Wednesday, January 27, 2016

At Least Six Green Pond Stockholders Still Have Local Ties

On Monday, Green Pond Attorney Graham Simmons told the Bethlehem Township Planning Commission that there were 24 stockholders at Green Pond Country Club, and that except for his uncle John, they have no ties to the township or, for that matter, the Lehigh Valley. The implication was that these were heartless bastards only interested in seeing a return on their investment, and that they would not hesitate to rip apart the Green Pond Golf Course if that meant more money in their pocket.

Green Pond Attorney Graham Simmons was less than honest. Thanks to regular reader Hank_Hill, I have a list of the 21 (not 24) stockholders. They are all listed on Green Pond's liquor license, which is a matter of public record.

W J DAUB III (Uncle John) is PRESIDENT and DIRECTOR. CHARLES W CHURCHMAN JR is VICE PRESIDENT and Director. His family is associated with Easton's Churchman Business College, and the family may still reside in Easton. ALDO BRAIDO, a Director, is Chairman of the Board at General Supply. His company is located in Bethlehem Township. JOSEPH E MILUTIS, another Director is a former NorCo GOP Chair and IBM Exec. He is listed as an officer at AAA Northampton County and appears to be an Easton resident. RICHARD R RULAND is a Director and someone with that exact name lives in Bethlehem. The same is true of another director, Someone with the exact same name as director John J Simon lives in a $400,000 home in Bethlehem Township. RODGER L ZELLNER JR is listed as ASSISTANT SECRETARY, ASSISTANT TREASURER and MANAGER/STEWARD. He is a local resident.

Stockholder ELSIE L BROWN may be John Daub's deceased aunt and widow of Thomas Brown, who co-founded the Brown Daub car dealership in 1936. Thomas Brown had been employed at General Supply Co.

The remaining stockholders will be checked today through a search of Northampton County property records. They are H R RITTERSBACH III, DIRECTOR; CHARLES R WILSON; ROBERTA G BENNETT; RICHARD R BILHEIMER; DOUGLAS BILHEIMER; L H BROWN JR; T S BROWN; PETER DEELY; THOMAS DEELY; JUNE L LUYBEN; SUSAN MCCREA; JOAN M TAFT and GABRIELLE WILLIAMS.

For you Caddyshack fans, I did not see the name Carl Spackler.

Contrary to what Simmons told the Planning Commission, at least six stockholders are still tied closely to the Lehigh Valley. There are likely more, and I will determine that today.

You can help, too. If you recognize any of these names, please feel free to share what you know in the comments.

29 comments:

Bernie O'Hare said...

Just learned that John Simon is President of General Supply and is very connected to the Lehigh Valley and Bethlehem Township. He is an active member of the Easton Lebanese community.

Anonymous said...

Nothing/// absolutely nothings/// is sacred.

Blacktop the Township,

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie,What's a 400,000 dollar house have to do with anything--Mr.Simon is NOT show'n off, he has earned what he has ,and is very capable.-other than guy's like you and me don't own one- what is the issue.

Anonymous said...

Is Roberta Bennett related to Bennett Auto on Lehigh Street?

Anonymous said...

On Monday, Green Pond Attorney Graham Simmons told the Bethlehem Township Planning Commission that there were 24 stockholders at Green Pond Country Club, and that except for his uncle John, they have no ties to the township or, for that matter, the Lehigh Valley."

This is awful. What deception.

Anonymous said...

If all of these stockholders were polled individually how would they feel about destruction of Green Pond Marsh. As you described many live in Bethlehem Township, they cannot ALL be suffering under the capitalist greed regime or is Jon Daub the biggest shareholder with the biggest opportunity for gain?

Anonymous said...

General Supply published this on their website;

"At General Supply Company, we are truly proud of the family of individuals that contribute to creating an atmosphere of community spirit and uncompromising work ethic. And at General Supply Company, we are truly proud to open our doors and welcome you to our family. Our team is always there for you."

Is this the atmosphere of community spirit that supports the needs of the people of Bethlehem Township?

Anonymous said...

One of them I know is a local resident, Northampton Country Club member and avid golfer. Never heard of most of the others besides the Daubs.

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is that there's big money pulling the strings to the Save Green Pond effort too. People ought to know who's bankrolling that effort, because I bet it aint grassroots. Wasn't there, but I heard Elliott refused to give that one up when asked.

Here's another rub, Glagola's done this song and dance before. Anytime Moravian has done something at the school he's put them through the wringer in front of that township. But no, he aint a NIMBY.

None of this fits the David and Goliath angle for Bernie or the papers though. People in that township deserve the whole truth on this mess.

Jack Glagola said...

Save Green Pond IS a grass roots effort. There are a number of individuals in the Township who care about the environment, green space, and farmland preservation. TOA in there initial presentation suggested that they had the support of Audubon, Sierra Club and Ducks Unlimited. When these organizations were contacted they denied vehemently any support for this project. How many times do we need spin doctor Biddson explain how wonderful this project will be for Bethlehem Township. This project will generate over $110,000,000 and Bethlehem Township will be given a bone in terms of transfer taxes and school tax revenues.
That is why green Bethlehem Township residents are concerned, ruin the Marsh and Green Pond as well. I am not against someone making a profit but as whose expense? The last time I looked we still live in a democracy were the rights of all the people are respected.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jack, time to move on. It's a plan that's allowable by code. The Board understands that, the PC understands that, why don't you and your knuckle-dragging friends understand that? The waivers granted were not out of the ordinary and, in fact, will help save your precious swamp. Move on...nothing to see here.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jack...next time you want to say something at a meeting SPEAK INTO THE MICROPHONE!!

Jack Glagola said...

Thank you 10:21 and 10:22, I assume your reference to knuckle-dragging would be the simians that inhabit the lowlands of equatorial Africa. Sorry, not so, these are good upstanding folks of Bethlehem Township who care about these issues. It is the Zoning Ordnance not the code. The Building Code addresses to be built or built projects

Anonymous said...

Jack, Thank You, Captain Obvious. The post was clearly in reference to your beloved Zoning Code...I will be sure to be more direct and spoon feed you in future posts. Maybe you and your 'upstanding folk' can raise enough money to buy the land from Green Pond Golf Course to preseve the mud hole and solve all of your issues. Until then....move on...nothing to see here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie,What's a 400,000 dollar house have to do with anything--Mr.Simon is NOT show'n off, he has earned what he has ,and is very capable.-other than guy's like you and me don't own one- what is the issue."

Peter, you are right. A $400,000 home is irrelevant, unless you are contending that the only person who has ties to the community is Daub. That's what Simmons did. I should not have mentioned the home's value, but it seemed to support my point that this guy must be one of the shareholders that Daub previously refused to identify.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Any time a person questions his government, as Glagola has dared to do, he will be attacked by the power structure. I saw that frequently in Allentown, where the urban growth regime went after anyone who dared question them. It is happening here, too. These personal attacks at Glagola sound eerily like Michael Hudak, who doesn't think the pubic should speak at all and only considers it a courtesy. I know,it;s his "neighbor" (wink, wink). I have covered BT for years, and never saw Glagola put the Township through the ringer over Moravian. Maybe he did, but I haven't seen it. I have seen him put comm'rs thru the ringer over their indifference to a rare sanctuary for 180 different kinds of birds. I have seen TOA change its plans several times to address his concerns. It seems to me that he has had a big impact on the planning process while others have derided him.

I will say that if Green pond is willing to commit that it will not develop the rest of its land, and is willing to express that commitment in a deed that is binding in perpetuity, then the TOA plan deserves a bit more sympathy. Some have argued that zoning would require this, but i'd want to see a deed from green pond itself, recorded contemporaneously with an approved plan.

Jack Glagola said...

Thank you BH. I know I speak for a lot of people in Bethlehem Township when I raise and address these issues.

Anonymous said...

it seems people don't want the owners to sell their land which is their right. the only way to stop this is for the neighbirs to buy the land or the Township to buy the land. Then they could designate it as open space forever.

if either did buy the land, i am sure that wouldn't happen and they would sell some of the land so they get some of their money back. then in 10 years GPCC can close and sell the golf course which can be developed.

Anonymous said...

I think a conservation easement on the land where the wetlands is located filed with the land development approvals would be a good solution to the issue as well as limiting the community to 225 homes because of storm water and traffic issues that other wise will be in sufficient.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie ,the AVERAGE home today being built was cited in Monday's WALL STREET JOURNAL they are exceeding 2600 feet --Also I will bet Mr.Andy Daub ,a real fine man ,IS NOT the major stockholder. I got 20 dollars to wager.He is the 'institutional memory' .A wonderful man that has done more for the little people here as wall as those now upgraded -- than anyone I know.

Anonymous said...

"it seems people don't want the owners to sell their land which is their right. the only way to stop this is for the neighbirs to buy the land or the Township to buy the land. Then they could designate it as open space forever. "

Vote Trump. He supports Eminent Domain. Take the land from its owners and the problem is solved. Just hope they don't come for your land some day.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

If you want to attack someone who is not involved as a political or public official, you know you have to ID yourself. Your failure to do so makes you a coward and I deleted your comment.

Anonymous said...

Spaulding!! Get your foot off the boat!

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie 400K is not enough . This is slightly higher than an AVERAGE home built today with acquisition of the land and code . Now - a developer is charging in the old LAUBACH property NEAR Palmer Twp line and that much the homes are made 2x2's and flak board ,a lot of void spaces, no lighting arresters and will go down if fire occurs in moments. You can bet that the General Supply CEO has a home built with substance,for that money.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Look at Chipman Courts Chrin's development- off Chipman Road Bethlehem Twp. 1.4 million and that is the light side -SO a man in Bethlehem Twp with 400 k home is not showing off . You are an expert in this Bernie you know how to look this up unlike me .General Supply is a tax base ,and has been here for years. They are a PRIVATELY held stock company,and this is their business, they are not crooks and do not deceive the ignorant.ThEY should be looked upon as great business that pay's school taxes and a working man's salary,so he can pay taxes too after he feeds his family. You should go after Lafayette College for not paying their fair share here in Easton , they fail to even support minorities with grants to the big school but bring and pay for somebody from a foreign country.-they don't pay school taxes-or transfer tax's here on property that are bought to my knowledge and -yet their constituents -legacy students drive BMW's and high end SUV;s. whats wrong with this picture. They are screwing Easton Tax payers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Peter, I conceded this point.

Richard R Bilheimer said...

My name is Richard R Bilheimer, I am the son of the late Russel Earl Bilheimer, Jr. former President of Green Pond Country Club and General Supply Lumber Company for more than 25 years. My father held 15% of the shares of Green Pond Country Club, they were divided equally to his three children after his death. I am a graduate of NCACC and East Stroudsburg University, I am currently retired as a Safety Consultant after 30 years. As a child I have very fond memories of Green Pond Country Club. Cleaning locker rooms, carrying golfer's bags, and playing a few rounds of golf myself, this is where my father taught me how to play golf,what a beautiful course. My father's vision was to enhance the golf course, bring in tournaments, build the business of the restaurant and banquet facilities, most of all he wished for the adjacent land to be used for a planned community of beautiful high end homes that aesthetically included the preservation of the wetlands and nature areas of the golf course property. His foresight told him that the New York and New Jersey citizens would soon be moving into the area with the improvements of the highway infrastructure. What he did NOT want to see were strip malls, hotels, small manufacturing on the land. Back in the late 60's and 70's he had an independent real estate appraisal done of the entire property and plans for the development, which looks nothing like the plan of today. Nor does the value, the appraisal back in the 60's and 70's was $20 million! Now these developers, the Toll brothers, Traditions of America and a group of insiders (the boys club names NOT to be mentioned) are considering proposals of $7 million! As a proud shareholder of both Green Pond Country Club and General Supply Company (113 years old). Unfortunately my 5% along with my brother's 5% and my sister's 5% is not enough to make a difference to continue to make Green Pond a beautiful landmark and preserve of the Lehigh Valley as my father wished. It is NOW in the voting hands of people looking to make backroom deals and selling for pennies on the dollar. Although I do not live in the Lehigh Valley I have ties to the Lehigh Valley through nieces, nephews and friends. Many of whom golf at Green Pond Country Club. When visiting the Lehigh Valley I always make it a point to visit Green Pond Country Club and General Supply Lumber company. As far as John Simon owning a $400,000 home, I know him personally. My father would be very proud of him as the person who filled his seat. He is honest, hard-working and dedicated to the company, his employees and the community. Bottom line, times have changed, keeping nature in mind development is inevitable and if the price is right and the deals become transparent I would be in favor of diluting my shares, although it was my wish to hand my shares done to my own son. It has been over 30 years since I have lived in the Lehigh Valley, but I STILL call it HOME. I Love those Yocco Hotdogs.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Bilheimer, Thanks for your comment. I am going to load this as a separate blog. Incidentally, I have high regard for Mr. Simon and spoke with him. He is a good man. My point was not to accentuate the value of his home, but to establish he still very much has a presence here.