Candidate tables not allowed at Community Days

August 4, 2021 – UNT Supervisors Meeting

Courtesy of the Floor

Jason Mohap reported that Zoning Officer Soloe had issued a permit for Project Tadmor and he requested a clarification about what kind of permit it was. Solicitor Gary Asteak refused to answer, pointing out that Mohap had filed an appeal. Mohap said he had also filed a Right-to-Know to find out about the permit, or possibly the interim agreement which was on the meeting agenda, but hadn’t received it yet. Gary gave Mohap a copy of the zoning permit and Mohap asked why the board would vote on it when an appeal was filed.

Supervisor’s Comments

Donna Hirst thanked Jeff and Bill for hosting “Night Out” on August 3rd.

Community Day

A lively discussion erupted over the Recreation committee refusing to allow candidate tables at Community Days. Jean Morgano (candidate for Tax Collector) pointed out that these tables have been allowed in the past and asked if there have ever been any problems with them. Committee members admitted that there had not, but claimed that the environment had changed and that they didn’t want any unpleasantness at a family event.

Jean Morgano said that she has staffed political tables at similar events across the county and there have never been any problems. She said the residents of Upper Nazareth Township have a right to know who is running for office and this is the only community event where candidates get to introduce themselves to voters in person.

Committee members again said they didn’t want to do anything to encourage bad behavior. That’s when I asked if liquor will be served at this event (it will) and pointed out that there is a correlation between the availability of alcohol products and bad behavior.

Brian Sayago (candidate for Supervisor) said he had applied for a table and been refused, but that he plans to attend Community Days and will introduce himself to voters in person. He asked if the township would prevent him from campaigning. Rob Disbrow said it would be disrespectful to the committee members to talk to voters at the Community Days when the committee members had made it clear they didn’t want any politics at the event.

Jason Mohap told Disbrow to stop guilt tripping Mr. Sayago.

Gary Asteak finally spoke up and said that there was nothing to prevent Brian from campaigning (First Amendment) and that the township can’t prevent political activity.

Donna Hirst said she won’t campaign at Community Days out of respect for the Recreation committee.

Kristin Mullen said, in her opinion, it is beneficial for the public to meet with candidates and Community Days is UNT’s only public event.

Project Tadmor

Tadmor 2 requested approval of an interim agreement to move dirt before they receive the final approval to build. Their lawyer said that they already had preliminary approval. When Jason Mohap pointed out that there was pending litigation on this project—and that Gary Asteak uses the excuse of pending litigation to not answer questions at supervisor meetings—therefore corporations should get the same treatment. Tadmor’s attorney said there have been 4 different complaints at the Court of Common Pleas and that 3 have already been dismissed.  

The township engineer said approval of this kind of interim agreement is relatively normal.

Gary Asteak said an approval would not be unprecedented, but would be permissive on the Board’s part.

Jason Mohap said that the case will be heard on September 29th and that the supervisors should give residents their day in court.

Supervisors approved the interim agreement 4 to 1 with Mullen voting against.

Environmental Advisory Committee

After a long delay, Supervisors finally took a vote to appoint members to the EAC. Three supervisors had applied to be on the board: Donna Hirst, Scott Sylvanius and Kristin Mullen. Gary admitted that it was problematic to have too many supervisors on the Board in that the supervisors would then control the advice given to themselves.

They finally decided to not put any supervisors on at this time and to appoint the 5 residents who had applied. (Spelling may be incorrect)

  • Nathan Prichard (Chairman – 3 year term)
  • George Hasker (3 year term)
  • Anton Chen (3 year term)
  • Frank Herst (2 year term)
  • Brian Sayago (2 year term)

Two seats are still open. Interested residents should send a letter to the township manager.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Treasurer Betty Parrish plans to retire in April 2022. Supervisors approved an advertisement for her position. The township hopes to bring a new treasurer in by October to give him/her time to get trained.

Approval for staff to attend the NCATO County Convention in September.

Approval to purchase a Line Lazer for the Public Works Department at a cost of $3,939.

Heritage Village

Approvals for a pathway extension and waivers on driveway and intersection distances and stormwater management.

MS4 – Stormwater Plan

Shawn Shupe reported that the township had received an inspection from the DEP and that it had gone well with no fines although they did receive some recommendations. UNT may have to redo its storm water ordinance to include enforcement.

Recreation

Jean Morgano and George Hasker were appointed to the Recreation Board. The next Recreations Board meeting will be held on August 10th.

Becky Bartlett covers these meetings because citizens have a right to know what their government is doing.


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