Thursday, May 20, 2021

Osborne: Sea Change in South Whitehall

You thought it was coming. You certainly hoped it was coming. But you weren’t sure. You could smell the fresh air and feel the gentle breeze. You could sense a slight tremor beneath your feet. But you still weren’t sure. You were told that two candidates for township commissioner and their supporters were a “small, vocal minority.” They were counted at “a couple dozen.” But when dawn came on Tuesday, and with it sunshine in a way you haven’t seen in quite a while, you knew something was different. Could it be??!

What is this?! The “couple dozen” became another “couple dozen.” And then another “couple dozen.” And then dozens of dozens. By the time the polls closed and every vote was counted, the wind was gusting, the tremor became an earthquake, and the tide came rolling in! Wow!

You see, Tori Morgan’s count of “a couple dozen” was actually a miscount. It discounted the legitimacy and professionalism of two of her board members. It didn’t account for the swelling concerns of the residents of South Whitehall. And it didn’t acknowledge the fact that the interest of the residents is paramount.

The real count:

  1. David Kennedy: 1,467 votes, 43.1%

  2. Monica Hodges: 1,329 votes, 39.1%

  3. Tori Morgan: 606 votes, 17.8%

Newcomers David Kennedy and Monica Hodges doubled up on Tori Morgan, and many dozens more. Their literature on Election Day emphasized they will prioritize the concerns of the residents they heard going door-to-door for several months:

  • Sensible Growth

  • Transparency

  • Fiscal Accountability

  • Protective Services

Often these are generic buzzwords provided by paid consultants. But in South Whitehall today, these are very meaningful and real topics. And I learned that neither David Kennedy nor Monica Hodges has paid consultants. So you know this is their true mission and commitment.

I reached out for comment on the election from the two candidates, and this is what they submitted as a joint statement:

We are humbled and grateful for the support of the citizens of South Whitehall. Thank you for placing your trust in us. We are looking forward to the general election and ultimately working hard to serve the citizens of South Whitehall with integrity, transparency, and honesty.”

Humble, gracious winners.

The tide did indeed come rolling in, and with it the possibility of a Sea Change in South Whitehall. Look for David Kennedy and Monica Hodges, as well as Tom Johns and Joe Setton on the November ballot.


Anonymous said...

well since benni long was appointed by a lame duck, a 5th and 6th place finisher in the previous election....we have 7 more months of hell to endure until we can finally ride the unicorn to the rainbows

how is it possible that 3 losing candidates can select a commissioner for the next 7 months.

well good luck with that benni,keep it light and relax, just be you...a puppet with strings

lets count the 3-2 votes for the next 7 months shall we?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Bernie O'Hare said...

This story is unrelated to Ben Long and I decline to publish these anonymous attacks. Also, before you start calling someone 10, you should stop using CAPSLOCK. Knock off the petty nonsense. Post about issues. You diminish Brad when you go off on these cowardly anonymous rants.

Anonymous said...

3-2 votes for the rest of 2021

Brad Osborne said...

I understand the passion of the residents of South Whitehall and the readers of this blog. It certainly came through in the results of this week’s election. I am thankful for that and hope that it continues to the November general election, where it can have lasting impact.

But I agree with Bernie on his point. If we focus on the subject and comment primarily on the individuals’ position on the topic discussed, it would be more helpful.

Believe me, there is a lot of information on South Whitehall’s BOC meetings and social media that will be appropriate and pertinent when the time comes! I plan to use it myself.

Ben Long’s appointment to the BOC is a product of the process that was forced through last summer. I will be posting about it in the near future. It has some questionable aspects to it that I think you may be interested in. It’s at least worthy of more discussion.

Anonymous said...

I know Brad Osborne and respect his opinions. I know he wants us all to stay within the lines, so I will try. But there is so much that hasn’t been made public yet that I hope he will give us an opportunity to tell it like it is for us common folks. It’s really bad, especially for employees.

Anonymous said...

I understand the need to avoid personal attacks on Ben Long, but I have a serious question: would Ben Long need to recuse himself from the upcoming Parkview project since he was on social media promoting it? If he doesn’t recuse himself, is South Whitehall subject to a lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

the appointment of Keisha Champagnie is just perplexing, unless ....i just dont know. But the fact is the 2 last place finishers int bhe 2019 election picked ben long. Something really unjust about that..

Also I thought the vacancy board had to be reappointed every january as per satte keisha champagnie a legit vacancy chairperson? or is this like the audits....yeah its required by law............except in SWT

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I’ll go straight to you on the above question. Ben Long has promoted the controversial Parkview development in South Whitehall publicly prior to his appointment to the BOC. Is the township open to a lawsuit for a prejudicial judgement on this if it were approved on a 3-2 vote with Ben being the tie-breaking vote?

Anonymous said...

South Whitehall Township is a joke... Thank God I live in Bethlehem Township

Anonymous said...

Miss Morgan was a no show last night on her role as a "Commissioner" at the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission monthly meeting, already abandoning her obligations to the community