By DAVE SICA
Special to the Home News
The August 28 Nazareth Borough Council meeting began with an update on the pool construction project at Nazareth Borough Park. Spillman Farmer Architects, the firm working on the project, discussed progress and showed some photos that depicted a fair amount of foundational groundwork and plumbing installation. The bathhouse and public restrooms seemed the most complete with the structure built for the bathhouse, the bathroom walls constructed, and windows in place. According to the architecture firm, the construction is within budget. The concrete setting is a bit behind, making the October 31 deadline a “nail biter,” according to the Spillman Farmer representative.
Local political blogger Bernie O’Hare once again spoke about alleged problems with the Nazareth Police Department: “Nazareth was known as the kazoo town, now it is known as the ‘cupcake’ town,” O’Hare said to the council. The remark was referring to a comment made by District Judge Jacqueline Taschner at a trial last month where three Nazareth men had criminal charges dismissed. The men were charged with multiple counts after being accused of putting stickers around town criticizing Nazareth Police Chief Thomas Trachta. After exonerating the men, Judge Taschner told Trachta that he needs to “suck it up, cupcake” and toughen up as a public official. Several local papers used the comment in headlines and articles.
O’Hare distributed cupcakes to several citizens in attendance while council refused the political blogger’s symbolic gesture. Councilman Lance Colando said that while he appreciated the sarcasm, the cupcakes were “not amusing or funny.” Colando explained council’s actions regarding the allegations: “Things do not get done in a sixty-minute Law & Order episode. There are civil service and police unions to consider. It has to be handled carefully.” Councilman Frank Maurek concurred, saying, “it will be addressed.”
Issues concerning a vacant building and housing in the borough were also discussed. Councilman Carl Fischl suggested hiring a “part-time quality of life officer.” Fischl said that the position once existed and suggested its reinstatement. However, many of the other council members believed that the police should be the ones investigating quality of life concerns.
Nazareth resident Stephanie Barone returned to discuss the status of the banner program and revitalization project she has been working on. A new unspecified business was recruited and will open September 8 at 556 S. Main Street. A lot of businesses have already purchased the banners that Barone designed and should be ready in four to five weeks. Others have expressed interest in purchasing.
The landlord registration and inspection ordinance has been frequently discussed legislation at prior meetings and has undergone many revisions. The most recent pushed back the date of the first inspection to 2016 and modified fees. The most vocal and opponent of the most recent amendments was Councilman Fischl. He defined the back and forth revisions as “Neville Chamberlain appeasement.” Fischl said the council kept “ kicking the can down the road” and that the inspections should start this year.