Northwestern Press

Thursday, December 14, 2017

County board briefed on financial forecasting model

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Gretchen Naso, principal officer of RKL LCC, briefed Lehigh County commissioners about a five-year financial forecasting model developed to aid in planning.

Naso’s plan, presented at the Nov. 21 meeting of the county board, analyzed Lehigh County’s finances for the last five years to give planners an idea of how financial decisions today may affect the future.

“One of our goals was to allow the commissioners to take the financial information that’s out there and kind of distill it until it becomes more manageable,” she said.

Lehigh County commissioners pass 2018 county budget

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County commissioners have passed the 2018 county budget with a 9-0 vote.

In a very short meeting with very little discussion on Oct. 30, lawmakers set the spending priorities for next year.

After the quick vote, they engaged in a general round of congratulatory exchanges and shared smiles.

The general mood of the lawmakers was epitomized by a comment made by Commissioner Percy Dougherty.

“Any budget without a tax increase is a good budget,” he said.

Two new commissioners-elect attend first meeting

Thursday, November 16, 2017 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

In a short meeting Nov. 8, Lehigh County commissioners approved some appointments, one bill and listened to complaints and suggestions from residents.

They also welcomed two commissioners-elect who won elections the night before.

Amy Zanelli, the new representative for District 3, which includes West Bethlehem, was there with her wife and children.

Zanelli will replace David Jones who will step down from the commissioner’s office.

Nathan Brown, representing District 5, which includes Emmaus, also attended.

County fights to retain cross

Thursday, November 2, 2017 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Commissioners have voted 7-1 to retain the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty as special counsel to represent the county in its appeal to retain the Latin cross in the Lehigh County seal and flag.

Minutes from a December 1944 Lehigh County Commissioners meeting state: “Underneath same and in center of Shield [Seal] appears the huge cross in canary-yellow signifying Christianity and the God-fearing people which are the foundation and backbone of our county.”

The 1944 minutes also give design credit for the seal to “County Commissioner Hertzog.”

No tax increase in proposed county budget

Thursday, September 7, 2017 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County residents received mostly good news from Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller Aug. 31 when he presented his proposed budget with no tax increase for 2018.

Muller presented his fiscal plan at the county-owned Cedarbrook nursing home, South Whitehall.

A small crowd comprised mostly of county staff, politicians, local township officials and numerous residents of the nursing home attended the news conference.

This is the fourth consecutive year the current administration has delivered a proposed budget with no tax increase, according to Muller.

Osborne concerned with slowness of decisions regarding Cedarbrook

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Commissioner Brad Osborne has expressed frustration at what he sees as slow progress on decisions concerning Cedarbrook Nursing Home.

According to Osborne, a much anticipated operational analysis, which has been two years in the making, for Cedarbrook, 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.

County board doles out casino funds

Thursday, July 20, 2017 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County 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 their July 12 meeting.

The capital plan, according to explanatory text, is a policy statement, not a budget or an appropriation.

A vote on the plan is expected July 26.

“The Capital Plan kind of kicks off the budget season,” Commissioner Michael Schware said in an interview.