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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Cusick, Geissinger to Lead NorCo Council in 2017

Northampton County Council reorganization meetings,which must be held every year, are often the subject of palace intrigue. Ann McHale, Ron Angle and Peg Ferraro have each been unceremoniously deposed as Council President during these reorganizations, often with no notice. But John Cusick, a player in two of these coups, was easily re-elected as President in a brief Council meeting on Monday.

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.


Anonymous said...

Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber back in the saddle. More rubber stamps for Brownstain and his overpaid cronies.

Anonymous said...

Tell me something, what kind of asshole would move forward with a property reassessment when the State Legislature is moving ahead to remove property taxes? DUH.
Why not wait and see what washes out in Harrisburg? Hopefully the Susquehanna will overflow and wash out all the politicians there. Now if we could only get the Delaware to reach the Courthouse.

Anonymous said...

They are our local leaders in the Republican revolution. We are taking back our government. Hopefully they can put the brakes on the trough feeders.

Anonymous said...

As usual, no changes among the elite. Once again county council is showing how apathetic they are and their disdain for public confidence is even lower. We'll see how this translates in the next election. Most probably we all will be disappointed because voter apathy is just about as bad. Very sad!

Anonymous said...

In the City of Bethlehem do not confuse the hard work of City Council's clerk, who does an excellent job of posting agendas and all relevant back-up documents, with the poor job done by the administrative boards whose members are nominated by the mayor. Try to find an agenda for any Parking Authortiy or the Water and Sewer Authority meeting. HARB was supposed to meet yesterday, but they still have the December agenda (posted days AFTER the meeting took place- some guy complained at that meeting that there was no agenda on the City web page so they posted it later that week) listed as the "next" meeting. Sometimes Zoning goes two months before posting the next meeting date and agenda. None of these boards post back-up documents, which at minimum should include any zoning appeal application for a hearing (they could justifiably redact phone contact information and other data to prevent harassment of anyone asking for a zoning hearing...however the citizens absolutely have a right to know what section of the zoning code any appeal is being requested for, which is a required section of the appeal application for a hearing). When a citizen asked someone in Zoning why the appeal application could not be posted, they were told "We do not do that."
Go look for yourself to. See how timely the agendas are posted-- one November and three December agendas listed as the "next" meeting, and at least one of those boards has already met in January. Listing of "up coming meetings" as of one-ten PM, Thursday, January fifth, 2017.

Anonymous said...

God Bless Glenn Geissinger!