Lower Saucon Council Welcomes New Councilman

A new face on Lower Saucon Township Council was welcomed at its Jan. 2 reorganization meeting. Ryan Stauffer–who was elected to council in November, replacing Ron Horiszny who had served since the summer of 2005–was sworn in by township staff member and notary public Diane Palik.

Louder, Yerger, deLeon Winners in Township Council Race

According to unofficial election results posted online by WFMZ-TV Channel 69 News Tuesday night, with all eight precincts reporting their vote totals the three winners in a hotly-contested, six-way race for three open seats on Lower Saucon Township are Republican challenger Donna Louder with 1,237 votes, Republican challenger and former township councilwoman Sandra Yerger with 1,162 votes, and Democratic incumbent Priscilla deLeon with 1,148 votes. DeLeon, who has served on council for 28 years, is holding on to her council seat by a razor-thin margin of just seven votes which separate her from the fourth-place finisher in the race–Republican incumbent and current council vice president Tom Maxfield–who has received 1,141 votes, according to the news station’s unofficial results. The fifth and sixth place finishers are David Willard (D-I), with 1,061 votes, and Gary Gorman (D), with 769 votes, according to the news channel. The unofficial results posted on Northampton County’s Elections website were lagging behind those posted by the television news station all evening, with just 50 percent of precincts’ vote totals reported as of 11 p.m.

By 11:30 p.m., however, the county was reporting vote totals from 100 percent of precincts with a slight difference in the numbers reported by WFMZ–but the same results. According to the county’s results, Louder received 1,244 votes (18.89 percent), Yerger received 1,176 votes (17.86 percent), deLeon received 1,157 votes (17.57 percent), Maxfield received 1,154 votes (17.52 percent), Willard received 1,069 votes (16.23 percent) and Gorman received 775 votes (11.77 percent), with 10 votes (.15 percent) cast for write-in candidates.

Know the Candidates: 2015 Lower Saucon Township Council Race

The following unedited* responses–listed in alphabetical order by last name–were submitted by the six candidates for three four-year seats on Lower Saucon Township Council. All candidates were given an opportunity to respond to the same questions and to provide a closing statement to help voters better understand their views. Candidates were also provided an opportunity to submit a photo. Please note: Where emphasis is included in the answers below, it was added by the candidates themselves.¬†An (I) after a name denotes an incumbent. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov.

Councilwoman: Better Communication Needed

Issues of importance to Lower Saucon Township residents are being communicated to township staff, but township council members aren’t necessarily being kept in the loop. That was the message delivered by councilwoman Priscilla deLeon to the other members of council Wednesday night. DeLeon specifically highlighted a sinkhole that formed on Viola Lane recently, which she said she wasn’t told about in a timely manner. The sinkhole was serious enough that it required a response by the Pennsylvania Fish & Game Commission, and had she run into a resident who asked her about it, deLeon said she would have been at a loss to explain what was going on. She also advocated for department heads to attend township meetings on a regular basis; something that happens in neighboring Hellertown borough.

Solicitor: Applebutter Road Rezoning Process Must Start Over

In response to a question from councilwoman Priscilla deLeon, Lower Saucon Township Council solicitor Linc Treadwell said Wednesday that the western landfill expansion IESI Bethlehem Landfill first proposed in early 2012 is–in his opinion–no longer on the table, due to the amount of time that has elapsed since a public hearing about the related rezoning of land along Applebutter Road was held. That hearing took place nearly two years ago, in September 2013. Treadwell said he would be “uncomfortable” with council taking up the rezoning matter for a public vote without beginning the process over again; a pronouncement deLeon said many township residents will be glad to hear. She compared the western expansion and the rezoning that would have to occur in order for it to move forward to a “black cloud” that’s hung over some residents; opponents who have sometimes wondered allowed when council would vote on the stalled rezoning amendment, if ever. “I guess the proposed rezoning is over unless someone starts the process over again,” deLeon said after Treadwell gave his opinion.

PennDOT Officials to Discuss Future of ‘Narrows’ at Meeting

PennDOT and Lower Saucon Township officials are expected to discuss the future of a one-way section of Riverside Drive known as the “Narrows” at a meeting scheduled for Thursday morning at PennDOT’s district maintenance office in Bethlehem Township. According to emails, the Narrows in Lower Saucon needs repairs PennDOT says could be cost prohibitive, and closing it to through traffic will be one of the options discussed. In advance of Thursday’s meeting “road closed” signs were recently deposited by PennDOT along the side of Riverside Drive in Steel City, Lower Saucon Township councilwoman Priscilla deLeon said. “(It) seems like they are all ready to close the road despite not meeting with Lower Saucon Township officials,” she wrote Tuesday in an email to state legislators. Expected to attend Thursday’s closed meeting are¬†township manager Jack Cahalan, and roadmasters and fire chiefs from Lower Saucon and Williams Township.

Incumbents, Newcomers Winners in L. Saucon Council Primaries

A combination of incumbents and political newcomers were winners in the Democratic and Republican primary elections for three four-year seats on Lower Saucon Township Council that will be open in November, according to unofficial results posted on the Northampton County elections website late Tuesday. On the Democratic ballot, incumbents Priscilla deLeon and David Willard were the top vote-getters, with deLeon receiving 487 votes (39.24 percent) and Willard receiving 382 votes (30.78 percent), according to the unofficial vote totals from the township’s eight precincts. Political newcomer Gary Gorman was the third-place finisher on the Democratic ballot with 323 votes (26.03 percent). Gorman, deLeon and Willard will appear on the November ballot. On the Republican ballot, the top three vote-getters were former councilwoman Sandra Yerger with 468 votes (28.21 percent), incumbent council vice president Tom Maxfield with 441 votes (26.58 percent) and township landfill committee member Donna Louder with 394 votes (23.75 percent).