In their first video conference meeting, Lehigh County Commissioners April 1 listened as Director of General Services Rick Molchany described what he and his department have been doing to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic in Lehigh County.
“We have been working diligently for the last month on the COVID-19 virus,” Molchany said. “We started by working on prevention efforts first. We wanted to raise awareness, proceed with an abundance of caution, but not create panic.” He said information had been distributed which described ways to minimize the spread of the virus.
Upper Milford Township Supervisors canceled their scheduled meeting April 2 in deference to the coronavirus crises that is increasingly bringing Lehigh Valley governments to a slow walk as cautions against contagion are adopted.
According to Upper Milford Township Supervisor Joyce Moore, the supervisors decided to forgo the meeting altogether instead of opting for a remote meeting via Zoom (a meeting app) that Lehigh County Commissioners used for their meeting last week.
Concerns of the mother of a Lehigh County Jail inmate about how the Lehigh County Corrections Department is handling the coronavirus crisis may have resuscitated the long-dead idea of establishing a regional health bureau.
Lehigh County Commissioner Dr. Percy Dougherty suggested toward the end of the Lehigh County Commissioners meeting March 11 this might be a good time to revisit the plan that gained momentum among local Lehigh Valley governments and various stakeholders around 2008.
Upper Milford Township Supervisors got an earful at the March 5 meeting when residents challenged the need for a burn ban which has been in effect since Feb. 27.
“What’s the deal with the burn ban the last couple of weeks?” a resident from the back of the room asked.
“How many brush fires do you want to put out?” Supervisor Joyce Moore asked.
“How many have you had?”
“We’ve had four so far,” Supervisor Robert Sentner who is also a firefighter with the Vera Cruz Fire Department Station 28, said.
Resident Jim Hieter described what he called a dangerous stretch of state-owned Kings Highway (Route 29/100) at the Feb. 20 Upper Milford Township Supervisors meeting. He said the road between United Church of Christ and the entrance to Lenape Park was the dangerous part he was concerned with.
According to Hieter, a dip or small valley creates a blind spot that makes it dangerous for anyone parked along the road especially when getting in or out of their car.
Upper Milford Township Supervisors confirmed Feb. 6 they are in no hurry to replace James Krippe the fired Upper Milford Township Emergency Management Coordinator. When asked by The Press if the supervisors were actively looking for an emergency management coordinator, Supervisor Robert Sentner said, “No, not right now.”
When asked “Why not?” he said, “Because we aren’t looking for one right now. The fire companies are handling it, so we aren’t looking for one right now.”
In a packed lecture room at Lafayette College in Easton Jan. 28, area residents listened as U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th, explained what she is trying to do and what she has accomplished in Washington.
Her commitment to communicating with her constituents
“I feel very strongly about representing every single person that lives in this district,” Wild said. The 7th Congressional District includes all of Lehigh County and Northampton County as well as parts of Monroe County. “We are trying to do town halls in every corner of the district.”
The Lehigh County Commissioners meeting had a rocky start Jan. 22 when, immediately after Commissioners Chair Amy Zanelli led the Pledge of Allegiance, former county commissioner candidate Mathew Schutter began interrupting the proceedings with a call for “a point of order.”
The newly reorganized Lehigh County Board of Commissioners led by Commissioner President Amy Zanelli quickly went through a short agenda Jan. 8.
One of its first acts was to start a rollback of the method the previous Republican led board adopted which put part-time commissioners in the negotiating room with the professional staffers as they negotiated labor contracts.
Upper Milford Township Supervisors fired their emergency management coordinator Oct. 16, 2019 with neither an explanation to the public, nor to James Krippe the unpaid volunteer who had been filling the position.
At the time of the termination which occurred during a public meeting, Supervisor Robert Sentner, in a post-meeting interview, said, “We want to go in a different direction. We want to look at some other applicants.”
Upper Milford Township still, as of Jan. 24, doesn’t have a replacement, and the township website is not asking for a volunteer to fill the position.