Nine candidates seek one of four seats on county board
There are nine candidates seeking election to four open seats on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners. Those elected on the Nov. 5 Municipal Election will serve a four-year term in office.
Candidates for Lehigh County commissioner were asked the following question: How do you plan on advocating for the senior citizen population if you are elected to the board of commissioners?
Dan Hartzell: Lehigh County engages in a kind of daily advocacy for seniors through the Department of Aging and Adult Services, which provides in-home care and helps evaluate seniors’ needs, connecting them with assistance offered by private agencies and other government programs.
But perhaps Lehigh County’s most important advocacy for seniors is represented by the two Cedarbrook nursing homes.
My top priority as a commissioner has been, and will continue to be, maintaining county ownership and operation of the homes.
The statewide trend has been toward selling county nursing homes to for-profit owners and operators, and I don’t consider that to be appropriate for this particular service.
We owe our seniors the loving care provided there, and our taxpayers the most efficient operation of the homes possible.
Zakiya Smalls: Regarding Cedarbrook, what I think is really important is the fact that it needs to remain a public facility.
The seniors living there should continue to receive the five-star quality care they have been receiving and in no way shape or form should that be compromised.
We need to continue to move forward with the renovations to accommodate their needs as well.
On a local level I want highlight one of the bigger issues at hand and that is higher social security for seniors.
The truth is the cost of living continues to rise but we are not seeing a rise in social security benefits.
I will advocate and put pressure on state and federal to raise social security so that our seniors may continue to live out the rest of their lives with dignity.
Dave Harrington: I plan on helping our senior citizen population through three policies. First, I will work with the state to find non-property tax revenue sources for Lehigh County.
Second, I will make sure that Cedarbrook does not get sold to private companies so we can continue with the excellent care.
Finally, I will work on ethics ordinances to give seniors peace-of mind that their government is working for them and not beholden to special interests.
Bob Elbich: The successful completion of the Cedarbrook renovation and its retention as a county owned resource will be the top priority for senior advocacy. Continued funding for the county wide senior centers will be next.
The 11 senior centers offer places for our seniors to meet, exercise, learn, and enrich their lives.
The county currently has a wide variety of services available to our seniors, but I suspect that many of our seniors do not realize the extent of the help that they can access, so I would advocate for an annual newsletter distribution to our county seniors to inform them.
Marty Nothstein: I have been a constant and ardent supporter of our senior citizen population in Lehigh County.
I helped lead a substantial investment for the expansion of Lehigh County‘s Cedarbrook Senior Care Center and that it continues to provide four star quality care.
I have been a champion for our Cedarview Apartments, making sure that the option to provide low cost housing for our most vulnerable seniors.
I also fully support the area agency on aging and have fought to keep taxes low for our seniors, making sure their hard earned dollars are spent wisely by county government.
If re-elected I will continue to produce the support and results that our seniors expect and rightfully deserve.
Brad Osborne: Living in our senior years can be both fun and challenging. Over the last eight years as a Lehigh County commissioner, I’ve supported cultural, charitable and recreational programs for citizens of all ages, as well as public transportation.
I will continue to make sure Lehigh County provides independent and assisted living choices for those who may need that.
And finally, as government officials, we must be particularly sensitive to the fact that many seniors live on a fixed income. I have resisted attempts to raise taxes on our most vulnerable citizens in their struggle to keep their head above water.
Antonio A. Pineda: Many politicians talk, but few propose real solutions that aid and protect our seniors.
I am eager to enact practical solutions that improve their lives.
To do this, we must listen to our seniors. We need to talk less and listen more. I’ll hold listening sessions with different groups throughout the county, including our seniors, in order to understand their concerns and challenges and to work together to best serve them. We must also ensure they can always afford to live here. This means keeping taxes low and keeping the county safe, among other priorities.
Dennis Nemes: Pennsylvania has the second largest population of senior citizens with only Florida having a greater number.
As a county commissioner I believe it is critically important to continue to provide services that are now in existence at Cedarbrook.
As a commissioner I would work hard to contain taxes that significantly impact senior citizens on fixed income.
I believe county leadership needs to work in a collaborative relationship with agencies that provide information and services to senior citizens.
We have an inherent responsibility to remain protective of our senior citizens who have served their communities and Lehigh County for many years.
Schutter: No response.