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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, November 08, 2018

NorCo Budget Hearing Revelations

I attended a NorCo Budget hearing yesterday, but could only take it for two hours before I got up and left. I'm getting old and was still tired from Election Day. They may still be there as I write. I did learn the following:

- NorCo's No Cash Bail is working. - Judge Craig Dally and Court Administrator Jermaine Greene explained that a pretrial services officer arrives every morning at 6 am to do a risk assessment on overnight arrests, and makes recommendations. It has eliminated the problem of low level offenders languishing in jail, which costs the county money. But Judge Dally said that the safety of the public is the paramount concern. He added that many of these people have engaged in domestic violence.

- NorCo's Drug Court is working. - This is an 18-month program for defendants who have already been convicted. Judge Dally reported that 51 participants are currently enrolled, with four applications pending. Over its existence, 45 people have been removed from the drug court program, which is very arduous. But he has had 17 graduates, with another scheduled for today. Of those who graduate, the recidivism rate is about 20%.

- McClure Eliminating Two DCED Positions. - Executive Lamont McClure explained his decision to eliminate two positions from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). He would like DCED to work more on community development. He added that he may eventually approach Council for a grant writer to help municipalities and small businesses.

- DCED and Lead Paint. - One of DCED's programs is to fund contractors to eradicate lead paint in homes with children aged 1-6 who have elevated lead levels. The average age of a LV home is 53 years, before it was known that lead is a problem. Fifty children are on awaiting list. The plan is to remediate 30 homes per year. Lead testing for children in Pa. is voluntary.


Anonymous said...

Is DCED under control? These economic development agencies all over the place seem like a way to give taxpayer money to insiders without any real oversight. Insiders handing out our money to other insiders.

Anonymous said...

Kraft would have had the meeting done in 1 hour, seems this new group talks just to hear themselves

Bernie O'Hare said...

I admit I am leery of DCED, especially after the proposed grant for a church steeple. But I like the idea of emphasizing community over economic development. Let LVEDC handle that while DCED focuses on helping communities. I also like the ide of doing more to help overlooked communities in the slate belt.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Kraft would have had the meeting done in 1 hour, seems this new group talks just to hear themselves"

Yesterday was pretty bad. Heckman and Zrinski very much wanted to hear themselves talk. Zrinski, a sanctioned perjurer, routinely comes to meetings late. She has been taken to task for skipping a crucial budget hearing concerning millions ofdollars so she could play politics with Susan Wild. At the last committee meeting, she came late and complained about the phone participation when she clearly could have been here. She then tries to make up for her failure to be here by asking questions that have already been asked and answered. Heckman failed to keep the meeting moving. He has been doing a good job of that until yesterday.

Ken said...

Although I appreciate the vote of confidence, I am no longer on County Council and believe that they will find their groove and do a fine job.

Anonymous said...

Time for Hartney to exit the building...smart mouth!

Anonymous said...

DCED is a loose cannon with lots of money. I hope they watched closely. No problem with questioning them.

Anonymous said...

If you think Zirinski and Heckman say to much at meetings, you must have really had problems with your pal Angle! Now there was a guy who really loved to hear himself talk and talk and talk.