Thursday, April 29, 2010

Becky Butz: Nazareth Needs Our Attention

Date: April 27, 2010
To: Nazareth Friends
From: Becky [bbutz@rcn.com]

I have never asked for help before, but this is the exception to the rule.

There are now some issues before Council that require your attention and I hope we can all stick together on this. These are issues that will affect all of us and I am making a plea for you to support me and to attend either the workshop on Thursday and/or the council meeting on Monday.

As you know, I have attended Boro meetings for a number of years and I’m not afraid to speak up for a worthy cause. Evelyn Huth inspired me, and before she passed away she made me promise to “carry on”. I have no personal agenda and I am not any kind of a lobbyist. I just like to see things done properly and I don’t like waste.

I will describe the issues with council as briefly as I can. I attended the law committee last night and it was brutal. Not only were the issues picked apart, I feel I was personally attacked. Never mind – it is for all the residents of Nazareth! Although many there agreed with me, and they have said action will be forthcoming, I’m not certain of that and I feel your support is warranted.

There is a resolution in the works to define who is to do what as far as the responsibilities of the various offices with regard to ordinances in the Boro. Since 2005, an officer in the police department has had the duty as responder, investigator and enforcer of these ordinances. That duty might now be assigned to the Engineer’s office and the costs for them to handle such nuisances (weeds, grass, parked cars, etc.) will be excessive – approximately $60 an hour for an average of 10 hours a week will be over $28,000 a year for the taxpayer. This is an unnecessary and wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money when a clerk at $8.50 an hour would cost only $5,000 a year. Therefore, the system should be kept the way it is with the police department.

In the past, all new ordinances have been advertised in the Bath Home News in accordance with state law that notices must be placed in a newspaper which has to be purchased. There are only 267 Bath Home News subscribers in the Boro of Nazareth. It would be more effective if notices were also published in The Key which is free and delivered to each Boro mail box. There is nothing to stop the Boro from advertising in The Key as a courtesy to the residents. The fee is minimal and would benefit more residents of Nazareth when a new ordinance is being presented. It is a way to educate and inform the taxpayers and give them a chance to respond, if they so wish.

A new street sweeper was purchased by the Boro. For years it has been suggested that signs should go up so that no cars park on the street that is to be cleaned. As has been the practice in the past, the sweeper goes down the middle of the street and around any parked cars. On March 17th it was decided at the special meeting held to purchase the sweeper, that the signs would go up and it would be done the proper and most effective way. The maiden voyage of the street sweeper was done the old way and last night at law, the solicitor told me it was too expensive to purchase the signs! This again is as wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money; it will take numerous trips to clean the streets and if the parked cars are never moved, the gutters will never be truly cleaned. I know, this is trivial, but the more trips the street sweeper makes, the more money it costs you! As recently as March 17, 2010, at a Special Council Meeting, the members unanimously decided to use no parking signs, but this is not being done and the streets are not being efficiently cleaned – a waste of time and money.

There appears to be a pattern in that many things are discussed (even decided) at
Council meetings and then never done. The general public is most often not aware of this because so few come to the meetings. I think it is about time that we all unite to urge Council to keep us all informed and to cut wasteful spending. Didn’t they just raise our taxes because there isn’t enough money to keep the Boro going?

If you have any questions or comments, please call me at 610-[redacted] or e-mail me at the above address. I beg of you to support me at this time. If you have any better ideas, please let me know – I’m open for suggestions.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is her idea of "briefly as I can..." Oy. Cliff Notes, anyone?

Anonymous said...

The merits of her concerns aside, this is just another example of how representative government is no longer effective. People have decided they can't be bothered to hold their elected officials accountable, many don't even know the positions of the candidate for whom they pull the lever.

If Ms. Butz does not get the assistance she seeks, she will need to accept that she lives in a community that enjoys the schtuping her "representatives" are dishing out, or that the plain folk just don't give a damn.

Anonymous said...

Small town politics. Isn't government grand in PA?

Anonymous said...

Why does Nazareth need fifteen police officers for a borough of 6,000 people?

Zoning officers usually do the codes work, not police officers. It's a standard administrative practice throughout the Valley.