It's happened again. A Ten Commandments plaque has mysteriously disappeared from Northampton County Council's chambers. Council member Mat Benol, who placed it on a wall behind his seat July 1, noticed it was missing at the Aug. 6 meeting. He reported the loss to his fellow council members at the conclusion of business.
This is the second time that a Ten Commandments plaque has vanished from NorCo Council chambers.
Northampton County's Community Investment Partnership Program (CIPP) was just announced in January, but is going full speed ahead. Executive John Brown plans to use table games revenue from the Sands Casino for a variety of grants and revolving loans, with an emphasis on its aging boroughs and townships.
Northampton County Council learned at its Aug. 5 what to expect from the proposed PennEast Pipeline, which would run through Northampton County.
David Messersmith, of Penn State Extension and a Governor Wolf appointee to the Pa. Pipeline Infrastructure Taskforce, presented council with information regarding the proposed pipeline which would transport natural gas a distance of 105-miles from Wilkes-Barre to Trenton, New Jersey.
Bethlehem Attorney Christopher T. Spadoni wants a judge to order Northampton County Executive John Brown to follow through on a 4.5 percent raise to 15 County workers that Brown requested and ouncil unanimously approved April 16. Spadoni, a former Bethlehem city council solicitor and assistant county solicitor, filed what is known as a mandamus action on behalf of employees who work in the offices of magisterial district judges. A mandamus is filed to compel public officials to do what they are required by law to do.
About 50 people attended the July 20 meeting of Bethlehem Township's Board of Commissioners to complain about raging stormwaters that periodically turn the township into the Venice of the Lehigh Valley. But Sean Delonas was there for something completely different: Bamboo.
During the last primary election, Bethlehem Township Commissioner Michael Hudak actually took to Facebook to deride three of his colleagues seeking re-election. His opponent, Tom Nolan, was forced out as president. The members of this divided board may not be sending each other Christmas cards this year, but at their July 20 meeting, they unanimously agreed that it's time to do something about the township's stormwater problem before the whole township is washed down the Lehigh River or ends up in Freemansburg.
Bethlehem's Zoning Hearing Board breezed through four appeals at the July 22 meeting with Gus Loupos, who had just celebrated his 80th birthday, back at the helm. He was sidelined in June by a minor medical issue, but is back with his usual disarming charm and pragmatism. This is always appreciated by nervous zoning applicants.
Among the matters considered by Northampton County Council at their July 16 meeting was a Seth Vaughn and Ken Kraft ordinance to call on voters to decide whether council members could change their title to commissioners. That was tabled. So was a Seth Vaughn and Mat Benol ordinance that would ban smoking anywhere on county property, even on a rowboat in the middle of Minsi Lake.
Council also refused to tinker with a resolution unanimously adopted in April, granting a 4.5 percent raise to some clerical workers. Executive John Brown called it a scrivener's error.
"Sally," a 53 year-old pink firetruck dedicated to raising awareness of women's health issues, was dedicated during a brief ceremony at SteelStacks recently. Though no longer making fire calls, this vehicle will now make home visits to women battling illness.
As Lehigh Valley Pink Heals founder Bill Andress explained, Sally recently visited a woman battling cancer in Nazareth, at the lead of a procession of volunteer firefighters who provided flowers, hugs and hope.
Traditions of America, one of the most successful developers of active senior communities, have plans for one in Bethlehem Township. It has an agreement with Green Pond Country Club to build a 256-home gated community right next to the Green Pond Marsh, which has been designated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a wetland.