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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, December 28, 2015

Barnard, Zawarski Say Good-Bye

Phil Barnard and Marty Zawarski
One week ago today, Marty Zawarski and Phil Barnard served in their last meeting as Bethlehem Township Commissioners. At the end of the year, they will return to the highest form of office in America - citizen. Their defeat at the polls is largely the result of two factors.

First is the hysteria that Pat Breslin managed to whip up concerning what was originally proposed as a 37.6% tax hike Although it was eventually whittled down to 18%, angry taxpayers jammed into four budget hearings in protest.

Second, Facebook condemnations from incumbent Comm'r Michael Hudak added fuel to that fire. Hudak also portrayed the Bethlehem Township Athletic Association (Bulldogs) as a money-grabbing bogeyman intent on shackling taxpayers with $500,000 bathrooms at the athletic fields. When one taxpayer challenged Hudak, he responded that he was reporting the Bulldogs to the IRS and insinuated its membership consists of people who transplanted here from New Jersey.

Third, the township is plagued by overdevelopment and a real stormwater problem. A lot of the blame for that was placed on Marty Zawarski, whose father was a developer.

Barnard faced Democratic candidate Kim Jenkins. She ran no campaign and may have attended one meeting. She won by a scant eight votes. Zawarski, who faced Democratic replacement Malissa Davis after Jack Glagola bowed out of the race, lost by a much wider margin. He was defeated by 445 votes.

Ironically, much of this support came from the large tea party faction living in Bethlehem Township. .

Neither Zawarski nor Barnard expressed any bitterness at their final meeting. Zawarski thanked everyone "for putting up with me." For his part, Barnard commended the Township's "tremendous staff."

Zawarski and Barnard, along with Tom Nolan, then voted to adopt the 2016 Budget. Michael Hudak and Pat Breslin both skipped this meeting, perhaps the most important of the year, in which the spending plan is adopted. Hudak had opposed the Budget, but Breslin supported it at the previous meeting, and cast a vote in favor of an amendment that would restore funding to the Bulldogs. By absenting himself from the final vote, Breslin can claim, disingenuously, that he never supported a tax hike.

Breslin was absent from five of 22 meetings in 2015. Hudak missed three, and walked out of a fourth.. Zawarski was absent once. Both Barnard and Nolan had perfect attendance.


Anonymous said...

Let's see if Hudak can piss off the two new Commissioners before the end of the first meeting on January 4. They both have opinions very different from Hudak's.

Anonymous said...

The punch line....... or the joke?

Anonymous said...

I vote joke.

Anonymous said...

I happen to know hudak missed the last meeting because he was still in the hospital from a partial hip replacement. I can not speak for Breslin but would ask him before I assumed a reason. I do know that hudak would have voted against the budget anyhow and It had nothing to do with the bulldogs. As far as a Facebook post being instrumental in killing their re-election, your giving way to much credit to him AGAIN ! His followers are like yours, far and few between, and I can't imagine his comments could have swayed the voters one way or the other. I have read his comments that you speak of and I can not see anything that isn't a true statement. Can you? Which ones ?
so your saying letting the taxpayers know the truth about their representatives is a bad thing. Typical bernie. And yup, it's Mike,s neighbor :)

Anonymous said...

Hudak's behavior speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Hudak alienates everyone. Plus he comes from a place of ignorance never wanting to hear anyone's opinion. Even after a vote he still rattles away barking about this or that. He is a prime example of term limits. His time has come to walk away

Anonymous said...

Funny. Hudak made the first motion to approve the budget. But when the other commissioners added back in the small fund for the Bulldogs Hudak said no. Hudak is a single issue person who wants to keep the township like it was in the 60's. Well guess what, it's 2015. This township should be a first class township but Hudak doesn't support anything that takes us in that direction. Look at our roads. They are a complete mess. Give Grube a paving job and he is certain to mess that up. Show me a road that he repaired and made better. It's a sin that township residents put up with this crap. Our roads are a complete disaster. Hudak stays on the good side of Grube because he wants his sculac road paved. A road that serves Miga's dump of substandard apartments. Hudak and Grube must go.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see Phil go, he was really a good commissioner!

Anonymous said...

I always wondered how the heck all those crappy apartments off Sculac Dr/Wilson Ave were ever approved. That area has one weird combination of land uses. The commissioners at the time must have said "this will be the street we will allow all the pay to play developers to build on."

Google "Bruce Shannon Bethlehem bribe", some interesting reading from the Morning Call in the 1980s. The Miga apartments (Steven J Inc. = Miga) are older but I bet a similar thing played out then.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You bet? Look, don't say things anonymously that could get you sued for libel if you said it with your name attached to it. Mmk?