Three years ago today Montgomery County had a $96 million dollar surplus. Our employees were satisfied with their compensation and the way they were treated, and steadfastly rejected efforts to persuade them to join a union. Our government’s reputation was one of efficiency and strong Republican fiscal principles.
Faced with a clear choice in November 2007 Montgomery County voters rejected the proposals of Joe Hoeffel and Ruth Damsker to spend more, grow the government and make it more like Philadelphia. Voters wanted a government that lived within its means, made public safety a priority, supported education, and sound fiscal policies over big government “economic development” and deficit spending.
Three years ago today the voters wishes were rejected when Jim Matthews and Joe Hoeffel strode into the court house press room and announced they were forming an "unprecedented, bipartisan, governing coalition" to pursue the Hoeffel/Damsker agenda.
You can read a news account of this little slice of history by clicking here
You can read one of my favorite articles, a week later, when everything Jim said on December 18th turned out not to be true (big surprise, huh?) so he made up new excuses to try to explain why he sold out the voters and his principles. You can read this remarkable two step by clicking here
Three years after this “historic” alliance our county is broke, our employees are demoralized and have unionized, our economy is in the tank and our debt levels are at their highest levels in the county’s history. And that "unprecedented, bi-partisan governing coalition”? It seems it has fallen apart since now Matthews and Hoeffel can't agree on a budget for 2011 to pay for all of their programs and the very real possibility of a government shutdown looms.
This is the product of the happy union of Jim Matthews and Joe Hoeffel.
Happy Anniversary Joe and Jim!