Friday, December 03, 2021

NorCo Council Decides on New District Configuration


 

Every ten years, following the census, Northampton County Council is required to establish four Council districts. Following discussion, Northampton County Council voted 6-3 to establish new Council districts configuration. Voting in favor were Council members John Cusick, Bill McGee, Tara Zrinski, Lori Vargo-Heffner, Kevin Lott and, after some hesitation, Kerry Myers. Voting No were Tom Giovanni, Peg Ferraro and Ron Heckman.

"If it's not broke, don't fix it," said Ron Heckman. 

District One currently consists of Bethlehem, Hellertown, Freemansburg and Hanover Tp. It is represented by Kevin Lott. Under the new District, it will consist of Bethlehem, Hellertown, Lower Saucon and Williams Tps. 

District Two currently consists of Easton, Forks, Glendon, Palmer. Stockertown, Tatamy, West Easton and Wilson. It is represented by Kerry Myers. The new District will remain unchanged. 

District Three currently consists of Nazareth, Bethlehem Tp, E Allen, Lower Nazareth, Lower Saucon, Northampton, North Catasauqua and Williams Tp. It is represented by John Cusick. The new District consists of Freemansburg, Nazareth, Allen, Bethlehem Tp, E Allen, Lower Nazareth, Northampton, North Catasauqua and Hanover.

District Four currently consists of Bath, Bangor, Bushkill, Chapman, E Bangor, Lehigh, Lower Mt Bethel, Moore, Pen Argyl, Plainfield, Portland, Roseto, U Mt Bethel, U Nazareth, Walnutport, Wind Gap and Washington. It is represented by Tom Giovanni. The new District remains unchanged.

Updated 14/4/21 at 9:10 pm: From time to time, I completely blow a story. This is one of those times. In my original report, I thought County Council had voted to retain the old boundaries. I was dead wrong. I had to re-write. Then I blew how Council members voted. This necessitated another correction. Finally, I incorrectly placed Lower Saucon in two districts, making yet another correction necessary. I'm terribly sorry for my mistakes.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

It appears that you left Lott off the list of people who voted no. There are 5 names for, 3 against.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks for catching my error so quickly. I fixed and will listen again to that portion of the meeting.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I was confused and had this all wrong. I basically had to re-write the story.

Anonymous said...

Put up the new map.

Anonymous said...

Did Myers vote for it, or against?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Myers voted for the new configuration. It was confusing bc Vargo-Heffner went out of order and had Council vote on the new configuration when the agenda called on them to consider the old configuration first. She joked this was "dealer's choice" but should have stuck to the agenda. I know my original story was completely wrong. Fortunately, I caught and fixed it

Anonymous said...

"dealer's choice"


Isn't she president of council? Sounds more like something a bully would do. Did she do it to screw over the guys that wanted the other plan? Wasn't that plan done by the district guys themselves? Also, didn't this plan get rid of Cusick?

Anonymous said...

You, got it wrong, twice? Say it ain’t so!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Three major errors.

Anonymous said...

Shoeless Bernie O'Hare. Say it ain't so Shoeless Bernie.
On the other hand, Heffer wasn't for the redistricting plan and lobbied for her own configuration. Heffner is a self serving person and should not be reelected as Council President.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There are two options, the one adopted and the configuration currently in place.

I have no idea whether there was a third plan.

As for being self-serving, Vargo-Heffner is the person who drafted the increase in salaries for top elections officials and who suggested setting aside $ for studies at Gracedale and for IT and for salaries. This proves she is no rubber stamp.

The next Council president should be Cusick. He is the best informed and asks the questions that need to be asked. I sometimes disagree with him, but he provides true oversight. But he's a R, and I doubt anyone will vote for him on the D side.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I deleted two comments - one suggesting that Covid is a made up disease and another along those same lines.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't Bushkill Twp listed?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Because I screwed up. It is in D4.

Tom Shortell said...

Bernie, should we interpret this to mean Cusick won't run for re-election? He voted for it, but this would move him into District 1 as he's a Williams Twp resident. Republicans will have a tough time winning in a Bethlehem-based district.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tom, Kevin Lott said during debate that he was concerned that the new district would effectively make it unlikely for a sitting district council member (Cusick) to seek re-election, and pointedly asked Cusick. Cusick never really answered him but did support the new district. Given his interest in county government, my take on this is he will run for Controller. He certainly would be an effective check if he were elected. I have not spoken to him and am just speculating.