Northwestern Press

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

County invests in fighting opioid crisis

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County officials recently introduced the newest initiative in their effort to meet the opioid crises plaguing county residents.

A new website was unveiled that shows parents how to look for drugs that may be hidden in a child’s bedroom.

Then county Executive Tom Muller introduced the topic, telling reporters gathered in a basement room of the administrative building the problem of opioid abuse in Lehigh County is rampant.

County invests in fighting opioid crisis

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County officials recently introduced the newest initiative in their effort to meet the opioid crises plaguing county residents.

A new website was unveiled that shows parents how to look for drugs that may be hidden in a child’s bedroom.

Then county Executive Tom Muller introduced the topic, telling reporters gathered in a basement room of the administrative building the problem of opioid abuse in Lehigh County is rampant.

County commissioners overturn Muller’s veto of electronic budget

Thursday, January 18, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County commissioners have overridden a veto, by former County Executive Thomas Muller, of a requirement the county provide an electronic copy of the annual budget.

Before the vote at the Jan. 10 meeting, commissioners listened to Muller explain why he had vetoed the measure.

In a letter dated Dec. 21, 2017, Muller recounted some “facts worth reviewing,” including the delivery of paper copies of the budget to commissioners on the same afternoon following its official release the Thursday before Labor Day.

Commissioners bid farewell to board members

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Commissioner President Marty Nothstein presented farewell plaques to out-going commissioners David Jones, Thomas Creighton and Michael Schware at the close of the Dec. 20 meeting.

In other matters, commissioners adopted a work agreement with Pennsylvania Social Services Union Local 668.

Children and Youth Case Worker Supervisor Edwin Rodriquez spoke briefly to the board and encouraged commissioners to visit with members of the union, and through “informal chats” learn more about what the social services workers are doing and the challenges they face.

Board OKs electronic copy of budget

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County commissioners have approved an amendment to the administrative code to require the county executive to provide an electronic copy of the annual budget.

The amendment, sponsored by Commissioners Amanda Holt and Michael Schware, is designed to give commissioners more time to consider the annual budget between the time they receive it and the time they have to vote for it.

In other business at the Dec. 13 meeting, the board approved an amendment allowing commissioners to have a say in the choice of health insurance providers.

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.