Community Government Opinion

Council Meeting Agenda Without Library Update Hurts Community: Letter

Library Bake Sale

Lower Saucon Township Councilwoman Priscilla deLeon writes that her attempt to put a library services discussion on the Feb. 16 council meeting agenda for discussion has apparently been thwarted. Some residents are upset and concerned over the future of library services in the township after a council majority rejected a proposed 5-year agreement with the Hellertown Area Library last month.

Est. Read Time: 4 mins
Library Bake Sale

Two Saucon Valley eight-year-olds–Jude Shorb and Emma LaFlamme–organized a bake sale to benefit the Hellertown Area Library outside Unrivaled Nutrition & Training in the Creekside Marketplace shopping center on Rt. 412 Sunday. The library faces an uncertain future after Lower Saucon Township Council declined to adopt a new 5-year agreement with it last month. Instead, council voted 4-1 to make a $50,000 donation to the library, which its board of trustees later rejected. Hellertown Borough Council recently approved a $75,000 allocation of emergency supplemental funding to the library to help keep it operational in the near-term. Lower Saucon residents can continue to use its services through Feb. 28. (Photo by Pam Thompson)

To the Saucon Valley Community,

Priscilla deLeon

Lower Saucon Township Councilwoman Priscilla deLeon (FILE PHOTO)

As you may have noticed, the Lower Saucon Township agenda for next Wednesday’s Feb. 16, 2022, council meeting does NOT include any mention of “library services.” This is contrary to my request to have it placed on the agenda. Here’s the timeline of what happened.

On Feb. 2, 2022, I spoke with Councilwoman Jennifer Zavacky and asked if she would join me in requesting that an update on “library services” be placed on the Feb. 16, 2022, council agenda. She said yes.

I then sent Lower Saucon Township manager Leslie Huhn the following email:

“Hi Leslie, I just spoke with Jen and we would like to request a ‘library services update’ on the 2/16/2022 council agenda. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks, Priscilla”

Then, on Feb. 7, 2022, I received an email from Jennifer that said:

“Hi Priscilla and Leslie, In thinking through this further, I would like to change my decision to have Library Services on the actual meeting agenda. An update is more appropriate at this time and I plan to cover library services in my council report, versus having it within the actual meeting agenda. Thanks, Jennifer.”

On Feb. 8, 2022, I responded to Jennifer’s email:

“Hi! Leslie and Jen,

Jen, I disagree with you. In my opinion, it was important to be an agenda item on the Jan. 19 meeting under ‘discussion of library services,’ not an update under Council reports or you would have given it then. It is even more important now. We need to deal with the attorney’s recommendations discussed in your email during the last two meetings you attended: an update on the motion to give $50,000 to Southern Lehigh (Public Library), (did they accept it or not), drop the threat of litigation and get clear council direction at the meeting on the other items.

All these issues may require motions for spending taxpayer money and/or may require a contract or agreement. We need to be transparent to subdue the uproar in the community by providing what progress has been made to date. We need to discuss openly with the public. Our residents only have library access until Feb. 28 out of the goodness of the (Hellertown) library. As you recall, we only paid through Jan. 31.

We do not have another meeting scheduled until March 16.

Do you really think taking the library issue off the agenda will subdue the uproar in the community?

If it is not an agenda item, it will inflame the community even more.

Act 65 of 2021 in part states, “The agenda must include a listing of each matter of agency business that the board expects to act on, or deliberate, at the upcoming meeting.” It gives the appearance of stalling and not acting in good faith.

In the past, other committee business has been listed under the agenda and not under Council reports.

We were elected to represent the best interests of our community instead of fracturing it. By not making it an agenda item, (it) will fracture it even more.

At this point, I am asking you to reconsider keeping it an agenda item.

I would like to report back to our constituents that you support me in this request.

Looking forward to your response, Respectfully, Priscilla.”

As of Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, Jennifer had not responded to my Feb. 8. 2022, email.

The agenda was posted Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, without “library services” on the agenda.

Very disheartening.


Priscilla deLeon, Councilwoman
Lower Saucon Township

Editor’s Note: At its Jan. 3, 2022 meeting, Lower Saucon Township Council adopted a new agenda policy and meeting code of conduct that among other things requires that “any councilperson who wishes to have an item listed on an agenda shall present a written request to the Township Manager, with sufficient detail to describe the item, at least 7 calendar days prior to the date of the meeting. The written request shall be accompanied by the assent of one other Councilperson to the request.” The vote to adopt the new policy was 4-1, with the author of this letter voting to oppose it. Council’s Wednesday, Feb. 16 meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in-person at Lower Saucon Town Hall, 3700 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bethlehem, Pa. Saucon Shenanigans blogger Andrea Wittchen announced in her most recent blog post (“So Many Questions,” Feb. 9, 2022) that she plans to once again livestream the meeting online.

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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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