June 8, 2017 – Upper Nazareth Supervisor’s Meeting
This is Why People Hate Government
After three meetings over 9 months on the issue of moving to a single trash hauler, Upper Nazareth Supervisors are refusing to even hold a vote.
At the May 3rd meeting I asked why the board hadn’t taken action on the Recycling Committee’s unanimous recommendation to move to a single trash hauler. According to data presented, the township is not collecting enough recycling which has resulted in a loss of grants. Also, the multiple trucks are causing damage to the roads—damage which local taxpayers will have to pay to repair. On May 3rd township manager, E.J. Mentry, said they were waiting for additional information from the Recycling committee.
So, on May 10th, I attended the Recycling committee meeting to find out the committee had no record of any such request.
Tonight, when I asked the supervisors about this contradiction, they continue to insist they were gathering more information although a member of the Recycling committee in attendance strongly disputed that claim. She also pointed out that in all meetings the public has expressed overwhelming support for moving to a single hauler and that the supervisors owed the township a response.
Supervisor Mike Rinker said he was worried the cost would go up with a single hauler—the Recycling committee has said the cost to residents would likely go down.
Supervisor Rich Mann said he didn’t believe that the township would lose grants although he offered no evidence to back up his position. Mann also said that he worries about the opinions of the 60% of residents who didn’t fill out the survey in 2013—a position that those who DON’T participate in the democratic process should have more say than those who do.
Tonight, I saw a display of either political cowardice or an inability to deal with reality. Either way, it was disheartening.
If the supervisors aren’t going to take a vote on an issue they shouldn’t waste the public’s time with committees or public meetings.
A resident asked if the board supports the county building a new prison on the land across from Gracedale. Rich Mann spoke up to say he’s against it but the other 4 supervisors refused to comment. Information has been kept quiet on this project by it was mentioned recently in The Express Times.
A resident complained about ‘littering’ by the Main Street Marketplace newspaper, calling it unsolicited junk. His calls to the police have mostly been ignored because “it’s a free speech issue.” The township attorney recommended filing a harassment charge against the publisher.
A ‘thank you’ was issued to the Fire Department for helping with the Electronics Cycling event. The public has expressed an interest in this event being held more than once a year.
Matthew Bartlett of Troop 74 reported on his completed Eagle Project, installing 3 benches in Tuske’s Park.
The supervisors tabled a request to reduce a letter of credit for Eagle’s Landing 3C in response to complaints from a representative from the homeowner’s association. She said there are major problems in the development with the basins for water runoff.
The supervisors approved a request for the township to supply labor to pipe storm water away from private property at the corner at Route 191 and Friedenstahl Avenue. Buzzi Unicem will supply the building materials.
The supervisors requested more information about getting offsite backup for their computer systems. This item was not included in the budget so it will have to be voted on separately.
The Clipper team requested a waiver for the fees to rent the pavilion at Tuske’s Park (~4 times a year). Since the team doesn’t pay to use the fields for their games, the supervisors show no interest in granting the request.
The supervisors approved the Bushkill Township PD to use the UNT’s holding cell from July – March while they rebuild their own station.
The PD will apply for a grant which will pay 75% of the salary of a full-time officer for 3 years.
The supervisor’s approved to donate Police services for the McDonald’s Classic on June 15th.
The PD has received a $5,000 Penn East Community Connector grant to update their IT equipment.
Becky Bartlett covers these meetings because citizens have the right to know what their government is doing.