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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

300 Acres of Quarry Land Being Pitched as Open Space

Tp Manager Bob Cartwright
Bob Cartwright, who is both Township Manager and Zoning Officer in Upper Mount Bethel Township, is probably wondering what the hell he did. As Zoning Officer, he made $55,000 a year and everyone left him alone. Now, for another $10,000 a year, he has to placate the egos of five warring Supervisors who seem intent on getting nothing done. And that's pretty much the way things went down last night. Several motions were defeated in a meeting highlighted by remarks from the peanut gallery. They were led by the Sultan of Shit himself, Ron Angle.

There were also some heated exchanges between Jerry Geake and Larry Hallett. Supervisors did manage to authorize an appraisal of the Eastern Industries, which is about 300 acres of an old quarry that was purchased by the Township in 2008 for $2 million. Mortgage payments cost the Township $100,000 per year. The plan is to keep the buildings, which amount to about 16 acres, and sell off the development rights to the remaining land to the Nature Conservancy.

But even the Nature Conservancy acknowledged last night that it's highly unlikely that a former quarry land could ever be developed. It's also by no means clear that Northampton County Council would ever approve open space funding for this kind of project. Hayden Phillips has previously made clear that he is philosophically opposed to open space funding, and Glenn Geissinger has voted against some projects where the possibility of development is remote. In addition, even the Open Space Advisory Board questions using open space money to buy development rights in land already owned by a municipality.

The Nature Conservancy stated that if the County voted against this project, it might fund it on its own.

If you think Angle was deadly as an elected official, you're wrong. He's most dangerous as a citizen, weighing in on different topics as they come up. Last night was no exception. Angle was accompanied by the Bad Mark last night, who was there simply for the entertainment.. Me, too. The Good Mark was doing the Stations of the Cross.

While he was there, Angle managed to
  • get signatures to a nomination petition for someone running for Supervisor, and from the very people he was criticizing.
  • convince Supervisors to put off a deed transfer requested by Attorney Al Pierce. 
  • raise questions whether it's more economical for the Township to hire someone to do annual paving  than to do it themselves. 
  • belittle a recent newsletter from Chairman Dennis Jones, which contained 28 spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
  • complain that taxes have gone up 300% over 12 years with nothing to show for it other than a roof over a silo in a meeting room where the water is polluted.  
The place was packed, as usual. I believe people in Upper Mount Bethel go to meetings because the TV reception is poor in the mountains.


Anonymous said...

It would appear Ron Angle just can't get enough of himself. He is a royal pain in the ass, a shame they have to deal with him. He is truly a legend in his own mind.

Anonymous said...

Ah.. Slate Belters at their best. And these are the same types running NORCO.

Anonymous said...

Well at least these folks go to meetings. Poor Tom Mueller in Lehigh County couldn't get a soul to enjoy his Welcome to Government meeting a year ago January in Allentown. Can't the township design a rock climb and charge tourists to enjoy and make a little money?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, our twsp. meetings have turned into reality TV. We need new leadership. The Twsp. is again defending itself in another sexual harassment lawsuit. Our Manager/Zoning officer has his own financial difficulties, and if you need him, you'll find him at the local diner- rather than at his office. Since our police force was disbanded a couple decades ago for incompetence, our taxes have tripled. Its time for leaders, not entertainers.

Anonymous said...

It's time for a list of the best and worst run munies in NorCo. This and West Easton seem clearly the worst. Hanover or Bushkill may be the best, but my money's on Chapman.

The writing on the story is priceless. The subject is tragic. What a mess.

Anonymous said...

Better Angle stay up there then bother the county.

Anonymous said...

"It's time for a list of the best and worst run munies in NorCo. This and West Easton seem clearly the worst. Hanover or Bushkill may be the best, but my money's on Chapman."

West Easton is a top contender for most screwed up government, starting with the mayor's daughter being on council and its president. Next, they didn't have a treasurer's report for like 5 years. When they vote to do something, like hire a part time manager, it gets forgotten about. The council president has a potty mouth and uses it during meetings.

Some crazy old bag resident is one of the only people who attends meetings, and as a hobby she terrorizes town employees in her spare time, and the rumor is she's running for council. They have 7 council members for a town of maybe 1200 people. The first thing they should do is reduce that to 5 or 3. No, the first thing they should do is figure out how to either get rid of the mayor, or get someone else as council president.