The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners have decided to seek legal counsel from their solicitor regarding potential conflicts of interest concerning the Tax Increment Financing for the Hamilton Crossings Shopping Center, Lower Macungie Township.
The issue of a possible conflict of interest was broached during the April 23 commissioners meeting by Chairwoman Lisa Scheller.
Scheller said she recently received a letter from attorney Jonathan Hugg of the law firm, Clark Hill, Philadelphia, outlining the potential conflict of interest.
Lehigh County Controller Glenn Eckhart presented the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners with the "Office of the Controller's Annual Report for 2013" during the April 9 meeting.
"We try to point out areas of findings where we should look to save money and we're doing a good job," Eckhart told the commissioners.
Eckhart referred to newly hired accountants and interns retained by the county leading to decreased costs. He specifically said the accountants, while receiving a lower salary, remain highly trained and capable.
The public meeting room of the Lehigh County Government Center was empty for County Executive Tom Muller's first town hall meeting March 31.
Accompanied by local media, staff and a few commissioners, Muller waited until 6:30 p.m. for the public to show. When public citizens did not walk through the door, Muller decided to conclude the meeting.
Muller said he hopes to hold a town hall meeting every other month. Times and locations are yet to be determined.
"We have to find another formula to get to the citizens," he said.
Lehigh County Commissioner Michael Schware wants the process of raising taxes in the county to be a more difficult process.
Schware, at the March 26 board of commissioners meeting, announced a proposal to require approval from a majority of the commissioners and voter approval of a referendum question.
A final resolution of Schware's proposal must first be drafted. His proposal would seek budgetary cuts across the line, with the exception of paying the county's debt. Schware's proposal would also maintain a reserve in the county stabilization fund.
The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners has turned down Executive Thomas Muller's recommendation to lead the human services department.
At the board's March 12 meeting, commissioners rejected by a vote of 5-4 Bethlehem resident Thomas Walker to serve as county human services director.
Walker has served 13 years as the human services director for the Lehigh County Conference of Churches.
Voting in opposition to Walker's appointment were Chairwoman Lisa Scheller and commissioners Vic Mazziotti, Scott Ott and Michael Schware.
County Executive Thomas Muller believes Lehigh County is in good shape.
In his first state of the county address Feb. 27 at Coca-Cola Park, Allentown, Muller told the audience the average Lehigh County residential tax bill for 2014 is $676, which he said is lower than it has been the past 10 years.
Muller conceded, however, the county must strive to keep tax rates as low as feasible for residents in the county.
"The challenge is to get to a consensus with our citizens on the proper balance of taxes and services," he said.
Editor's Note: This is a corrected version of the article published in the Feb. 19 issue of the East Penn Press. The Press apologizes for the errors.
Developers Tim Harrison and Jeremy Fogel presented a detailed plan for the proposed Hamilton Crossings shopping complex in Lower Macungie and addressed common misconceptions during a community meeting Feb. 11 at Muhlenberg College.
Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller said he hosted the meeting to clarify what the project is and will look like.
Developers Tim Harrison and Jeremy Fogel presented a detailed plan for the proposed Hamilton Crossings shopping complex in Lower Macungie and addressed common misconceptions during a community meeting at Muhlenberg College Feb. 10.
Former Lehigh County Commissioner Dan McCarthy remains the county interim Director of Administration.
The board of commissioners at the Jan. 31 special meeting failed to appointment McCarthy to the post full-time.
The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners does not want a tax increase in 2015.
At the board's Jan. 22 meeting, the commissioners presented a non-binding resolution stating it wants the county budget balanced in a sustainable manner.
The commissioners approved the resolution 8-0.
Absent from the meeting was Commissioner Thomas Creighton.