Thomas S. Muller was offically sworn in as Lehigh County Executive during a ceremony held Jan. 7 in the Lehigh County Government Center.
Surrounded by family, friends and supporters, Muller said he initially did not envision himself as an active political participant and candidate.
"Twelve months ago, I honestly did not think I'd be running for county executive," he said. "It's quite a surprise. Until eight years ago, I avoided the political arena like a plague."
The condition of local and Washington politics, Muller said, prompted him to enter politics.
Lehigh County is still without a director of administration.
The board of commissioners questioned potential candidate and former Commissioner Dan McCarthy at its Jan. 8 meeting on his motives for pursuing the job and what he intends to accomplish, specifically asking McCarthy if he is willing to cut certain items from the budget when necessary. McCarthy was also asked if his serving as an attorney would lead to any conflicts of interest.
"I may seem like a nice guy," McCarthy said. "But I can say 'no' with a smile."
Lehigh County commissioners have decided to ring in the new year by looking more deeply into operations of Cedarbrook nursing home, South Whitehall.
At the Dec. 18, 2013, meeting, board members agreed to consider at their next meeting a study of the financial operations of Cedarbrook to be possibly done by Complete HealthCare Resources, Eastern Inc., Montgomery County.
The study would cost the county $18,000.
The Lehigh Valley Zoo finally convinced the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners of the necessity of providing funding to the organization.
President of the Lehigh Valley Zoo Rick Molchany's previous appearances before the board were instrumental in persuading the commissioners at the Dec. 11 meeting in awarding a yearly subsidy. The commissioners approved the subsidy 5-3.
Molchany during previous meetings argued the zoo provides the county with vital educational services and a higher quality of life.
Christmas is a special time of the year.
Once a year, young and old have the opportunity to develop a child-like heart and to give and receive.
Decorations go up; trees are adorned; gifts purchased and, on Christmas Day, families, small and large, gather together.
Since Dec. 24, 2007, Christmas has remained a quiet time of reflection and gratitude for me.
Six years ago, this Christmas Eve, I was admitted into the VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre due to an illness, not knowing if I would live or die, but knowing the next few weeks would be difficult ones.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett announced his 2014 statewide re-election campaign Nov. 8 at B. Braun Medical Inc., 901 Macron Blvd., Hanover Township, Lehigh County.
Joining Corbett were Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley and First Lady Susan Corbett.
Corbett told the packed room of supporters and B. Braun staff his service as governor is about laying a solid foundation for the future of the state.
"What we are doing is trying to set the course of Pennsylvania," he said. "It's really generational. With your help, we can win."
Despite a $7 million budget shortfall, the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners passed the 2014 budget with Cedarbrook Nursing Home in mind.
The budget passed 7-2 and keeps property taxes at 3.79 mills.
Voting in opposition were Commissioners David S. Jones, Sr. and Daniel McCarthy.
The board also transferred $3.6 million to the county nursing home from the general fund.
The Lehigh County Commissioners presented the proposed 2014 budget at its Oct. 9 meeting that if approved would result in $2.4 million in budget cuts, reducing the budget deficit from $10.3 million to $7.9 million.
The commissioners Oct. 9 brought 13 amendments forward sparking members of certain county departments to present their cases for maintaining funding.
Areas proposed for funding reduction in the 2014 budget include court administration, corrections, regional crime center, information technology, Cedarbrook Nursing Home and the 911 center.
The prospect of utilizing vacant property located near downtown Allentown did not impress the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners to vote in the affirmative to develop the land during their Aug. 28 meeting.
The commissioners voted down a tax zone plan, 6-3, with Commissioners Percy Dougherty, Daniel McCarthy and David Jones voting to defer the vote until the Sept. 25 meeting.
"It is a very large factory," Borko Milosev, owner of Post Road Management LLC in Allentown said. "Unfortunately it is now vacant and un-utilized."
Health care and immigration took center stage during a legislative update meeting hosted by U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent, R-15th, Aug. 21 at the Jewish Community Center, Allentown.
During the first half of the meeting, Dent's responses to questions involving the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, were marked by heckling from audience members and sharp outbursts.
"Truthfully, my office has not received much information from Health and Human Services," Dent said of ACA. "This implementation is not going well."