Lehigh County Board of Commissioners conducted routine business Dec. 12, approving the appointment of Kyle A. Russell to the position of warden of the county jail. At a previous meeting, the board signaled approval of the appointment by voting for Russell’s appointment in a preliminary or first hearing vote.
Sarah Andrew was reappointed to the Aging and Adult Services Advisory Council, while Patrick Palmer was appointed to the council. The votes were unanimous by those present. Commissioner Percy Dougherty was absent.
In a party-line 6-3 vote Nov. 14, Lehigh County Board of Commissioners overturned county Executive Phillips Armstrong’s Oct. 31 veto of the proposed 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 mills Armstrong wanted.
Lehigh County Board of 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.”
On Aug. 31, Lehigh County Board of Commissioners, officials and residents received their first look at the proposed budget for 2019 when Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong presented his first budget since assuming office.
After a visual presentation of supporting charts and documents, Armstrong gave the hefty 488-page budget to Commissioner Dr. Percy Dougherty.
To make the proposed $506.1 million budget (themed “Back to the Future”) balance, Armstrong resurrected the 2015 millage rate of 3.79.
It’s not often U.S. Supreme Court decisions are cited in the chambers of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners, but county employee Francisco Molina did exactly that June 27 when he addressed the board during the public comment portion of the agenda.
Molina, who has worked 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 for automatic withdrawals of union dues from his bank account.
A $5,000 grant to the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center fell through at the June 13 Lehigh County Board of Commissioners meeting when 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.”
After hearing objections to extending the charter of the Lehigh County Authority, Lehigh County Board of Commissioners, on the advice of county Director of General Services Richard Molchany, passed a resolution March 28 to schedule an information-gathering hearing before the next regular meeting.
“There are some scary numbers here,” commissioners President Marty Nothstein said in support of Molchany’s suggestion.
“We need to take as long as necessary,” Commissioner Amy Zanelli said. “I’m not going to rush this kind of decision.”
Local 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.
National Rifle Association (NRA) representatives declined to attend the forum in Bethlehem, even though they were invited, according to host and moderator Tracy Yatsko. An empty chair on the stage represented the absent pro-gun organization, Yatsko said.
“Please know that I am so very humbled that the voters trusted me to manage our county over the next four years,” said new Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong, addressing a crowd of county officials, politicians or their representatives and other guests Feb. 22 during his State of Lehigh County address.
Armstrong, speaking at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, introduced his remarks by assuring the attendees that he and his administration are interested in putting progress over politics.
The soldiers in Lehigh County’s fight against the opioid crisis just got some sharp, new teeth that will allow them to attack a major source of the problem — the drug manufacturers.