Now that's something that never's been used in The People's Republic of Northampton County. Cattle prods? Yes. Bullwhips? Of course. But except for member Lamont McClure, no one can remember ever having seen a gavel in a Council meeting.
Executive John Stoffa did bring in a piece of wood from one of his 6,938 birdhouse projects, hoping that Cusick could use that, but it's just not the same thing.
It just goes clop. In a test run, people just laughed.
Now Cusick may not know this, but he's going to find out sooner or later, most likely in the form of a contempt citation or arrest warrant. You see, nobody could find a real gavel, and the inside word is that somebody "borrowed" one from Judge Paula Roscioli, who's not exactly known for her sense of humor. But until he's dragged away by a Deputy, Cusick was having lots of fun with his new toy last night.
"This meeting will come to order," Cusick officially announced.
"I want silence. I'll have you removed," Cusick somberly warned the Gracedale goons during their usual catcalls.
Sometimes he just let it rip for the hell of it.
For gavel-banging lessons, Cusick should really drop in on one or two meetings of Bethlehem City Council. President Bob Donchez has it down pretty good. He bangs a gavel at the start and end of public hearings, bangs a gavel when ordinances are voted on, and bangs a gavel when the audience gets frisky. He's got different volumes, too, depending on the importance of the matter being considered.
Unfortunately, Cusick's VP, Peg Ferraro, missed the gavel-banging. In fact she missed committee hearings today and yesterday, too. She's off on another vacation while the County considers Gracedale's sale and a referendum effort. She's the VP who is supposed to fill in for Cusick, whose teaching job interferes with many of the responsibilities of a Council President.
Absent or not, Ferraro was re-appointed to the General Purpose Authority last night. Now she can continue to miss their meetings, too.
At the start of the meting, right after banging the gavel, Cusick asked Council member to lead everyone in a brief prayer. For some reason, Cusick has also failed to continue a nice tradition started by Angle last year, in which clergymen from throughout the County deliver an Invocation, followed by a brief description of their church.