Councilman Harry Haas
Luzerne County councilman
At the Courthouse Restoration Dedication in May
Happy Birthday, America! We spent the morning of July 4th at the annual parade in Mountain Top. My father drove as my daughter tossed candy to kids on the road side, and we got to say
hi to a lot of friends along the route in Wright Township. Thank you to Mountain Top on the Move and other volunteers for another successful event.
Here are my priorities and action steps for this year:
1) Continue to look for streams of revenue apart from property taxation (84% of county revenues come from property tax, which is inherently unfair) and cut wasteful spending.
I DID NOT SUPPORT THE $5 VEHICLE REGISTRATION FEE. MY IDEA ABOUT OFFSETTING THE EXTRA FEE WITH A PROPERTY TAX REDUCTION OF $5 WAS NOT SUPPORTED BY THE COUNCIL MAJORITY.
2) Host legislative round tables for our state and federal delegations to communicate county needs of funding local government, providing human services, and fostering community development.
THE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MET WITH TWO OF OUR AREA REPRESENTATIVES THIS YEAR;
UNFORTUNATELY, THIS YEAR'S STATE BUDGET DOES NOT RESTORE CUTS MADE TO COUNTY
COURTS FROM TWO YEARS AGO.
3) Reevaluate the funding and administration of the Blighted Property Review Committee to assist municipalities in fighting blight.
COUNCIL WILL VOTE THIS MONTH ON AN AGREEMENT WITH THE REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY ON HOW TO FUND THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE COMMITTEE. THE BPRC WILL MEET AT 5PM ON JULY 30.
4) Collaborate with other counties and provide leadership to fight the opioid crisis.
I PLAN TO ATTEND THIS YEAR'S ANNUAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS' CONFERENCE IN AUGUST. POTENTIAL GRANT OPPORTUNITIES AND STRATEGIES FOR COMBATING THIS ISSUE WILL MOST CERTAINLY BE ON THE AGENDA.