Lehigh County Commissioners on Sept. 26 in a first reading, or preliminary approval, voted 5 – 4 to hire the law firm Anapol Weis to serve as counsel for the county of Lehigh and “several other unnamed counties” to press the county’s goal of making much of the county’s older housing stock safe from lead poisoning..
Commissioners Dr. Percy Dougherty, Marty Nothstein, Amanda Holt and Brad Osborne, all Republicans, voted against the measure. Nathan Brown and Marc Grammes, also Republicans, voted for the measure, as did Democrats Geoff Brace, Amy Zanelli and Dan Hartzell.
If the low turnout of minimum wage workers supporting the rally to get Pennsylvania’s minimum wage up to $15 is an indicator of interest, then the issue is a ho-hum for the workers of Lehigh Valley. But to be fair, most minimum wage workers were probably hard at work at 11 a.m. Sept. 19. A lot of them were serving lunch to their more highly-paid customers at nearby downtown Allentown restaurants.
Lehigh Commissioners paid homage to one of the county’s most illustrious and highly respected citizens recently. Joseph R. Zeller, “statesman, patriot, and recipient of the Freedom Foundation Award” was honored on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Mr. Zeller’s birthday was Sept. 19.
In a special resolution, the commissioners thanked Zeller “for a lifetime of service to his community and his country.”
Magisterial District Judge Daniel Trexler, at a preliminary hearing on Thursday, sent, or “bound over” former South Whitehall Township police officer Jonathan Robert Roselle’s case to court. Roselle is charged with the voluntary manslaughter of Joseph Santos, reportedly from New Jersey.
A spokeswoman for the Lehigh District Attorney’s office said no trial date has been set at this time.
The hearing Sept. 20 was attended by the defendant, family members, reporters, legal staff, security staff and others.
Lehigh Commissioners paid homage to one of the county’s most illustrious and highly respected citizens on Wed. Joseph R. Zeller, “statesman, patriot, and recipient of the Freedom Foundation Award” was honored on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Mr. Zeller’s birthday is Sept. 19.
In a special resolution, the Commissioners thanked Zeller “for a lifetime of service to his community and his country.”
Lehigh Valley is on the verge of doing away with cash bail, if the enthusiasm level in the Lehigh County Commissioner’s chamber is a predictor. Proponents of the measure spoke Sept. 14 to what seemed to be a very supportive group of commissioners and county administrative officials.
Allentown resident Julie Thomases said, “We are here to make a case for doing away with cash bail for non-violent and low-risk offenders, as has Northampton County, Philadelphia and other counties, cities and states.
Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez responded to criticism of the apparent lack of enforcement of the new ordinance restricting the use of private residences as short-term rentals Sept. 18 at the city council’s meeting.
“Effective this weekend,” said Donchez, “there will be an increase in monitoring and enforcement of short-term lodging facilities throughout the city. We will now have on-call and proactive monitoring of our short-term lodging ordinance on Thursday and Friday evenings, as well as on Saturday and Sunday.”
Lehigh County Commissioners, officials and citizens got their first look at the proposed budget for 2019 last week when County Executive Phillips Armstrong presented his first budget since assuming office. After a visual presentation of supporting charts and documents, Armstrong gave the hefty 488-page budget to Commissioner Dr. Percy Dougherty.
To make the proposed $506.1 million budget (themed “Back to the Future”) balance, Armstrong resurrected the 2015 millage rate of 3.79 to meet projected needs. “This is the budget that meets the needs of the future,” said Armstrong.
Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong answered his own rhetorical question, “What Do My Lehigh County Tax Dollars Pay For?”
•Law and Order: Courts, Jail, District Attorney, Sheriff, Public Defender, Coroner
•Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation
•County Infrastructure including, parks, trails, the Velodrome and historic sites, Coca-Cola Park, Trexler Nature Preserve, emergency management, the 9-1-1 Center and farmland preservation
Two new ordinances were scheduled to be voted on by Bethlehem City Council Sept. 4 but one, an amendment to the fireworks ordinance was pulled to allow council to reconcile differences on the permitted hours for fireworks.
The second bill, a $2 million general obligation note for improvement at the Bethlehem Golf Club on Illicks Mill Road, got preliminary or first reading approval from the council, but over the objection of councilwomen Dr. Paige Van Wirt and Olga Negrón.