Saturday, May 16, 2009


I want to thank all five candidates who attended the forum last night, for coming out to meet WW residents and engaging in earnest debate over the questions that readers of this blog sent in to me. I had about 40 different questions that I had to consolidate into the "top 6" for the forum, so I did my best to find the overlap in various questions and pose them in a way that would cover all bases. Attendance was light last night, so we really need to get the word out to our neighbors to get out and vote on Tuesday. What many people do not realize, is that THIS PRIMARY IS THE FINAL ELECTION for the West Ward rep, as there are no Republicans running. So whoever wins on Tuesday, wins the November election as well.

Special thanks to Michael Duck of the Morning Call for covering the forum via Twitter, which he posted to the Morning Call's Two Rivers Blog:


West Ward (District 2)
Dennis Lieb (D) =  89%
Mike Fleck (D) = 11%

College Hill/Downtown (District 1) (for which many WW residents will be voting)
Peter Koehler (D) = 74%
Reno Pesaresi (D) = 5%
Roger Ruggles (R-incumbent) = 21%

I was impressed that all five of these candidates were able to debate cordially and even graciously at times, even when in direct disagreement, which bodes well for trusting that whoever wins will not embarrass us in the way that members of Northampton County Council have recently.

In the line with exit polls, I am endorsing Dennis Lieb for West Ward rep, and Peter Koehler for College Hill/Downtown rep on City Council. 

Dennis Lieb, for his extensive involvement in the West Ward on a grass roots level in recent years, and both professionally and as a community watchdog as a life-long WW resident. In addition, I trust his extensive knowledge and comprehension of urban planning and neighborhood physical quality issues, as well as his passion for the importance of wider public input in development planning. Most importantly, I feel confident that Dennis would be absolutely comfortable staying resolute and representing us, even on occasions when he may be in the minority on City Council. I do not see him bowing to political pressure--we need someone who will be an unflinching advocate for our concerns.

Peter Koehler I am endorsing for experience in the West Ward as a responsible landlord and business owner, his money sense as one of Easton's most successful businessmen, and his optimism based on that experience, that there are ways to create new revenue streams for a city in financial trouble, rather than continuing to increase the burden the taxpayers. He is also keen on a house-cleaning of Easton's Redevelopment Authority, which has been less than helpful by not allowing responsible landlords and developers take over abandoned, blighted buildings to turn them into something attractive. Being a business owner, and owner of multiple properties in the West Ward, I feel that Koehler has a vested interest in helping us to revitalize our neighborhood. 

The forum was held at the Boys & Girls Club Teen Center, and I want to thank the teens, Eric, Tatiana and Elizabeth,  that did a great job setting up the room, making name signs, designing programs and exit poll sheets, manning the front table and opening the evening with introductions.  Also special thanks to Dean Young, and staffers Jackie and Theresa for their help with the event as well.  The Boys & Girls Club Teen Center is a great place for youth, and if you're looking for programs and activities for your teens this summer, please stop by 1101 Northampton and speak to Dean Young.

Special thanks as well to Sophia Feller of the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership for her help with organizing the event--and making the refreshments and cookies!

WE'VE ONLY GOT 3 DAYS BEFORE WE ELECT OUR WEST WARD REP ON CITY COUNCIL. Please help get the word out to your neighbors that this is an important election, and please GET OUT AND VOTE ON TUESDAY, MAY 19TH!

If you have any comments on the forum, or questions about the election, please post them here.


LW said...

Great forum, Noel and Boys & Girls Club. It was well-organized and ran smoothly. Candidates were relaxed, and the momentum was great. I think that Easton is moving in the right direction.

I thought the turnout was nice as well. I am happy also that the Weed & Seed program was mentioned and hope that they'll retain the funding.

Hope everyone votes next week.

Tim said...

Thanks Noel for a great forum. You did a great job in putting the whole thing together. Thanks also to the Boys and Girls Club for hosting the event.

I to am endorsing Dennis Lieb for West Ward Rep. I have worked with Dennis over the years and he impresses me with his knowledge of neighborhood issues. As a live-long resident of the West Ward he knows the needs of our neighborhoods and has lived them.

Please make sure you take everyone you know to the polls on Tuesday and vote. It is one of the most precious rights you have as an American.