Salisbury Press

Sunday, September 23, 2018
Commissioner Marc Grammes said, “I have to rely on our solicitor’s advice.” He was responding to a citizen’s question about why an illegal campaign contribution was made to Commissioner Marty Nothstein’s Congressional campaign but not prosecuted. Commissioner Marc Grammes said, “I have to rely on our solicitor’s advice.” He was responding to a citizen’s question about why an illegal campaign contribution was made to Commissioner Marty Nothstein’s Congressional campaign but not prosecuted.
PRESS PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS GRAVESBoard of Commissioners President Marty Nothstein looks on as Commissioner Amy Zanelli makes a motion to remove him as president of the board. Her motion failed to garner the needed second. PRESS PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS GRAVESBoard of Commissioners President Marty Nothstein looks on as Commissioner Amy Zanelli makes a motion to remove him as president of the board. Her motion failed to garner the needed second.

Grant for LGBT center falls through

Thursday, June 28, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES Special to The Press in Local News

A $5,000 grant to the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center fell through June 13 when one of the sponsors of the bill, Amy Zanelli, abstained from voting.

She then watched the votes split between the remaining eight commissioners, 4-4.

Zanelli commented on her abstention.

“I volunteer for, contribute to, and benefit from the Bradbury-Sullivan Community Center,” Zanelli said. “I will abstain.”

Zanelli listed some of the benefits of the LGBT community center and described the Pride Festival as a “community growth event” that provides services to the LGBT community.

The bill failed because, according to Solicitor Catherine Roseberry, at least five votes are required for a bill to pass.

Asked the next day by The Press if he planned to ask commissioners to put the matter back on the agenda for a future vote, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Executive Director Adrian Shanker, declined to comment.

He said the organization is “planning a really excellent festival this year,” that this will be the 25th year for the Pride event and it will be held Aug. 19 at Cedar Beach Park.

A second “quality of life” grant that was on the agenda, a grant of $5,000 for the Pennsylvania Music Preservation Society, never came to a vote as county administrators withdrew the motion before the vote.

Director of Community and Economic Development Frank Kane said the administration wanted to review the grant policy that requires past financial information.

He said the Pennsylvania Music Preservation Society is a new organization without financial information to submit.

Kane said the administration may resubmit the grant request with an appropriate request for a waiver for a history of financial information.

Based on an approval at a first reading, the name of the Cedarbrook Nursing Homes will be changed to Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation.

The bill is sponsored by Commissioners Dan Hartzell, Percy Dougherty, Marc Grammes and Zanelli.

A bill at its first reading, which if passed, will advance to a vote at the commissioners’ next regular meeting for final approval.

In other business, commissioners appointed two of their own — Brad Osborne and Geoff Brace — to work with the CEO of the Lehigh County Authority.

The two commissioners, referred to as a “working team,” will help with ensuring communication between commissioners and the LCA.

They are charged with monitoring and reporting back to the board on such matters as the sustainability of LCA’s financial plans, whether an independent financial study is needed and to recommend ways to improve communications.

According to Brace, a goal of the working team is to make a recommendation on the need to extend LCA’s charter.

The effort to extend LCA’s charter was defeated by commissioners recently amid concerns about the financial information provided commissioners by LCA officers.

Lehigh County resident Bob Elbich expressed concern the county’s “pay to play” law has unclear language.

“It’s terrible,” Elbich said. “I could drive a Mack truck through” parts of it.

Elbich was protesting the recent decision by county legal officials to consider the withdrawn contribution to Commissioner Marty Nothstein’s campaign for Congress as being “cured,” or resolved with no further legal action contemplated.

Such actions by politicians, according to Elbich, lead to a “lack of trust in public officials.”

Grammes responded to Elbich.

“I have to rely on our solicitor’s advice,” Grammes said.

Elbich’s frustration did gain some traction with Zanelli who put forward a motion that Nothstein be removed as president of the board of commissioners.

Zanelli’s motion received only silence from the other commissioners. As no second was offered to support her motion, no action was taken.