Parkland Press

Sunday, August 19, 2018

New voting machines included in capital plan

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County commissioners have given preliminary approval for the 2019-23 Capital Plan, which calls for a five-year expenditure of $129,107,334.

The first reading of the plan passed 8-0. Commissioner Brad Osborne was absent from the July 25 meeting.

Some big-ticket expenses being funded in 2019 include replacement of the voting system at $3,500,000; the Coplay to Northampton Bridge at $5,000,000; and courthouse upgrades at $1,060,000.

Nonprofits in pipeline to receive grants

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

The Pennsylvania Music Preservation Society will likely receive a $2,000 grant, $3,000 less than the newly formed nonprofit had requested from the county.

Lehigh County commissioners approved a motion to amend the bill to reduce the original $5,000 to $2,000.

At the previous meeting, during the first reading of the bill, Commissioner Percy Dougherty opposed the idea of giving $5,000 saying other deserving organizations which have been operational for many years were only getting $2,000.

The bill is expected to be voted on again at the next commissioners’ meeting.

Worker opposed to union dues withdrawal

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

It’s not often that U. S. Supreme Court decisions are cited in the chambers of the Lehigh County Commissioners, but county employee Francisco Molina did exactly that June 27 when he addressed the board during the public comment part of the agenda.

Medina, who has work for the county since 2004 and for the Lehigh County Office of Children and Youth since 2006, said he does not want the county to provide his banking information to Service Employees International Union so the union can automatically withdraw union dues from his bank account.

Grant for LGBT center falls through

Thursday, June 21, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

A $5,000 grant to the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center fell through June 13 when the one of the sponsors of the bill, Amy Zanelli, abstained from voting.

She then watched the votes split between the remaining eight commissioners, 4-4.

Zanelli commented on her abstention.

“I volunteer for, contribute to, and benefit from the Bradbury-Sullivan Community Center,” Zanelli said. “I will abstain.”

Lehigh County commissioners honor Boy Scouts

Thursday, May 31, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Two Boy Scouts — Tyler Timothy Prehl and Ben Heintzelman — were honored by Lehigh County commissioners May 9 in resolutions commending them for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

Heintzelman is a member of Boy Scout Troop 261 in the Minsi Trails Council. His Eagle Scout project was to design and construct a woodshed for firewood storage at Ziegels Union Church, Breinigsville.

Prehl is a Parkland High School student with a 4.4 GPA. He will attend West Chester University with a full scholarship this fall.

Partisanship foils county commissioners’ agenda

Thursday, May 3, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County commissioners had some political moments Wednesday as agenda items were floated, then after sharp questioning by fellow commissioners, sank beneath increasingly turbulent political waters.

A tax rebate proposed by board President Marty Nothstein never made it to a vote because it wasn’t seconded in the Finance Committee, where it came under bipartisan criticism.

Commissioners reject LCA charter extension

Thursday, April 19, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Authority’s effort to have its charter extended 50 years collapsed April 11 when Lehigh County commissioners voted 6–3 to reject a proposed amendment to LCA’s articles of incorporation.

The decision seemed to catch LCA CEO Liesel M. Gross by surprise.

Gross had spoken to commissioners in support of the resolution.

“I want to know the path forward,” Gross said to commissioners following the vote to deny the amendment extending the water and sewer authority’s charter.

School safety issues:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

‘We need to put our money where our mouth is’

Lehigh Valley politicians, school superintendents, law enforcement, an advocacy group, and high school students came together for a discussion on school safety March 1 at PBS 39’s studio.

Representatives from the National Rifle Association declined to attend the forum in Bethlehem, even though they were invited, according to host and moderator Tracy Yatsko.

Yatsko conducted the forum with high schoolers asking questions, and panelists answering questions.

KidsPeace Psychiatric Hospital, Orefield, was an event sponsor.

Anti-discrimination wording in contracts concerns Zanelli

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Business as usual hit a speed bump on Feb. 27 when Lehigh County commissioners attempted to approve a couple of routine professional services contracts.

Commissioner Amy Zanelli objected to the boilerplate anti-discrimination provisions of two proposed agreements — one with Election IQ LLC and another with Alfred Yacoub Esq., for professional services with the county.

Article By: Douglas Graves Special to The Press

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Business as usual hit a speed bump on Feb. 27 when Lehigh County commissioners attempted to approve a couple of routine professional services contracts.

Commissioner Amy Zanelli objected to the boilerplate anti-discrimination provisions of two proposed agreements — one with Election IQ LLC and another with Alfred Yacoub Esq., for professional services with the county.