Whitehall-Coplay Press

Monday, November 19, 2018

Amendment retains county millage rate

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Fiscal officer warns holding line now will bring higher tax increase later

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.”

County executive submits budget plan

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

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.

County commissioners hear from worker opposed to union dues withdrawal

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

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.

Allentown LGBT center grant falls through with 4-4 vote

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

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.”

Lehigh County Authority’s future in contention

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

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.”

PBS 39 hosts school safety talk

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in School

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.

Executive touts Valley economy

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

In first county address, Armstrong praises administration, businesses

“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.

County board votes to overturn veto regarding electronic copies of budget

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

At its Jan. 10 meeting, Lehigh County Board of Commissioners overrode a veto by former county Executive Thomas Muller that sought to undo the requirement that the county provide an electronic copy of Lehigh County’s annual budget.

Before the vote, the commissioners listened to Muller explain why he had vetoed the measure.

Outgoing county commissioners are honored

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Board of Commissioners President Marty Nothstein presented farewell plaques to outgoing Commissioners Thomas Creighton, David Jones and Michael Schware at the close of the meeting Dec. 20, 2017.

Creighton represented District 1, serving residents of Coplay and Slatington boroughs and Heidelberg, Lowhill, Lynn, North Whitehall, Washington, Weisenberg and Whitehall townships.

Marc Grammes won the seat in the November election, defeating Bob Elbich.