Amy Trapp, who was approved as Northampton County’s director of Human Resources last October, is quickly proving herself to be one of Executive John Brown’s best picks. On April 6, council voted 8-0 to approve a major reorganization of her office so she could better serve the county worker. As she summed it up, “Employees in the county have not felt the effect of good services.”
Trapp told council that since Human Resources was first established in 1998, there has been no reorganization of the office, while the county’s workforce has grown to 2,200 managed by a staff of 13.
Physically, it would be hard to find two people more different than Northampton County DA John Morganelli and Representative Dan McNeill, (D-Pa.133rd). Morganelli is small in stature, but is a fearless prosecutor, with 25 successful homicide cases under his belt. McNeill is a tough former ironworker who dwarfs a podium. But he’s been deeply touched by the heroin epidemic ripping across the Lehigh Valley and the entire state.
A Lehigh Township day care has been ordered closed by the state Department of Human Services following the death of a 3-month-old child entrusted to its care.
According to reports, McKenna Rose Felmly was put down for a nap by a staffer at Sharon’s Day Care, Treichlers, and left alone while the staffer attended to other children. Twenty-five minutes later, the staffer returned to find the baby unresponsive.
The child was rushed to the hospital, but it was too late.
The Board of Commissioners met April 4, and in the course of about a half hour unanimously voted to spend $222,000 dollars and seek $273,611 in grants. The money spent was included in this year’s budget
$116,474 goes to Recon Construction for cold in place asphalt recycling to rehabilitate township roads. This was the lower of two bids. According to Township Manager Melissa Shafer, it’s $30,000 less than what was budgeted.
Northampton County Council voted 8-0 at its March 17 meeting to spend $101,240 with Timothy Haahs and Associates for architectural and engineering services at the courthouse parking deck. Cost of the actual renovations, once the work starts, is unknown.
Northampton County’s parking deck, first built in 1975, is already well beyond its projected 30-40 year lifespan. In 2008, former Executive John Stoffa proposed a new parking facility, but scrapped that idea in favor of renovations when bids for a facelift came in lower than expected.
On April 5, at the Steelworkers’ Hall in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne conducted the third of seven “listening” forums planned across the state to gather ideas for the 2016-20 State Plan on Aging. About 30 people attended, and the big surprise was just how little older Pennsylvanians know about what services are available to them.
Two Traditions of America (TOA) communities for active seniors are located in Hanover Township. Only four homes are left in its newest development on Bridle Path Road. Its 241-home Jaindl Boulevard project has been complete for several years. About 10 of these Jaindl residents massed before Hanover Township Supervisors at their March 22 meeting to complain about the warehouses across the street.
Bethlehem resident Doug Lander spoke at the March 21 Bethlehem Township commissioner’s meeting concerning “more and more vandalism” that he and his wife have noticed during the past two months at Housenick Park. Although the mansion has been boarded up, he said that gives it an “abandoned and neglected look.” He added that there are huge sinkholes near a parking lot that was just completed for the park, and suggested that security cameras need to be installed.
Lander and his wife noticed vandalism while walking at the park the previous weekend.
Preserving a historic landmark - Zoners approve plans for South Bethlehem’s Wilbur Mansion, apartment building
Following a lengthy hearing attended by about 30 people March 23, Bethlehem’s Zoning Hearing Board voted 4-0 to approve a series of dimensional variances that will allow developers John Noble and Bob Ashford, with no government assistance of any kind, to preserve and rejuvenate the historic Wilbur Mansion that serves as a gateway to South Bethlehem.