Lehigh County will lease a portion of St. John’s United Church of Christ in Coopersburg for the purpose of establishing a Senior Center. The new center will occupy 1,300 square feet in the back part of the church and will include a kitchen.
The lease will include 50 parking spaces and access to public bathrooms.
In other business, Commissioners approved appointments of Kathryn E. McAuley and Lucas Gordils-Molina to the Aging and Adult Services Advisory Council. Also appointed to the Council were John Teufel, Sarina Vas and Grace Chehound Vengelo.
Friends, family and a general sense of euphoria filled the hearing room; the atmosphere promised a bright future. The Democrats took official control of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners on Jan 6 in a swearing-in ceremony officiated by The Honorable Edward D. Reibman, the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County.
The newly reorganized Board of Commissioners led by President Amy Zanelli (Democrat) quickly went through a short agenda Jan. 8.
One of its first acts was to start a roll back of the method that the previous Republican led Board had adopted which put part-time Commissioners in the negotiating room with the professional staffers as they negotiated contract for labor contracts.
At Bethlehem City Council’s reorganization meeting Jan. 7, incumbent President Adam Waldron was reconfirmed 4–3 for a second term as president of the seven-member council. He defeated the other nominee for the office, Councilwoman Olga Negrón.
Negron’s candidacy for the position was encouraged by over 20 speakers who unsuccessfully urged council members to vote for Negron. Each speaker in support of Negrón got a smattering of applause at the conclusion of their remarks.
According to organizer Myrna Rivera, 500 children came to see Einstein the Snow Camel and to get presents from the Three Kings at a special celebration at SteelStacks on Jan. 5 in South Bethlehem.
Besides seeing Einstein, the kids all got to meet the Three Kings and receive a gift.
In Puerto Rico, Epiphany is a festive holiday commonly called Dia de Los Tres Reyes Magos, or Three King’s Day. Children traditionally leave a box of fresh grass or hay under their beds for the Wise Men’s camels.
The Environmental Advisory Board welcomed four volunteers as council appointees at the Dec. 7 meeting: Lynn Freyman Rothman, Elizabeth Behrend, Elisabeth Chichonski, Benjamin Guthrie, and Benjamin S. Felzer.
Ann McHale was appointed to the Bethlehem Revitalization and Improvement Authority.
Council will hold its reorganization meeting Monday, Jan. 6 at which times council officers will be elected.
Lehigh County Commissioners appointed Heidi Baer as a member of the board of directors for the Lehigh County Housing Authority, an unpaid position, Dec. 11. Baer is from North Whitehall Township.
The county has restored $100,000 for expenses it had expected to need following a suit that sought to remove the Christian cross from its official seal. It has since won on appeal, and so the predicted expenses never arose, and the money was moved back to the Stabilization Fund Balance. Final approval is expected at the next regular meeting.
Bethlehem does not have a process by which a disgruntled employee or whistleblower can, without fear of reprisal, report what he or she may consider a crime or inappropriate act. At least if they do, the Mayor’s Office has declined to discuss the matter with the Press. When one or more City employees wanted to make a complaint earlier this year, they apparently took it to City Councilman Bryan Callahan.
“You guys are awesome!” said Mike Drabenstott when addressing the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners Nov. 26. Drabenstott is the Chairman of the Board of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. He was thanking the Lehigh County Commissioners for their support.
Chief Clerk for Registration and Elections Timothy Benyo told commissioners the additional privacy screens and booths are planned for future elections. Lack of privacy was one of the major complaints heard from voters after the last election.