Friday, April 30, 2010

Why Stoffa Wants Bethlehem Tp Treatment Center

Northampton County DA John Morganelli told me earlier this week that 40% of his caseload consists of DUI cases. That fact alone should tell you why county jails get overcrowded. Judges are required by state law to imprison many offenders. That's why inmates sometimes have been packed three to a cell, and even end up sleeping in hallways.

This has really bothered County Exec John Stoffa since he was first elected. More than once, I've heard him say that "we treat animals better than we treat our prisoners." To those of you find it hard to be sympathetic, think about the cost. Sixty-six cents of every tax dollar pays for the back end of crime. That eventually leads to tax increases.

About a year into his first term, Stoffa began looking at treatment options that have been proven to reduce recidivism. His hopes have focused on a proposed 300-bed combination treatment center and work release facility in Bethlehem Township. It's located on Fritch Drive in an industrial park, isolated well away from any residential neighborhood.

Only rarely does Stoffa send out mass emails. But he did so concerning that treatment center, and I want to share it with you.

I am happy to report that we are making progress regarding the proposed Bethlehem Township treatment center. Many of you have attended meetings on this issue and I want you to know that I have been appreciative of your support.

It appears at this time, that Bethlehem Township will not appeal for the 3rd time, but will begin discussing proposed conditions that they will place on this center. It is important that you continue to show strong support by your attendance at upcoming meetings.

The next Zoning Hearing Board meeting is scheduled for Wed., May 19, at 6:30 PM, at the Bethlehem Township Municipal building located at 4225 Easton Ave., Bethlehem, PA 18020. We have been told that the Zoning Hearing Board will go into executive session at 6 PM, on May 19, so you may want to arrive at 6 PM.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stoffa needs to get his facts straight. Bethlehem Township never appealed the ZHB's decision. Atiyeh appealed each time. And any appeal this time would have been to the Commonwealth Court.

I am sure Abe will appeal for the third time once the conditions are imposed.

You read Stoffa's email and one may think this thing is a done deal and will be built soon. Think again. Bethlehem Township is going to find ways to hold this up. Imposition of the conditions is just the start. Wait until it goes into planning.

Anonymous said...

"we treat animals better than we treat our prisoners."

this isn't always true. many animals are put to sleep within days of capture.

Anonymous said...

Am I going crazy, or did this used to say, "We treat criminals better than we treat our prisoners" Did you fix it? I was thinking it was a Tommy LaSorda quote!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:37, I am perfectly capable of and have made precisely that kind of error in the past. In fact, when I saw your comment, I immediately went to blogger, assuming I must have screwed up. But as it turns out, I had it right.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:28, I see,. Let's put DUI offenders to sleep. How nice.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:03, The only personwho will benefit by the course you suggest are lawyers. In the end, the township and its citizens will suffer. Your best approach is to act in good faih and imose reasonable conditions.

Guy Williams said...

Whats the big news here, Lehigh county has been doing the smart thing for years.Its no grand hotel but dui vacationers have been put up on 6th street.The whole concept is a good one.When you wait too long,sure your gonna have some developer[?} weasel in on the solution.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to submit a proposal when this all gets approved, like 5 years from now.

C'mon Abe, push the courts along and maybe I can get this up in 2 years, either way, I am going to low ball you and thank you for blazing my trail / business venture...

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing that the County wants to locate a DRUG and alcohol treatment center housing addicts that get work release right next to a PAIN Management Doctor's office???? Talk about an attractive nuisance. Just hoping that none of Stoffa's inmates decide to try and get a fix across the street or worse yet try to steal from the patients in the parking lot in this very, very remote section of town. Great site selection Stoffa. You really got this one right. I really hope my family members that are patients at Valley Pain are NEVER EVER acousted by your inmates. You can bet a lawsuit will follow. The Township did the right thing in denying this.

Anonymous said...

Is a privately run treatment center in the taxpayers best interest?

Anonymous said...

Oh come on now...this will only house DUI offenders...they would never commit other crimes.

The funniest thing about this is the guy building the scheme is the biggest criminal of them all.

Anonymous said...

The biggest con is this entire project. A secret lease with Atiyah and a secret contract with a provider. Some greased palms are getting warm.

What a shame this is just a campaign promise.