SPEAK UP NOW!

I’m a bit behind here at Saucon Shenanigans but this can’t wait.  Put this on your calendar and show up on Wednesday!

Here’s the backstory and, like all things run by this township council, it’s more than a bit sleazy.

Resident Laura Ray identified many months ago that our township rules provide the opportunity for residents to request a “citizens’ forum or town hall” – 30 minutes of time allotted to residents BEFORE A REGULARLY SCHEDULED COUNCIL MEETING – to address the council members on any issues of concern to the residents.  She repeatedly requested that such a meeting be scheduled.  She sent emails.  She made a request during public comments.  She was ignored.  Completely.

Finally, after far more of this delay than was acceptable, Banonis announced sometime in the summer that a town hall would be held on Wednesday, November 23, the night before Thanksgiving.  Only one problem.  That wasn’t a regularly scheduled council meeting night.  It was, however, a wildly inconvenient night for anyone to have to show up.  Ms. Ray objected and demanded that the date be changed to abide by the township requirement that it be on a regularly scheduled council meeting night.

She was told it would have to wait until the new township manager was hired.  Because, you know, it’s too hard for a council to figure out a meeting date all by their little selves.

Nothing happened.  Mark Hudson started on August 22 but apparently changing a date is such a heavy lift that it wasn’t accomplished until Friday, November 11, at which point it was rescheduled to Wednesday, November 16, at 5:50 PM.  It’s quite clear the purpose was to make it as short notice and inconvenient as possible to reduce attendance.

Don’t let the clowns get away with it!  Spread the word NOW to everyone you know!  Pack the township meeting hall!

The rules only require them to provide 30 minutes but “additional time may be designated at the discretion of the Council.”  (don’t hold your breath) The regulations also state that “on a regular basis, time shall be provided for a citizens’ forum or town meeting.”  Maybe we’d better get the next one on the calendar now.

ALSO COMING UP QUICKLY

Those lovely landfill people have decided they just can’t function without another 275.7 acres of land AND they need to have the space re-designated from a Special Exception to a Conditional Use in order for it to work.  That’s step one.  Step two is to then re-zone all of those parcels from Rural Agricultural to Light Industrial.  Since they will have already gotten the change from Special Exception to Conditional Use, it will be SO much easier for them to get the change from Rural Agricultural to Light Industrial because the change to a conditional use can be done by the township council and doesn’t have to go through that fussy Zoning Board.  And in order to make it even more helpful, they’ve bundled them all together into one request.

Luckily for those of us who live in this township and care about its future, there’s one other small stop before they can get what they want which is the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.  And LVPC doesn’t seem too excited about the landfill plans.  In fact, they think the plans kind of suck.

There are two meetings about the proposals this week which are accessible via Zoom or in person – Tuesday, November 15 at noon and Thursday, November 17 at 7 PM.  If you have the time, it would be very helpful if you would read the LVPC’s position on the request and attend one or both of the meetings.

You can find all of the information on the two meetings on the LVPC site here.

A copy of the LVPC letter is also available on Mrs. DeLeon’s Facebook page. You could probably find some points in there that resonate with your own views as well.

Here’s the link for the November 15 meeting at noon or via 610-477-5793, Conference ID: 351 407 936#.

Here’s the link for the November 17 meeting at 7 PM or via 610-477-5793, Conference ID: 793 745 456#.

And gee, I haven’t even gotten to the latest on the library.

Next time.  Although if you’re at the regular township meeting on Wednesday, you might want to ask them in the public comment period before the regular council meeting  (don’t waste the time in the citizens’ forum) why they need to budget $160,000 for the library account next year which is $60,000 more than they budgeted this year and balked at, $102,000 more than they actually spent this year, and superfluous considering they’ve been informed they won’t have any library services in 2023 from Hellertown, and Southern Lehigh has suggested they’re not interested either.  That’s a hell of a lot of $40 reimbursements that Carocci’s going to pay for township residents who have to go elsewhere.  

See You Wednesday at 5:50 PM.