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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hozza Seeking Third Term as Whitehall's Mayor

FROM ED HOZZA CAMPAIGN: Last night, Whitehall Township Mayor Edward Hozza, Jr. announced his intention to run for re-election to the seat he has held since 2008.

“It has been my pleasure to serve the citizens of Whitehall over the last eight years,” said Mayor Hozza. “I look forward to building on my progress in bringing Whitehall into the 21st Century while also remembering our Township’s history.”

Hozza continues to work as Whitehall’s “full-time mayor” and hopes to work to improve the lives of its citizens every day in the future. He has successfully balanced seven budgets over his two terms as mayor When Mayor Hozza took office, the township was at its debt level in 33 years and the township has seen its debt level decrease to its lowest amount since 2003. At the same rate, Whitehall Township will have its planned lowest debt payment in 2017 due to Mayor Hozza’s focus on paying down the township’s debt. By implementing a non-essential personnel hiring freeze, bidding contracts into categories, and switching healthcare providers, Mayor Hozza has saved the residents of Whitehall Township over $5 million during one of the country’s worst economic periods. Whitehall has also stabilized its pension obligations at a level that reduces future liabilities and burdens on taxpayers, stabilizing the budget.

Mayor Hozza also continues to work towards a safer Whitehall for both its residents and visitors. He has begun to plan for future succession plans for the police department by approving the promotions of several officers and has approved technology upgrades to improve information sharing and make the department more efficient. He also reviewed the existing ten-year fire apparatus replacement schedule and expanded it to include every new apparatus for the next 23 years.

“Public safety has been and will continue to be one of my chief concerns over the next four years,” said Mayor Hozza. “I have already begun to study the feasibility of a new police station to replace our current aging one and have studied the possible legal ramifications of the prospect of mandating body cameras on our police officers.”

With Whitehall’s reliance on a strong commercial tax-base, Mayor Hozza has reenergized economic development in Whitehall over the last eight years and will do so moving forward. He resurrected the Whitehall Township Industrial and Commercial Development authority to advocate for redevelopment in the township. His main focus has been the redevelopment of the former Lehigh Valley Dairy and Mayor Hozza continues to call for a tax incentive for developers to reuse the property. He plans on continuing to pursue a CRIZ designation for Whitehall along with a TIF and LERTA for the dairy property with other government entities in the township.

Mayor Hozza also sees Whitehall’s economy moving away from a sole reliance on retail to one focusing on other sectors like the healthcare industry. “With the aging population of both Whitehall and the country as a whole, the need for medical staffing over the next 30 years will skyrocket,” said Mayor Hozza. “I look forward to an announcement on the plans of Lehigh Valley Health Network on their intentions for their 143-acre property they own along MacArthur Road.”

Mayor Hozza demonstrated his dedication to open space preservation in Whitehall Township by working with federal, state, and county agencies to purchase the Prydun Farm, the first case of new open space in Whitehall Township since the implementation of its new strategic plan. Mayor Hozza also worked with the Ironton Rail Trail to complete the paving of the trail by the end of this year and helped to implement the construction of the D&L Trail through Whitehall.

Mayor Hozza is a member the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, which granted Whitehall Township its Transportation Public Safety Award last year for the State Route 145 Safety Improvement Project. Hozza is also a member of the Pennsylvania State Mayors’ Association, the Pennsylvania League of Municipalities, and he and his wife, Denise, are active members of the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce and are active members of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church

Blogger's Note: What is less than apparent in this news release is Hozza's great sense of humor. I sat next to him during meetings in which he had me rolling on the floor. He needs to be able to laugh because Whitehall is the fourth largest municipality in the Lehigh Valley. (The largest are Allentown, Bethlehem, Lower Macungie, Whitehall and Easton.)

Commissioner Jerry Palagonia, a former Township police officer, is also running.


Ron Beitler said...

Couple brief times I met Hozza he seemed like a great guy. One correction though. Up and over 31,000 people and just about 24 square miles Lower Mac passed whitehall around 2005 as the 3rd largest Lehigh Valley municipality.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Lower Mac is the 3rd largest, and still relying on police coverage from the PSP, which are paid for by state tax dollars. Subsidized police coverage, volunteer fire department and no local property tax. Life is great in Lower Mac.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure We will find out soon enough Who Mr. Hozza's opponent is.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ron, I need to do a correction. Thanks. Anon 9:45, I have identified Hozza's opponent and did a story on his candidacy.

Anonymous said...

King Edwin wants him OUT! His troops, including Henchman Fleck are marching up MacArthur Rd. to topple Hozza from his throne. Off with his head!

Ron Beitler said...

Reason why I always point that out is Whitehall has a slotted position on the LVPC. Lower Mac does not but we should. It's long overdue. Our growth will continue. . . We're currently not represented on the LVPC.

I'll take the mooching lumps about PSP. But for now, it's the right decision for Lower Mac. People who share the gripe should contact state reps.


Anonymous said...

Lower Mac is loaded with gated community country club types. They are all convenient conservatives that hate government. Yet these are the usual hypocrites that mooch off the PSP and other services while bragging how little they pay for anything including local taxes.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Ed Hozza is doing a great job. The people of Whitehall deserve a hard-working, practical, and concerned mayor.