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.
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.
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.
The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners approved an amendment Dec. 13 to the county’s administrative code to require the county executive to provide an electronic copy of the annual budget.
The amendment was sponsored by Commissioners Amanda Holt and Michael Schware and is designed to give the commissioners more time to consider the annual budget between the time they receive it and the time they have to vote.
The commissioners also approved an amendment allowing them to have a say in the choice of health insurance providers.
Gretchen Naso, a principal officer from RKL LLP, briefed Lehigh County Board of Commissioners on a five-year financial forecasting model developed for aid in future planning at the Nov. 21 meeting. Naso’s plan analyzed the county’s finances for the last five years to give the borough an idea of how financial decisions today may affect the future.
“One of our goals was to allow commissioners to take the financial information that’s out there and kind of distill it until it becomes more manageable,” Naso said.
Lehigh County residents got mostly good news from Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller Aug. 31 when he unveiled his budget proposal with no tax increase for 2018.
Muller presented his fiscal plan at Cedarbrook nursing home, which is owned by the county. A small crowd, comprised mostly of county staff, politicians, local township officials and residents of the nursing home, attended.
This would be the fourth consecutive year the current administration has delivered a proposed budget with no tax increase, according to Muller.
Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller delivered the much-anticipated operational analysis for the Cedarbrook Nursing Home to the Lehigh County Committee on Cedarbrook Aug. 9. The analysis, done by Good Shepherd, presents options and their costs so the commissioners can better judge how to spend money on the two-campus facility.
Lehigh County Commissioner Brad Osborne expressed frustration at what he sees as slow progress on decisions concerning the 370-bed Cedarbrook Nursing Homes. According to Osborne, a much-anticipated operational analysis for Cedarbrook — which has been two years in the making — was delivered to Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller July 21. However, according to Osborne, Muller sent commissioners an email indicating he does not plan to forward the report until the Aug. 23 board meeting.
Osborne would like to see it sooner.
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners had a second reading of the $133,755,495 Lehigh County capital plan for 2018-22 and then passed several motions to amend the bill at its July 12 meeting. The capital plan, according to explanatory text in the ordinance, “is a policy statement only and is in no way to be construed as a budget or an appropriation.” A vote on the capital plan will be held at the next meeting July 26.
“The capital plan kind of kicks off the budget season,” Commissioner Michael Schware said in an interview.