PA. -High School Diploma 1980-1984

Computer Skills:

All Microsoft Applications-Word, Access, Power-Point, Excel, Publisher, Front page. Outlook Donor-base: Donor Perfect, Fundamental Donor, Web administration & development: Mdeamon Server Applications, Constant Contact and various E-Marketing ASP programs.

Honors: Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team Member/Nigeria 1994, National Society of Fundraising Professionals (NSFRE) Fundraising Scholar 2000, City of Allentown Human Relations Award Recipient- October 24th 2001 'Lehigh Valley Style Magazine' Movers & Shakers-September 2002

Professional Networks & Activities:

B&GC of America-Academy of Boys Girls Club Professionals-Management Professional 1999 The Association of Fundraising Professionals 2000-present, President MNET of PA (E-Marketing Services)

Community Volunteer Activities:

Allentown Liberty Bell Rotary Club 1998-2006, Lehigh Valley Mural Project (Funding Architect), City of Allentown Recreation Commissioner-2002-2007, Lehigh valley Workforce Investment Board 2006-2007, Board member 2007-present Coalition for Alternative Transportation

References provided upon request

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sam Bennett Posts - 2007

Norco Democrats Afraid of Democracy

Congressional Rumblings in the 15th District

Norco Dem Bosses Try (and Fail) to Muzzle Bloggers

Dem Chair Joe Long Slanders Ron Angle Yet Refuses to Accept Calls on Call-in Talk Show

2008's Charles Dertinger - Sam "Sacrificial Lamb" Bennett

Dent's Cash v. Bennett's IOUs

Opportunistic Sam Bennett: Trying Her Best to Re-elect Congressman Charlie Dent

Congressional Wannabe Sam Bennett: Say Hello to my Little Friend!

Senator Browne, Listed as Bennett Donor, Asks Rendell to Pull State Funding

Sam Bennett's Nonprofit Helping Her Congressional Ambitions

King Midas Meets Congressional Wannabe Sam Bennett

Bennett Rumors Prove Accurate: Nonprofit Funding is Halved

Bennett's Campaign Finance Report Doesn't Stack Up to Her Boasts

Rendell Should Keep His Philly Nose Out of Pa 15th Congressional District

Bennett Campaign Vainly Tries Some Damage Control

LC Dem Committeman Asks Bennett to Withdraw Candidacy

An Allentown Dem Who Likes Both Bennett and Dent

Congressional Wannabe Sam Bennett: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Daily Kos Drumming Up Money for Bennett

Dent v. Bennett = Teflon v. Velcro

LC Dem Chair Daugherty: Why I Support Sam Bennett for Congress

Bob Wolper & Karen Ritter Say NO to Sam Bennett

Congressional Wannabe Sam Bennett Takes a Stand ... and Bends Nonprofit Rules Again

"Take a Stand" Town Hall Bashes Congressman Dent, But Takes No Stand

What Has Happened to Sam Bennett's Endorsement Page?

FEC Thows Penalty Flag at Bennett's Former Employer

Bill Hall to Challenge Sam Bennett for Democratic Congressional Nod in LV

Bennett's Fundraising Problem: Too Liberal or a Phony?

Sam Bennett's Sure Fire Way to Bring in Those Congressional Bucks!

Properties of Merit: Garden Rakes For Elitists

Norco Citizen Advisory Panel Elections Timeline

January 23 Minutes
- LVR report: Stoffa's Citizen Committee Deals With NorCo Election Mess

January 31 Minutes
- LVR report: Norco Citizens Elections Committee Follows That Paper Trail
- Did Advanced Voting Solutions Pull a Fast One in Pa.?
- BlackBox Voting Backs Up Charge That Advanced Voting Pulled Fast One in Pa.

Febraury 7 Minutes
- LVR Report: Citizens' Election Panel Questions Voting Machine Certification

Febraury 13 Minutes
- LVR Report: Norco Elections Committee Wants Answers From AVS
- Voting Activist Asks That Norco Voting Machines Be Tested

February 21 Minutes
- LVR report: Norco Voter Registrar DePaul Discusses Her Kingdom

February 28 Minutes
- LVR report #1: In Northampton County, Bloggin' is Dangerous to Your Health!
- LVR report #2: Norco Registrar DePaul to Critics: "Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!"
- Febraury 28 Letter to State Elections Commissioner
- State Elections Official Finally Speaks, But Not to Norco Citizens' Elections Panel
- Norco Registrar DePaul Tries to Soak County for $2470 Private Lawyer Bill
- Northampton Voting Registrar's Lawyer Also Represented Local Dems
- Norco Voter Registrar Uses Lawyer Recommended by Local Dem Chair
- State Never Certified NoCo Voting Machines: Too Busy Plowing Snow?
- An Epistle From Joseph of Bethlehem: Dem Boss Long Denies Elections Problems

Survey Results Summary

April 4 Minutes
- LVR report: Norco Elections Task Force Reviews Positive Survey in Final Public Meeting
- Commonwealth Court Permits Suit Challenging Voting Machine Certifications

Norco Citizens' Advisory Panel: Election Report
- Norco Elections Commission Chair: Report "Pure Partisan Politics"
- Norco's Election Chair, Wally G, Doing Partisan Radio Show ... Again!