About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Williams Tp Drops Taxes, Cancels Cliffland Preservation

The Chrin Landfill giveth, and the Chrin Landfill taketh away.

Two years ago, Williams Township Supervisors' Chair George Washburn was none too pleased when the Township was forced to raise taxes from 2.25 to 4 mills, when funds from Chrin dropped precipitously. Well, that war is finally over, and Supervisors voted last night to return to the 2.25 millage rate in existence two years ago.

A mill is $1 of tax on every $1,000 of taxable property value. So a home assessed at $100,000 can expect a $225 tax bill instead of the current $400.

I was there because Supervisors were slated to vote on rescinding a vote to preserve an 18-acre tract along Hexenkopf Road, known as the Morrow tract.

This property is located along steep slopes and is bisected by an overhead utility easement. Under the local zoning ordinance, no more than two homes at most could be built there without getting a variance.

Instead of tying to preserve land in 68 different subdivisions already approved for development, the Land preservation Board appears to have a love affair with cliffs.

This is the same goofy group that also tried to con Northampton County into going along with a $319,970 handout to wealth management specialist and real estate flipper Michael Glovas in exchange for a "conservation easement" on the 72 acres surrounding his palatial estate at 590 Browns Drive in Williams Township. NorCo tabled the proposal, and that got Supervisor Vince Foglia interested.

That was bad news for Rob Schmidt's Land Preservation Board.

His group, who seem to delight in preserving each other's properties, obtained an appraisal that came in a tad too low for the owner, so they went out and got another. Then they got a third.

What they don't know is that Foglia had one of the Lehigh Valley's most respected appraisers review all three, and his conclusion can be aptly summed up in one word - Horseshit!

In addition to completely violating the Second Class township Code, this Board kept the low appraisal away from the County and state DCNR. The comparables used against cliffs were flat and working farms in Bucks County, where land goes for a gazillion dollars an acre.

A month ago, Schmidt asked for and got a delay so they could possibly bring in their appraiser to educate is all on the error of our ways. That didn't happen. Instead, Schmidt sought another delay so that the Township Solicitor cold determine how many legal errors Foglia had committed.

Isidore Mineo, who likes to deliver lengthy lectures, last night instructed the board that these cliffs could be farms for goofy things like arugula.

By a 2-1 vote, Supervisors pulled the plug on what really is a bad preservation idea.

Williams has preserved enough cliffs.


Vince Foglia said...

Thanks for tipping me to this. As you saw tonight, not many even care about the waste. Good government should be easy, but I'm a bad guy for trying to stop the waste. Even a simple thing like complying with very clear spending limits of several laws took months of argument. Its easy to throw away some body else's money instead of doing a little homework. Then we all complain about government and taxes. Doing the right thing passed this time by only a 2 to 1 vote. The "no" vote had no explanation. Do you wonder why things are so screwed up? Ask those who refuse to read the law they swore an oath to uphold. You see it at all levels. Its enough to make one sick.

I don't know how you keep up the fight against the stupid and corrupt, but I respect what you do. Thanks for your help.

Vince Foglia

Anonymous said...


You want to see a a love affair with cliffs? Look at Upper Mount Bethel Township. From the waste of 1.8 million in useless sand pit land to a cliff purchased at the top of fox gap road. Its a mess. Then again in a place where recently they paid off a female road worker for sexual harrassment to having Dennis "the creeper" Jones as its chairperson anything is possible.
There isn't a wetland, cliff or swamp they dont want to toss taxpayers money at.

Anonymous said...

The taxes in Williams Township should not have been raised in the first place! If it wasn't for two supervisors that had an agenda against chrin the taxes would be lower then that.The Township tax payers paid dearly for two supervisors and a very small groups vendetta!The township violated the signed host agreement and chrin stopped paying the fee and had to sue the Township to put it back in place. The anti-chrin group has cost the Township tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars. At least one supervisor was man enough to see what chrin can offer the Township and changed his vote. One supervisor would still be wasting thousands of dollars to push his anti-chrin agenda.The same agenda he has against open space. The Township spent less on all the open space that's preserved then was spent on fighting chrin. Zoning can be changed preserved open space can not! If someone has money you can build anywhere. That day will come when all the easy land is built on.

Anonymous said...

Amen 11:08! Let's not forget the leaders of "Citizens to Save Williams Township" who have recently sold their house and left town after years of costly litigation. They are gone as are our tax dollars with nothing to show for it but anger and divisiveness.

Anonymous said...

Yes Amen 11:08!! Come January 1st 2016 maybe the NEW Township Board of Supervisors can reverse coarse and fix what Vince Foglia has been able to screw up in his four years on the board. Talking about stupid and corrupt! I heard he abuses his position by putting undue work on the Township employees to push his agendas. They have no where to turn. If they try to speak out he will come after their job. Look at what he does to other supervisors who don't agree with him!

Anonymous said...

There is a great tract across the street from the williams Elementary school. Located on Texas Road, it is a perfect mix of some wetland, as well as hardwood forest and open fields. Why don't they preserve that type of land from development. It's a logical place for a low impact park, right across from a school.

Vince, What about that one?