Lehigh Valley

Salisbury Township supports Fair Districts PA

SALISBURY TWP., Pa. - The Salisbury Township Commissioners approved a resolution supporting Fair Districts PA by a 3-2 close call vote Thursday evening.

Fair Districts PA is an advocacy group promoting the use of an independent citizens' commission to redraw fairer, more sensible legislative districts. The commissioners nearly tabled the resolution before voting on it.

Commissioner Debra Brinton proposed tabling the matter because she felt offering her support would be a political gesture.

"I don't want to bring my politics into the township," she said.

She further proposed having the matter be decided by the voters in an upcoming referendum and began to secure a tabling before township residents Bill and Frances Durhammer, and Jeff Gilbert interjected.

Gilbert and the Durhammers said Fair Districts is a non-political organization whose goal is to halt manipulative gerrymandering by Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

He said Fair Districts is a non-partisan group whose goal is to eliminate the politics from the determination of legislative boundaries.

Gilbert also reminded Brinton her position as a township commission is a political one.

Subsequently, the commissioners bypassed the tabling and agreed to a vote in which Brinton and fellow commissioner Rodney Conn voted against supporting the resolution, with the balance of the board voting to back the matter.

In other business, the board approved a resolution supporting authorization from the state to permit municipal police to have access to radar and lidar, the speed timing tools used by the state police on the roads including the local ones they patrol.

The resolution notes it is a falsehood that municipalities use radar to write more speeding tickets thereby increasing revenues. It says the local municipality receives only a small portion of the base fine, and that it does not cover the personnel costs to operate the devices.

Finally, the commissioners recognized their current president Bob Martucci, Jr. for his 13 years of service to the township and its residents.

Martucci will be resigning from the board at the end of the month as part of his recent retirement which will also involve his relocation to the Williamsport area.

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