John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Featuring content curated from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. The insights/opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.

Tell Supervisors Your Opinion!

The most effective way of expressing your opinion about a matter before the Board of Supervisors (BOS) is to come to in-person BOS public meetings, go up to the podium, and make your comment. For some people, however, attending an in-person meeting is not an option – either they are otherwise occupied, handicapped, or just concerned about COVID transmission in a room where masks and social distancing are not required.

If you can’t or won’t attend an in-person BOS meeting, the second-best option is to email or call supervisors. Here are the email addresses of Newtown Supervisors:

Don't forget to include your name and address in your email to make it official. Find the phone numbers and email addresses of all township officials here.


From - July 19, 2021
The Newtown Fire and Emergency Services has announced the arrival of its new Enforcer Rescue Pumper. For the next several weeks, the new truck will be housed at Station 55 in the township where additional equipment is being installed.

[Newtown] Supervisors gave the Fire Association the okay last fall to proceed with the purchase of the new rescue pumper at no cost to the township*.

The new pumper will serve Newtown for easily the next 10 to 20 years, said Dallas, noting that the 2001 truck has been responding to calls in Newtown for the past 19 years.

The volunteer Newtown Fire Association [NFA] purchased the $716,000 Pierce truck with $500,000 in cash and by taking out a 15 year loan for $200,000.

John Mack's Insights:
*The township, however, contributes $160,000 per year to the NFA according to a new 5-year agreement signed in October, 2020. Previously, Newtown Twp contributed $175,000 per year. I opposed the new agreement because of this cut in financial support (see the 2020 BOS voting record).

According to the NFA Rescue 45 announcement, "The new rescue pumper will provide enhanced safety and response capabilities for the members of the Newtown Fire Association and Newtown Emergency Services Department to better serve its residents, stakeholders, business, and visitors of Historic Newtown Borough and Township for many years to come."

Related Content:

From - July 12, 2021
Businesses of all kinds and sizes need workers in Bucks County. — there's no question about that. But, county officials want to know why, and what resources and services can help fill jobs and spur the economy.

Bucks County Planning Commission officials are urging business owners to fill out a survey that the Bucks County Planning Commission has prepared for its "Bucks 2040: Building Our Future, Together" comprehensive plan.

The survey asks a variety of general questions about the number of employees and how important services such as public transportation and roads are to a business, as well as how the business is faring overall since the COVID pandemic struck. It also asks more specific questions as to how important schools and tourism are to attracting employees and whether the business expects more employees to want to continue working from home, if they have done so during the pandemic.

More details...

[The author, Stacey Smith, lives in Perkasie.]

“Critical Race Theory,” CRT, is the new catchphrase causing debate nationwide among school boards and parents, including those in the Pennridge School District. Well-intentioned people are being scared away from vital “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” DEI, efforts because of widespread misinformation and intentional fear-mongering.

DEI initiatives are extremely important, common and non-threatening. Actual “Critical Race Theory” is a university-level concept, originated from a framework for legal analysis 40-plus years ago, not a curriculum for K-12 schools.

However, the rhetoric from political extremists has turned it into a catchall to include anything related to DEI. Please do not be fooled into voting for unqualified candidates running only on anti- “Critical Race Theory” platforms. Speak to school board candidates to understand their positions. The success of Pennridge School District depends on all of us keeping our cool, being open-minded, working together and creating a positive experience for all our students.

From - July 19, 2021
[Chart: EMS=Rescue and Emergency Medical Service; Good Intent Call=Someone thought there was a fire or emergency but it turned out otherwise (e.g., smelled smoke, but no fire or cause found).]

Of the 111 calls/incidents in June, 90 (81%) were in Newtown Township and 12 (11%) were in Newtown Borough. The rest were in Northampton Twp (5), Middletown Twp (3), and Lower Makefield (1).

See the map for the locations of these calls…

From - July 15, 2021
At the July 14, 2021, Board of Supervisors meeting there was a long discussion about the makeup of this committee viz-a-viz the Borough vs. the Township. In the end, the BOS decided not to take any action; i.e., a revised resolution will NOT be sent to the Borough Council for their consideration.

View the video of the discussion...

Purpose of the Proposed Committee: “The purpose of the Newtown Joint Traffic Committee shall be to improve the quality of life for Newtown Township and Newtown Borough residents, to improve Newtown Township’s and Newtown Borough’s desirability to visitors, workers, and businesses, and to ensure safe access to multi-modal transportation options that meet the needs of residents, visitors, workers, and businesses in Newtown Township and Newtown Borough by ensuring the ability to safely walk, drive, bike, and use public transportation throughout the Township and Borough in accordance with a consistent and comprehensive approach to pedestrian and vehicular circulation and safety.”

John Mack's Insights:
Providing diverse and safe transportation options is, IMHO, paramount to attracting new businesses to the township. Supervisors make the decisions that are hopefully based on maximum input from residents.

Related Content:

From - July 6, 2021
Cities and townships hoping to ban plastic bags within their borders may finally have the legal authority to do so in Pennsylvania.

When the Republican-controlled legislature passed the state budget last week, it didn’t renew a statewide preemption on single-use plastics, opening the door for cities and municipalities to approve new prohibitions or enforce existing bans.

Officials and activists from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh hailed the decision as a win for curbing the environmental impact of plastic. Philadelphia and some of its surrounding townships had filed suit to challenge the state’s preemption, asserting it was unconstitutionally slipped into a budget-related bill.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a bunch of municipalities moving swiftly to try and get their own policies on the book,” said David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment and a supporter of the ban.

Masur told Spotlight PA he has spoken to officials from at least nine cities, townships, and municipalities that expressed interest in enacting a local bag ban — and there may be more.

The legislature extended that preemption in 2020 and expanded its scope: Lawmakers banned both enacting and enforcing plastic bag bans, meaning that municipalities with bans already in place could no longer legally apply them.

The provision was set to end July 1 of this year or six months after the end of the governor’s pandemic emergency declaration — whichever came later. The legislature ended the emergency order earlier this month, meaning the current preemption is set to expire officially on Dec. 8.

Philadelphia’s citywide plastic bag ban will go into effect next month, but it will not be fully enforced and implemented until April 2022. An extended outreach and education period will help “increase compliance” and “ensure widespread awareness of the law” among retailers and consumers alike, said Kevin Lessard, Philadelphia’s deputy communications director..


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