|fire hydrant at Pickwick Place|
Curtain, who has been plagued with this racket for the past three summers, decided to call the police. An officer who responded at first told her that this kind of work had to wait until 8 am. But later that day, he came back and told her that contractors can start as early as 7 am.
Under Bethlehem Township's noise ordinance, the use of lawnmowers and household power tools is prohibited before 8 am. But "construction operations", which can include the occasional stick of dynamite, and "repairs to public facilities" can start as early as 7 am.
That was enough for Curtain. She appeared before Commissioners, including Zawarski, at their meeting that evening and said, "I'm done with this. I'm done with being disrespected." She went on to explain that she and neighbors are unable to even see the fire hydrant that is supposed to serve their properties because it is overgrown by weeds. She also complained about the absence of storm sewers along a 3/4 mile stretch of road. "I'm tired of hydroplaning," she said.
Zawarski said nothing during the meeting. But after it was over, he released a series of email exchanges concerning Curtain's complaint and went out to view the property. One of these emails is from Police Captain Gregory J. Gottschall. He concludes these are "construction operations", although he points out that the ordinance could have been more clear.
Captain Gottschall adds, "[T]he workers actually began work prior to 7am. The original dispatch for the call was at 0641am."
Curtain acknowledged that the cursing did stop once she left them a note on their port-a-potty.
After the meeting, Zawarski also send this directive to Township Manager Melissa Shafer. "Please inform the Police Chief that if any violation occurs at Canterbury Estates, that I do expect the sub-contractor, vendor, or tradesperson to be cited and fined."
The email exchanges released by Zawarski reveal that he himself is working at that location. This puts him in an awkward position. Under the state Ethics Act, he is barred from using his office "for the private pecuniary benefit of himself, a member of his immediate family or a business with which he or a member of his immediate family is associated."
Aside from Curtain's concerns, which include stormwaters, Commissioners heard from Chetwin Terrace residents whowere flooded out again after a recent downpour. They learned that the traffic signals at William Penn Highway and Route 33 are timed correctly, which means that PennDOT will have to solve the growing congestion problem there. And they heard from martin Comer. "I'm an old man," he told them."But I've never seen water like we have now. It's all through the township."