Lehigh Valley

Dems hold big majority on Northampton County Council

Ken Kraft the new president

EASTON, Pa. - The formal reorganization on Tuesday at the Northampton County Courthouse made it official: Democrats on Northampton County Council now outnumber the Republicans 6-3.

Both 2017 Council President John Cusick (R) and Councilman Ron Heckman (D) refused nominations for president this year. As a result, Councilman Ken Kraft (D) accepted the nomination and became the board's new president.

Heckman accepted a second nomination as vice president and was elected to the post.

New Democratic council members sworn in earlier Tuesday afternoon included Lori Vargo Heffner, William McGee, and Tara Zrinski.  They replaced outgoing Republicans Glenn Geissinger, Hayden Phillips and Seth Vaughn who failed in their reelection bids last fall.

New County Executive Lamont McClure (D) replaced incumbent Republican John Brown. McClure was absent from the reorganization gathering, but was sworn in earlier Tuesday.

Kraft called the reorganized council "a good group that will all work well together and move things forward".

Zrinski, one of three women on the council proudly stated, "I will be the environmental watchdog on this council." 

She said as part of her election campaign, she promised to support watchdog groups Sludge-Free Slate Belt and Sludge-Free Pennsylvania, and has every intention of fulfilling her promises.

Zrinski is devoted to addressing the Slate Belt's reported sludge issue.

She also said she will fight for land preservation and advocates "big box warehouse-free jobs".  The councilwoman said her desire is to get her constituents and everyone else concerned fully involved in, for example, the creation of more renewable energy jobs. 

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