David Pedri Luz Co Mgr

Newsmaker Interviews
Monday, October 16th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

And I was out about it needing a couple weeks ago. With David Petrie who is the county manager loser and Downey and he said after the budget was revealed he would like to come on the show on talk about it and I said but of course. Says David Petrie is here this morning and W I'll cave making good. On that promise and thanks very much for coming and we really appreciate it osu banker hammy on any time really. It's it's our pleasure to have you here and now that a loser and count me. Obviously goes through a process. Every year to make up a budget and you. Here from the department has in the people on the and you decide to know what to do so give us an insight into how this was. Devised share so I've just amid the fiscal years when he team budget it's. As has to bounce budget once again. I hear in the county. It has to go through now. Eight separate budget hearings with sac county council. Tom will be taking out public input will be taking all of their ethos is we'll carry councils input and helps you telephone termination the budget December 10 of 2018. I'll tackle will get into the part where you give the people the bid may be bad news but nothing is finally end and we all mound there's room for for changes. And I understand that a lot of this budget has to do. With the corrections system engine that. We we know when people are wrote offenders they have to go to prison have you you've had. What your recurring costs unexpected costs why is that expense some banks. We're looking at you know and in our budget this year about the about 30% of our budget is our guys are prisons and you don't have that time and time again. It really comes down to is just the criminal justice system and how it works. Toward doing a bunch of different things on this we worked on a prison population task force which has been a pretty successful on on identifying individuals. There are being held by the judges. That are being waiting for a for hearings and then moving them back to state quicker. We're looking of people with a with a large amount of bales of wire they have these Marin a large amount bales and what are we doing to address those thanks but listen. The prison has expenses. And in a lot of it is we have a of a building that was built in the 1980s. It's eight force com and is sits in a building that was the right after civil war coverage here and loser account and that is our Lucerne county correctional facility. I have heard in the past and a gun to meanings that this makes it especially challenging for corrections officers because of the layout of the prison and then people of said. Well well would it be be good to go in the direction of a new prison a well known that when we her new prison we hear. How can dollars sharks now you see in front a rise in many many many dollar signs and of course of people in the past looked at that juveniles sent earn all that. The hullabaloo that follows the construction of a different one. So. Will the day column when it just. Absolutely has to be done I think to day will come and the question is went and how many more years can we sneak out of this sock correctional facility. We are continuing to put money into this facility has some obviously we had the elevator incident with our tragic death of caucus for malls. Our our corrections officer in July. When he seventeen. These are all things that come into play here this is an older facility however I'll be very clear with the Republican victories you it is safe it is secure. We have some great people working on in our corrections. Every single day we have eight separate floors which means eight separate prisons. Which has to be Jewish cast be staffed. I'm an olive and in and everybody has beefed it everybody has to be close everybody has to have access to showers recreation. And those things are expensive and listen we're not here to complain about those things but that's what we have here a lot also ties into a lot of world look at that right now the opium an epidemic and. And how has acted changed. Corrections I imagine only for the worsen I would have gone to meetings while they always talk. About. How. Drugs an alcohol seem to heat add them root of many many many people being incarcerated and had heard like I don't know 7080%. So. I would think at the opiate problem this is only. Made the situation where both sides this number I'm a former prosecutor Spencer views the DA's office. I 95%. Of people like came in contact worked with had a drug problem. Made a mistake. Something along those last 5% of people who were just horrible that people would say he attacked right off but 95%. Cuba I Percy came in contact with. I'm and I think that number still true today Tom when I prepared. The loser carries entering into litigation against he openly manufacturers in the open await. And GOP going distributors. When I prepared. That number. I came up with seven million dollars from corrections just off the top my has sinned and author director of corrections in between seventeen budget. Very very easily without even trying. Any he had dash seven million dollars six million dollars for children youth and that's really what the most upsetting thing is how many times our children youth case congress have to go out for families. That are affected by Opie would abuse. In other words if if this problem where we're somehow solves do you see. Millions of dollars in it a reduction of and curse you should read it and die down fences so. When you when you sit there is it for prosecutor and knows somebody who manages account name and what went wrong here. I think a lot of it comes down to what are well if you look at the openly lawsuit a lot of it is. The distribution of appeals and appeals become addictive and the addiction to interns to harder drugs so returns to heroin. I'm wants people stuck in on this Ireland's very very hard to get off it and that's what becomes the burglaries. The holding up a liquor store something along those lines. And your time and time again these stories are horrible. But what we should be doing is program money treatment for our money in and in education and kitchen these people before turns to that point. But it it seems to me that we've been trying to do those things for years and a well least with the educational component and perhaps the treatment that debuted known cure it's expensive and it doesn't always work and I think a lot of people. Looked down their nose at that they say a whole hall that's not prison that's treatment and that's not a punishment and so I don't know why I just see these things as if you turn that she. We would be you know a much better place right now. Without a doubt without doubt deal to an epidemic in and R&R drug and alcohol abuse and lose in tennis legend northeaster visiting as a whole. As it did to cross the state its in its very very difficult very very expensive. And how we were present every single day. Our rights. And outlets to talk a little bit about some of the other expenses that you incur and in the past they're what they're seem to be if Eric call this correctly. A tendency. For many of the past administrations of Lucerne county weather's him and gone back to the commissioner from a government. Two of them borrow. To fill these touch gaps and I. It is season nice word I believe it's his. It seemed to be to look at network might did numbers are now does it seem to be almost mandatory every year they are barring. 152030. Million dollars. Sometimes horrible rates that the 2008 borrowing that we just were able to refinance. This year they borrow twenty million dollars. 46 billion of that went into what's called on insurance which is they don't even we even half that money they just hold onto that money. As we really or fourteen million dollars at variable rates while we're paying propane threes on twenty million dollars. It was a horrible deal that we are now we are now in the processor refinancing. But does this would happen in 2012 and homo came into its to play here. Boos and cat it was over 420 million dollars in debt as we stand here today in 2017. We are just over 300 million dollars in debt now puts it can happen it would get a lot of county. Executives. Are proud of the fact that they're over 300 million dollars in debt OK I. I fully understand that but what I am proud of is that we've made huge strides over a hundred million dollars this desperate paid off and just under five years and you get by on not to relying on borrowing I mean how did you get that train to stop what that first carry council 2012 had to make some some major decisions. As well as the county management and in that in that. Period Rivet came down to right size in the government. When I started DA's office 2004 read over 2000 employees working for the count me as we stand here today. In twenty seventy we've just over 15100. Employees so right sizing the government doing things the right way of looking at things like consolidating services you know our our operations division came up to media day and say hey listen. If we buy all of these air filters for buildings that we can save some money. So it was a great ideas don't don't buy them all separately its its its common sense really he says I'm wanted I'm gonna do it we sit 24000 dollars. Just like death is picking up those times and Nichols into that things are right way to get us there. In 25 team we unit a surplus of six point seven million dollars in twenty set at between sixty municipals one point three million dollars were getting there. For tighter corner I I I'm not sure I got our whole body around that corner just yet but we got our foot out we're trying to do we can't financially. His 15100 people still Tammany. If you ask me start in these scans the point osu they just talking a customer service. It's gonna suck talk about services. The criticized loser in count 322000. People and an area the size of the state ever I can state with him that was earned. So the county loser provide services to all of those individuals every single day. So 15100 people I'd miss it sounds like a large number but when you look at the size of what we do every single day and accounting. Peace are talking about what we doing for customer service and that's a major issue with me. I am not I can't talk about. As some of the individuals who work in those are counting everybody has this impression on their mind that. That their living higher up the and their bunch of fat cats in the and so on and so forth but I was there the other day and I heard. The sums sums how high praise that are are not extraordinary and I believe some of them may even be. Listed in a story in the paper today that to you people. Gourmet can and then any of the mid twenties are there any yeah absolutely like people are not getting rich at those job. Listen. He did to Kerry and Enola I was listening in on the way over here. I always turning to W while K news radio. The slippery there and and I was into one of your sponsors and it was as hypocrite. As if recruiters say he was and how do you fine people how do you get people and how do you retain those individuals. And this is an issue that we have an accounting of always have been for the best Rosen for the brightest. Some people still think that he's the commissioner days where you got to know some way to get a job of accounting and business it. Those days are over I encourage people to go to our website loser Kerry dot org. And apply for jobs. Some of these jobs you know they're not high paying jobs we just terrified deputy sheriff says 20000 dollars each year but those are five potty trained. Been in very import individuals. You know those individual server papers protect us here at the courthouse provide prisoner transport a salute to resist the sheriff does every single day. And 20000 dollars would would be their socked. There's not a ton of county employees making six figures I mean like think outside of my head. A very very small in number our division has to make less than six figures. Listen art to the county worker is their because they want to be either the right to tell each of orientation classes. Is that they're there because they wanna do good they wanted to something that's right for their community. Mom and step in the salaries or draw people into Lucerne county but I think it's. The the I'd like to think. It's the environment that keeps and we'll talk. More with the David Andrea Lucerne canning he's the manager and we'll talk about the end of the that there is a T a X increase that's been proposed in case the kids are listening I don't want them to get scared but I know some of the taxpayers are open arms and we'll talk about lie on the other side because we have loser and Tony manager David Hendry. With us this morning and every time you announce a budget David the people are always waiting to now know what their tax increase will be they. About it tax decrease does that ever happen anywhere in the country. Well onto what in point between nine to catch the county looks to be out of Denton point 19. And I said I loved became manager of the bank as a man that's going to be good day so. In that the future into and it's so far away. The day would ever come when you say yep your taxes will go down 2% this year. President point point president and the county's. Funding for our for our debt service and this is all borrowings have been done in by the commissioners in the past. 2% of our budget toy stores is million dollars a year when he's twenty cents on every dollar goes out two their dressers every year. Well an again once that stops that you just think there would be as some relief for the marvelous taxpayer now when you announces budget the other day you told the people the news that they might see an increased share knack and that increases. As 2% increase. So on every county parcel that's worth a 100000 dollars you can and I thought extra dollar a month. And it's not something that we do lately I just awesome to now we do flip Italy or or or quickly or anything along those times we spent hours. NA conference room with our budgeted finest people I saw our budget finance team or process on my family. And the September. But we we're able to to come up with a 2% because. Now because we think that we we can't do it but because it's what we needed or to continue to move accounting for a panic. And when you when you earn formulating. That that kind of increase obviously you know immediately when it does come out you will be. New he'll be criticize us because any time taxes drop the peoples that they don't really think about what you just said that. The amount they think about. There they go again why why can't they and listen the question we hear all the time someone asked you should. Why can't you cut more things instead of raising. People's taxes. I'd fully appreciate dad here's where I was sick we've cut and we've cut and we could and we talked about how we cut our our work for staff from 2000 on the fifteen under continuing to cut everywhere we possibly can't. But things go to psych anybody who runs a house on those things go. This year and twenty eighteenth. We have 700000 dollars increases for health care okay that's there's nothing we can do on that that's an increase for health care that's in the amount of money that we have to play. There's a million dollar increase for pension for now. The pension fund is not something that I'm dead I'm thrilled to be able to put general fund monies in there. But the situation is is that we made a promise to those individuals that there will be a tension and then they continue to paint that pension debt when they retire they'll be able to collect a pension. And we made a promise of those individuals that we have to upkeep that promise. This was really a a reaction. Sued to. Losing those employees good news we cut payroll. We cut those 500 employees and use those individuals paid 5% of salaries and the pension fund every single year. So now without those that 5% we got to come up with that extra funding to get in. Our pension is currently about 75% funded and that's pretty good. And we don't wanna go anywhere near. We don't go anywhere lesson and I sit on the retirement or install something that. Now we take lightly. In addition to that we 600000 dollars. In in union guarantees contractual races as well as merit. For not ripping of individuals. So I'm at 2.3 nine to do anything yet. Well I I sear issue here and I see your trouble now you have these. Contractually. Obligated raises for employees and then. I saw some of the the boo birds come come out for merit raise your races and what the methodology. On on the evaluation for employees for merit raises and what is the in the range of phrases. What we're looking at. A maximum of 3% for any non rep individual over that decision will be a total in the budget of 2018 of a 163000. Dollars total. Silicon that. A complete budget of appears over a 140 million dollars. Talking about for non rep individuals a 163000. Dollars Ellis here's what comes down to the evaluations America. I could very easily come in and say everybody is 2%. If you work for us on January 1 of when he AT congratulations here's your race but that's not how we should do thinks that's not power corporation short run that's not how we should be working here or we should be doing is rewarding. Our good employees and the ones who aren't carrying the water needs though. This is not this is this at this bill. Not be there for you. Now listen are represented individuals they get raises every single every single year. But are not our individuals dealing get raises from 2008. To 2016. There's no race in 2070. And now looking due 3% raise based upon merit in twenty teens so sue. Il those individuals I get an understanding. Of staff for our people here promising he'll listen when it comes down to non rip individuals mccombs on anybody. If somebody works a job for ten years. You get two races and at ten years based upon merit would you be happy with that. What we're giving our non rep individuals I understand is tied up there if you understand that but we're talking about 3% wins based upon people who do a good job as based upon merit. Not just whether or not whether you were reports or not would do it is a right way for the first time. How how is at a valuation on so were reviewed evaluation with our department has it's a comprehensive evaluation with human resources. He goes to the division had a level which is eight division has. Right trophy below me and I'll have the final say on that determination. Now we're gonna review what they did in their in their year how did they hire what was their accomplishments today stay within their budget how to rework these things. All of those things come into play. We got to run this thing like a corporation to a certain extent people say governments should be brown like a business you know I I disagree with a lot of that statement but there are certain things have to be done. We have to look at every single contract and we hacks to. Support our individuals and we have to do on specific job evaluations detention Spiegel on kettle. All right David padres' here we have that with Lucerne county manager David D'Andrea NW I'll say here's a couple questions for you. Who runs the pension plan what company. We have a we employee. Working with us for the retirement funds as well as. Our broker is riches story. As well. Impact. That this is one that you and I talked about but not on here and a lot of people were obviously irate and dubious at the same time how come to count me. And death thousands of dollars of unpaid water bills for leak on their fountain in the water companies threatens to shut off my water for an outstanding balance of. Eighty dollars yet this one it drove me nuts to a mock Al idea what happens is we turned the water frowned on in 2015. Something happens where the into the water continues to run during that entire time period here. Oh there water companies pass on C. About a monthly payment. So they were looking at them every month leave the EP dismount this amount this amount this mount. And all of us and they came out to look at the monitor after months of this thing movement and we get in 95000 dollar bill. So obviously. It is I'm not can measure the time but I'm incensed and I am on everybody's really nervous about this and so we sat down with a while our company and reasonable you've used 9000 honest with the water. And and I said hey listen you should be checking us every other month and that's your fall and went back and forth the whole thing and we have to come up with it a settlement of 45000. Ellis and I'm not thrilled about it either I again but. What we half we have a water bill for this amount of money and we know we got to pay at some point we enter into a reasonable agreement with everybody. I'm not a body I fully get it I will tell you this we pulled the meter off without a but the water I'm not interested in doing that have interest in Portland this company's time soon with the guards are fountain. There we have to look at see how that found works. But this is what we got. And we made determination as to how we pay that with. After team so shale fonts. As opposed to catch after it was recreational and corrected the state every year provides us with just over. Between to a 300000 dollars or recreational funds which we utilized for a black fly sprained. As some other things as well palm and UB and use it firms for that to a year. That water and into the pipes like editor my ass in the lives there and it's been signal is out there at the millennium circle. It's odd to me that nobody would be aware wealth. This and I'm not gonna get into personnel issues regarding individuals who were involved there I was in at the county did did it it it ran. We got that giant bill and we it was negotiate down I'm not told about either I get it believe me but we've taken steps to kind of hopefully to close up onto Aaron I'll last year. There was. A suggestion and we we talk about the soft fair budgets it's terribly. Amusing to me that people did go. Me and I call myself Imus when you you suggested last year that there would be a five dollar. Fees for every vehicle owned by a county resident everybody went. But Nan as sure and they sort of a torrent the fact that there is also a tax increase they were. They they've put that off but they went more easy over the Specter of a five dollar. Vehicle fee and I didn't think that was a very good idea that you explained to me why that was proposed obviously was taken off the table but to do go through the last. Sir listen comes down to that that site ars goes directly to carry Rosenberg is okay we have a 127 miles a rose an average 300 bridges in Lucerne county. I've been told that there are 600 counting on bridges in the entire commonwealth of Pennsylvania and we on 300 or so literally if someone wants to buy a bridge I will give him a bridge. Anytime they want it. But we have to take care of these rows we got to hear these bridges. These state put forth an opportunity to say if he had an extra five Garza registration. Every two car owner will be able to pay into. The defiant here and that goes drift into the county roads and bridges. The way I saw the street today the truth was it hits the homeowner and he's the renter. Deal of time and time again to go back to home or packed the business owner backed the property on time and time again. And this is the one feet I was it policies that he listened to everybody was our county where the or homer enough. People were obviously very upset by how surprised by reaction it is true I I I personally didn't think it was. That that incredible and ask instead of 36 dollars and 41 dollars now under on your on your bill. But people were very incensed about it and we have a report off the table now since then a bunch of other counties have taken under control I think this just in between carries right now. I had a five dollar fee including gas local count as a fanatic. Our neighbors itself. That was becomes widely acceptable is that a possibility it might be accepted here by the people who just obstinate about everything probably not listen I'm businesses this action reaction is going to be a county council what are they wanna do with it about the in that category well I mean it's it's. People think campaign this is the last guy and I'll explain it. You're paying the registration fee for your vehicle if you have a truck it's even more. Pennsylvanians are paying an extraordinary. Asked capture people thought this was just piling on yes. It seems that in at one time I do I gather for the five dollars I I fully understand that when you look at we got up people is Rosa bridges and again phone calls from people. Listen we're we're finally able to us to paced chase wrote Alan Jackson township thousand people were concerned about that. You know that's port those findings were ago in order to take care of these Rosa bridges which is not something we take lightly. How how is it that that. County road conceded to him in Jack's attention to everything of trying to get some of these municipalities detector rows back boys have not a but. The only mister Talley is our interest in and working with us so far cigar December bridges are Butler township and black creek township we've taken two bridges. Come off the county's but really what we're looking to do with some rather rose. Is getting him up to a high level fixing them and then hopefully turning them over to their mr. powers for their upkeep on their conveyor control from there. But innocent rows are expensive. I'm I'm thrilled about the 2000 jobs coming into Hanover industrial park on north point development and chewy dot com or there. Something that we have worked with from Boyd before it differ shovel in the ground we work with those guys and I'm I'm really thrilled that 2000 jobs are coming to Hanover industrial park. What do we have here we got county roads leading into the Hanover industrial park so now I'll work with Hanover township and the developers and the private -- to say he listened. We got 2000 cars come in and out here we got trucks and a 24 hour day services. What are we gonna do to make sure that that's there everybody sees economic development is a different way with regards to government my personal. Thoughts on this is economic development should be. The government supports the private entity. And think it's either way. So should be us to support them giving them the rose in giving them the ability to it to work with us and they gained him out of the way when people go to work every single Jane safe and secure manner. David factors accounting manager we'll talk about the do things in the court house that is does. While there's a huge project gone on their right now I saw the other day in person in this very impressive but it does cost money. They'll talk about why it was time to do that and we'll talk about the county website date Patri is here the county manager loser uncanny I was in the courthouse on Friday and then you can't help but notice the scaffold rain and all of the activities that have to do with project I'd I guess it was time to do some renovations on the court asked that is a beautiful building back. And had some structural issues. Church 2009. I was last similar to this rotunda which is the outs outside their own time that. But time and time again the that the beautiful. Murals were damaged. By by water there is a large amount believe or not tobacco and nicotine damaged as people smoke to the courthouse up until late eighties. Eat all these things come into play and we only have one chance to keep this building this building is really just a beautiful. Once in a lifetime building as. I'm believe lead built right here on books for Pennsylvania if you have been to a chorus recently please. Take it upon yourself to do it right I'm so lucky to be able working as building every scene Wednesday night I keep I've locked in. And do this to the garage the parking lot and a safe while the look at this thing and it's it's it's marble it's gorgeous and it should be differ children should be there for our grandchildren. And we got to take care of it and when all these murals world before on Dennis plaster actually far from the roof and it was a netting. Across the rotunda Lucerne county courthouse from 2009. Until 2017 and we got take care of what we have this is that the last beautiful billing that we have here in the county. And now we need to make sure we take care so I asked Carrie council for approval for a a giant renovation projects just two point one million dollars. For carry counsel on or two to allocate those funds from capital funds it's not something that days. Quickly did we went along with the a lot of a lot of options with it. But I am very very pleased with that the results just even so far we did also received two grants about 200000 dollars I'll continue to look at whatever we can be doing. Once you come into that building you'll be able to see. How beautiful this rotunda should be and we open and a step projects on in March 20 team. Certainly during me now what was it during the depression where they didn't had some works prod. Works. The work projects you know those girls get a part of what happened Soria did a lot has been in a beautiful murals mean that was built in 1907 and the marble and these murals and did meet once a lifetime. Opportunities to to to really truly take care of these things and do things her way in so this amiga days from all over the nation we got. Two bidders who are probably the top two bidders in the entire renovations. Been on this and we were able to select John canning. & Associates. They've been now working diligently every single day. Look at the south entrance of the courthouse that's that's right as you come in. From the street John river street he come in there. Just what they've done there we used as a power project has been. As has been pretty impressive in the sixties some Kent County commissioners decide to paint the ceiling to repeat. I don't know why they did it any tougher stance so they painted date he took away all the color of an attic color and it took away from the girls. But. In our or were the game things on on the on the path yourself. Oh come march come in. And and take a tour and if you get a chance to going towards loser county courthouse at least takes him Shawn to serve from judge Hughes department is phenomenal tours. Tony Brooks from from Wilkes-Barre city council. It gives phenomenal towards as well I did a couple of.