The Lehigh County Commissioners passed an amended version of the county executive's budget at their meeting Oct. 24.
The amendment directed the county executive to reduce county spending on personnel by $5 million, and turned a $6.5 million one-time tax credit into a reduction of the millage rate by a percentage that would decrease county revenue by $5 million. The remaining $1.5 million will remain as a tax credit.
Commissioners Vic Mazziotti, Scott Ott, Lisa Scheller, Michael Schware and Thomas Creighton III voted in favor of the amended budget.
Following a three-hour hearing Oct. 25, Hanover Township's Zoning Hearing Board has denied Chef Joseph Jurkivo's request to allow seasonal outdoor seating at That's Amore, a gateway to Hanover Township located on Schoenersville Road. Two ZHB members, Chairman Paul Balla and Joseph Bednarik, rejected Jurkivo's argument that outdoor seating on an adjoining lot was a permissible accessory use. A third ZHB member, Joan Rosenthal, dissented.
In zoning, an accessory use is one that is customarily incidental and accessory to the principal use, such as a shed at a residence.
While searching for a hot meal on the Southside Thursday afternoon, I ran into a buddy who said his power had been restored Tuesday. When I finally got my phone recharged, another friend sent me a text message stating he'd never lost power at all.
Tina Kowalski, owner of the Funhouse bar on Fourth Street, was trying to find a liquor store that was still open so she could restock. She also said several massive old pine trees had collapsed in her yard at home and she wasn't sure if her insurance would help pay for their removal.
How did Northampton County weather, so to speak, Hurricane Sandy? Emergency Management Services Director Bob Mateff provided county council with an answer at its Nov. 1 meeting. This sparsely attended meeting started just moments after power was restored to the county courthouse.
Although details are still under wraps, Hanover Township Manager Jay Finnigan is well on his way to producing a no-tax increase budget for 2013. He made this announcement following a supervisors' meeting Oct. 23. If the supervisors adopt Finnigan's spending plan, it will be the township's sixth straight year without a tax hike. Supervisors will review it in more detail at their Nov. 13 meeting.
"I didn't get a raise?" joked veteran Supervisor Steve Salvesen.
"No," Finnigan somberly replied.
Hellertown Historical Society president Earl Hill asked borough council Oct. 15 to make what he argued are necessary changes to the Pony Bridge.
Hill's request involves extending a three-foot drainage pipe near the bridge, which would help to eliminate a larger drainage ditch that has become troublesome and dangerous to maintain.
"It's just a disaster for everyone," Hill said. "I just don't want anyone getting hurt."
The pipe, Hill said, would need to be extended 20 to 25 feet.
Candidates were asked to answer this question: What is the most pressing issue in this election and how do you plan to address it?
David Molony (R.)
Pennsylvania must change the way we pay for schools.
Property taxes devastate our communities, remove people on fixed income from their homes and kill small family farms. School taxes continue to rise even when people are vulnerable in economically stressful times.
Harrisburg promises "relief" and "reform" without a substance, but the changes are swamped by adjustments and new increases.
We need a new system.
Bethlehem Area School Board decided Oct. 15 to postpone a vote to expand a Southside Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance zone (LERTA) into the Bethlehem Center industrial site off Route 412 because developer Majestic Realty of California may not be offering work to local contractors.
A LERTA offers businesses incentive to operate locally by establishing an incrementally-rising tax payment over a decade, only at the end of which would the full tax payment be necessary.
The voter ID law did not pass for this election, but citizens are now seeing television and billboard ads that some say appear confusing.
The Department of State TV ads entreat citizens to proudly display their IDs, only to later qualify that doing isn't mandatory. The billboard ads proclaim in English and Spanish the slogan, "This Election Day, if you have it, show it." The emphasis seems to be on having ID to show, not on doing so being unnecessary.