Thursday, April 4, 2013
The Lehigh Valley Tea Party will host candidates running for Northampton County executive and council on Friday.
Thursday, April 4
The Lehigh Valley Tea Party's monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Friday will include two programs at the Charles Chrin Community Center in Palmer Township. State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe will speak on proposed HB357 which would nullify any new federal gun control laws and make any attempt to enforce them a felony. Metcalfe will also discuss HB671—“Constitutional Carry.” Immediately after Metcalfe's presentation, those in attendance will have a chance to meet local candidates running in the May primary. The following candidates said they will attend: Please see details at www.lvtp.org
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
One candidate, a Lower Nazareth Township resident, has announced candidacy for Northampton County Council. Two other announcements planned.
The race for the Northampton County Council is heating up. Hayden Phillips, a Lower Nazareth Township resident running as a Republican, is seeking one of five "at large" council seats in the 2013 election, according to a press release. This is Phillips' first run for elected office. In his announcement, Phillips says "his training and experience will be a real asset in influencing the county’s budget process and monitoring its overall fiscal responsibility." During his professional career, the press release adds, Phillips "has mastered group facilitation, group dynamics and consensus building." These are skills he feels are important to council members as they work together as a team. An announcement was expected Wednesday afternoon from …
Friday, July 6, 2012
Northampton County Council says proposed Easton commuter tax is unfair to county workers.
Northampton County Council has approved a resolution asking the city of Easton to reject a proposed commuter tax. Easton hopes to use the money generated by the tax to pay its pension costs. But county officials say the tax -- which would levy a 1.75 percent fee to people who commute into, but don't live in, the city -- is unfair to county employees. "To tax employees for someone else's pension is a tough pill to swallow," said county Executive John Stoffa. County Controller Steve Barron said the tax would affect about 800 employees, and generate roughly $250,000. The resolution was proposed by Council President John Cusick, who lives in Williams Township. He said that earlier in the day, he'd been reading the Declaration of Independence…
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Northampton County Council is expected to vote on a resolution rejecting Easton's proposed commuter tax.
When Northampton County Council meets Thursday night, one of the things it's expected to vote on is a resolution condemning Easton's proposed commuter tax. As proposed by the city, the 1.75 percent tax will be imposed on anyone who works in the city but lives somewhere else. The city has said it needs to use the income generated from the tax to pay for rising pension costs*. The county's resolution argues that the tax is unfair to commuters "during the most difficult economic times in recent memory," and that it will drive companies away from Easton. The county isn't the first government body to speak out against the tax. Forks Township expressed its displeasure with the proposal back in April. *An earlier version of this story said the …
Friday, January 6, 2012
Advisers tell Northampton County Council it should pay $25 million to get out of bond refinancing deal.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Republican majority chooses Northampton County Councilman John Cusick as president for another year.
Reorganization doesn't seem to be simple, at least where Northampton County Council is concerned. Last year, Council President Ron Angle lost his seat after his fellow Republicans instead backed Councilman John Cusick. This year, Cusick kept his seat, but only after a challenge from council's Democrats on council that ended with a tie vote, causing council to put the meeting on hold until member Bruce Gilbert arrived to break the tie. Councilwoman Peg Ferraro -- who was re-elected Vice President without challenge -- nominated Cusick. Councilman Lamont McClure, a Democrat, was also nominated as president. The resulting 4-4 vote meant that council effectively had no president, and thus the meeting was put on hold until Gilbert arrived. But …
Friday, December 9, 2011
Fund balance will cover shortfall, controller says.
After weeks of wrangling, Northampton County Council finally passed the 2012 budget Thursday evening 6-3, according to an article in the Morning Call. Council members Barbara Thierry, Ron Angle and Bruce Gilbert voted against the budget, but after it was passed, Angle then made the motion to keep taxes flat. That move passed 8-1 with Councilwoman Peg Ferraro dissenting. A $3.6 million shortfall will be covered by the county's fund balance, estimated at $60 million by County Controller Stephen Barron. The agreement to leave taxes at the current rate of 10.8 mills came after the council voted for two amendments to the budget—$400,000 to preserve open space and another $25,000 buy a new vehicle for the district attorney's office. However, …
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Only 4 council members vote in favor of budget, which means another meeting next week, or an automatic 9 percent tax increase.
After more than two hours of discussion Thursday night, Northampton County Council tried, but failed, to adopt a budget for 2012. Council had spent much of the night hearing from residents on proposed budget amendments, debating spending cuts and arguing over salary freezes and increases. But when it came time to vote, only four council members said yes to County Executive John Stoffa's $331 million budget. "Yes, we have no budget," Council President John Cusick said minutes after the vote. Councilman Ron Angle -- who lost the presidency to Cusick at the beginning of the year -- told Cusick he should have worked harder with the rest of council to get the budget passed. "It was your job to produce this budget. You have failed," said Angle…
Friday, November 18, 2011
Northampton County's nursing home will get an additional $2.75 million to continue operating.
Northampton County Council has agreed to give the Gracedale nursing home an additional $2.75 million to fund it through the rest of the year. According to published reports, council voted 7-2 Thursday night to amend its budget, allowing the Upper Nazareth nursing facility to stay solvent. County budget director Doran Hammond, quoted in the Express-Times, says the money is needed to offset a decline in reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid due to lower number of residents at Gracedale. The Morning Call reports that council had listened to a presentation earlier in the day from Premiere Healthcare, the company hired by the county to run Gracedale. Premiere representatives gave council an assessment of the facility, and made a number of …
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
New members on Northampton, Lehigh county councils could save bi-county health effort.
Before the election, the Board of Health was nearing the completion of their final report on the Bi-County Health Department, and they will soon present their findings to the two counties' elected officials. At issue is whether their proposal should be tabled until the economy recovers or banished forever, and whether this should happen in an unaccountable lame-duck session or after the election winners are seated. While I'm sure the incumbents would like to have the final say on this, it would be more fair to wait until after the election winners are seated. There's no practical reason that the voters' political choices shouldn't register right away. State and federal legislators need time to hire staff and move into their offices, but …