Emmaus buys Rodale

Emmaus to move Ambulance, Fire and Police will cause increased emergency response times,       not to mention cost millions in taxes!


By now you have heard the (Bad/good?) news that Emmaus Council by a vote of 6 Yea vs 1 Nay will purchased the former Rodale Inc. facility located at the corner of Klines Lane and Minor St., the office building right next to the railroad crossing and that houses part of the 7 Generation elementary charter school.

The six members of the Emmaus Council that voted Yea: Chairwoman Lee Ann Gilbert, Vice chair Brian Holtzhafer, Brent Labenberg, Wesley Barrett, Roy Anders and Nathan Brown, the deal that will cost ~$3million and with all the modifications necessary to move all the emergency services add another ~$3million for a total of ~$6,000,000.00

We would like to know how you feel about the idea of the Emmaus Borough council voting to move all OUR Emergency Services; ambulance, fire, police and last but least town hall functions and locate them all to this one area, the former Rodale Inc. facility with its only entry and exit point right next to the railroad crossing on Klines Lane Think of this as adding 2-3minutes to emergency response time, and Councilman Nate Brown says we’ll just have to get used to the added emergency response times. This facility presently has part of the 7 Generation Charter School as a tenant and the rest of 7 Generation charter school across Minor St…

We’ll be talking about these and other major concerns to the safety of the children and citizens, in times of emergency and need, in future editions.

This meeting was labeled a special meeting and was sort of announced at the regularly scheduled council meeting held on 1/5/2015. I say sort of because if you had gone to the meeting as an interested citizen and thought that you would actually find out what the special meeting was about, you would have been mistaken.

Here’s what was shown to the public from page 27 of the special presentation

“We conducted a press release and scheduled a meeting immediately after the holidays.”

So Council contacts the press immediately after the holidays to let the press know, but don’t even tell the public that attends the Council meetings specifically to find out what the Borough Council is up to. What kind of open and transparent council do we have?

Almost as an afterthought and literally within the last minute of the meeting councilman Labenberg asks Chairwoman Gilbert if the special meeting will be announced, check out how it happened:

After all the giggling, Mr. Labenberg made the “sort of” announcement. Check out the video to see what I mean by saying “Sort of”:

And after that bland announcement watch who was told, days before, what the meeting would be about; hint it wasn’t the interested public in attendance.

One would think, if this present council was open and transparent and truly had the Emmaus citizen in mind they could have asked the Borough Manager to immediately place his Power Point slide Presentation of this topic up on the Borough website and use the Borough’s phone messaging service to alert all Emmaus citizens of this major news.

That way the Emmaus citizens could have had at least a good week, even more had they done it when they alerted the press immediately after the holidays, to understand and formulate questions to present during the special meeting. Better yet and heaven forbid, the public could have even contacted and asked questions of the Borough officers, manager or council by phone, E-mail or in person during the week before.

Maybe, the majority of council didn’t really even want to announce there was going to be a special meeting. As Chairwoman Gilbert said she had nothing further to add and only because, at the last minute, Councilman Labenberg asked her to make the announcement, that actually she didn’t make, so Mr. Labenberg took it upon himself to, as I said “sort of” announce it. If he had only gone that little bit more and mentioned what the topic would be, sigh.

Listen to what Borough Manager Pepe said about the process for the council vote. Notice that borough manager stated that public feed back would have a  part in the councils  analysis towards their vote, well watch how Council Chairwoman put that concept to work.

Typical bully government action, Chairwoman Gilbert puts an end to all public input and shuts down a citizen when he wanted to ask more questions on this critically important topic. Seems like she and the rest of council didn’t care to hear to much public input especially since the public brought up lots of really good questions even to the point that council actually said the public brought up concerns that the council didn’t even think of! Here is what councilman Nathan Brown thinks of response times.

Considering  that the council had since August to consider this plan and the public was given only one presentation that lasted about one hour during which the public had to concentrate, listen, absorb, understand, process and immediately afterwards was given only one hour to ask questions before the council Chairwoman Gilbert shut down any further public input or questions.

Stunning, council admits to not only fully understanding the issues, but that they also admit to not consulting with the Fire and Ambulance departments on what effect this move will have on the response times. Councilman Nathan Brown isn’t too worried about response times. Nice people these councilmen,  they want to move and they have no problem increasing emergency response time by 50%. So the next time someone you know has a heart attack, stroke or fire thank this present council for the potential delay time.

Why does this present council operate in such disregard for the citizens that elected them?

What would it have hurt and why didn’t council tell all those in attendance what the special meeting topic was about?

Stay tuned as we’ll have ongoing reporting on this topic. Any questions or thoughts please send us an e-mail at lmnopnewspaper@gmail.com