LEHIGH COUNTY COMMISSIONERS Lehigh County executive tasked with seeking new Cedarbrook management company
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners want county Executive Tom Muller to fish for proposals for the management of Cedarbook Nursing Home, Allentown.
The board passed a resolution at its Jan. 15 meeting requiring Muller to seek out a new management company.
The proposal requires Muller to submit a recommendation to the board by May 13. The county's contract with LW Consulting expires June 30. LW Consulting currently manages Cedarbrook operations.
Muller, however, is at odds with the board's request.
The Jan. 9 Lehigh County Board of Commissioners reorganization meeting may have lasted only nine minutes, but the commissioners accomplished their goal of electing a new board leader for 2015.
Commissioner Brad Osborne was unanimously appointed to serve as chairman for 2015 during the meeting.
Osborne replaces former chairwoman Lisa Scheller who served the board for two years.
Osborne said he is excited to serve as chairman and understands a great deal of trust comes along with the position.
Hellertown Borough Council recently passed new fees for garbage pick up. At the Jan. 5 meeting, council unanimously approved the new fee schedule for 2015.
According to the schedule, commercial businesses with 2-cubic-yard dumpsters will be charged $700 per year for pick up once a week; $1,050 for pick up twice weekly; and $1,400 for pick up three times per week.
Also, commercial businesses with 1.5 cubic yard Dumpsters will be charged $525 per year for pick up weekly. There will be an ncrease of $374 for the second collection and $112.50 for the third weekly collection.
The Saucon Valley School Board last month unanimously approved the hiring of Susan Mowrer-Benda as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
Mowrer-Benda, a native of the Lehigh Valley, currently serves as the director of elementary education for Bensalem Township School District. She replaces outgoing former Assistant Superintendent Carl Adkinson, who resigned in the summer.
"It's really been a goal for me to come back home," she told the board.
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners has decided to retain Magelian Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania, Inc. for one more year.
The board voted 7-0 Dec. 17 in favor of Magelian.
Lisa Scheller, chair of the board, said the citizens who have attended meetings to express concern with the current provider will benefit from the quality of services.
"The work advocates have done is going to lead to better outcomes," she said.
Scheller stressed a no vote would result in the board investing time in searching for a new provider.
Police departments in Lehigh County will soon be authorized to administer Naloxone.
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin announced the new initiative at a Dec. 22, 2014, press conference at the Whitehall Township municipal complex.
Funding for the program will be provided by Capital BlueCross, which will allow police departments to purchase Naloxone. The drug is used to stabilize individuals who have overdosed on drugs, including heroin.
Martin stressed the necessity and utility of the drug, citing 46 overdose deaths in Lehigh County through August 2014.
Lehigh County commissioners are not convinced of a possible renovation project at Cedarbrook Nursing Home, South Whitehall.
At the Dec. 10 meeting, the board rejected a $1.5 million-proposed project by a vote of 6-2.
Voting in support of the proposal were Commissioners Geoff Brace and David Jones Sr.
The board instead called for a study of the nursing home's financial condition before voting in support of the project.
County Director of General Services Rick Molchaney said he was disappointed by the decision.
Saucon Valley School District teachers at last month's meeting packed the board room to share with board members the difficulties of working without a current contract and pay increases.
Rich Simononis, Saucon Valley Education Association union negotiator, and high school teachers, demanded the board move to binding arbitration.
"It's proven tonight that the teachers and the school board have an adversarial relationship," he said. "We gave up $1 million in our contract proposal."
Three of Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller's six budget amendment vetoes have been overridden by the board of commissioners.
The commissioners met Nov. 5 to tackle the possibility of overriding all six of the executive vetoes.
The three amendments to will remain intact include using $1.25 million from the county reserve fund to reduce real estate taxes by $8, eradicating longevity pay for non-union county employees in 2015 and requiring the commissioners to offer insight before retaining the management company that currently runs Cedarbrook Nursing Home, Allentown.
The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners want free parking for visitors who attend commissioners meetings.
The board discussed the issue at the Nov. 12 meeting.
Some board members argued a fee of any sort is unfair to the community at large.
"They should be able to park for free," Commissioner Percy Dougherty said. "They should not have to pay $3, $10 or even one penny."