Lehigh County commissioners have approved an amendment to modify the 2019 budget authorizing creation of a new job position — Director of Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation.
They needed the new slot so they can pay for a director to replace Good Shepherd Rehabilitation, which gave up the contract to manage the facility in South Whitehall. The annual salary for the position is $123,136.
In other business, commissioners commemorated the long service of Deputy Controller John A. Falk, who is retiring after almost 31 years.
Lehigh County commissioners have appointed Dennis Nemes to serve on the county board of elections.
Nemes, a former principal at Northwestern Lehigh High School, was later principal at Allentown Central Catholic High School.
He replaces Gail Coffin on the election board.
Commissioner Percy Dougherty was back in his seat after a hospital stay resulting from a fall at his home.
He had missed at least two meetings due to his accident and subsequent recovery time.
Lehigh County Commissioners set salaries for row officers at their Dec. 18 meeting.
Row officers are elected county officials such as the controller, clerk of judicial records, sheriff and coroner.
The new salary schedule provides for annual increases for each office of about $1,000 per year through 2023.
Commissioners also approved a lease by Adams Outdoor Advertising for an outdoor sign at 101-119 E. Hamilton St., Allentown.
Lehigh County commissioners approved leases of agricultural land to three farms during their Dec. 12 meeting.
Approval included a 10-acre plot east of Leaser Lake, Lynn Township, leased to LET Farms Inc., also known as Turner Farms, Mantz Road, Germansville. LET Farms will pay $650 per year for the lease.
Also leased were seven acres at the intersection of Broadway and Cedarbrook roads, South Whitehall Township, to Weinhofer Farms LLC of Whitehall.
“This evening represents what America has always stood for,” Dr. Nichola Gutgold said, as she opened the Oct. 4 program, Faces of Literacy at Muhlenberg College, Allentown.
“A nation built on the strength of immigrants, slaves, seekers, adventurers, hard workers and those willing to do what needs to be done to support their families, get ahead and to realize the American dream.
In a party-line 6-3 vote, Lehigh County commissioners overturned Executive Phillips Armstrong’s Oct. 31 veto of the 2019 budget.
Democrats Dan Hartzell, Amy Zanelli and Geoff Brace voted against the amendment which would have reduced the tax rate for county residents.
The Nov. 14 action effectively put to rest the disagreement about what the millage rate will be next year.
Commissioners approved a 3.64 millage rate marked down from 3.79 mils Armstrong wanted.
The hearing room was almost completely full, with some 38 residents and others attending the meeting.
Making good on a promise, Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong vetoed the proposed budget for 2019 on Oct. 31 because an amendment passed by county commissioners rolled back the millage rate from the proposed 3.79 mils to 3.64 mils.
Armstrong made the announcement in a special news conference at the county administration building attended by the press, members of the Armstrong administration, a couple of aspiring commissioners and Lehigh County Commissioner Amy Zanelli.
Armstrong warned against letting the commissioners’ amended budget harm the county’s bond rating.
Republican Lehigh County commissioners banded together forcing a tax cut commissioners on the other side of the aisle and county Executive Phillips Armstrong did not want and warned against.
The vote keeps real estate taxes at last year’s millage rate of 3.64, opposing the administration’s plan to raise the millage rate to 3.79 mills.
“It will be vetoed … as soon as it gets to my desk,” said Armstrong in an interview following the Oct. 24 board meeting.
The vote may be veto proof as Republicans control the board of commissioners.
Lehigh County commissioners passed an amendment to the 2019 budget that keeps the millage rate at 3.64, opposing the administration’s plan to raise taxes during a four-hour meeting Oct. 10.
The amendment, sponsored by Commissioner Brad Osborne, a Republican and recent contender for the office of Lehigh County executive, passed along party lines 6-3.
The amendment specifies the millage rate shall be reduced in an amount representing $4,448,840 in 2019 real estate tax value.
This equates to a millage reduction of 0.15 setting the millage rate at 3.64.
Lehigh County Commissioners gave a first reading to and voted 5-4 to hire the law firm Anapol Weis to serve as counsel for the county and “several other unnamed counties” to press the goal of making much of the county’s older housing stock safe from lead contamination.
Commissioners Dr. Percy Dougherty, Marty Nothstein, Amanda Holt and Brad Osborne, all Republicans, voted against the measure at their Sept. 26 meeting.
Nathan Brown and Marc Grammes, also Republicans, voted for the measure, as did Democrats Geoff Brace, Amy Zanelli and Dan Hartzell.