Thursday, January 05, 2017
Cusick, Geissinger to Lead NorCo Council in 2017
It was a 7-1-1 vote. Democrat Ken Kraft voted to install fellow Democrat Bob Werner as President, but Werner abstained. The seven Republicans supported Cusick, who was nominated by Matt Dietz.
After his election, Cusick said he'd like to see the County move forward this year with a new jail, 911 merger with Bethlehem and an overdue but politically unpopular re-assessment. He also pointed out that an overhaul of the Administrative Code is needed.
In something of a surprise, Seth Vaughn was replaced as Council VP by Glenn Geissinger. He asked Vaughn if he'd like to stay on and the answer was No. "I would like to nominate Mr. Geissinger as well," said Vaughn to a few chuckles.
Geissinger, who ran for Congress last year, also had the lowest attendance record (54%) of any Council member. All seven Republicans voted for him anyway. The two Democrats voted for Ken Kraft, whose 65% attendance last year was only slightly better.
Geissinger said he'd continue "to cut the waste in government, and care for the citizens of Northampton County."
The only unanimous vote was for Phil Lauer as Council Solicitor. Asked to give a few remarks, Lauer responded, "I think lawyers have to know when to shut up."
As Council President, Cusick is entitled to a salary of $10,000. But last year, he voluntarily agreed to accept the same $9,500 salary of other Council members because he voted for himself. Under state law, a legislator must abstain on matters in which she or he has a direct financial interest.