Friday, November 30, 2007

Open Government

Yesterday was a very stressful, event filled day for all the kids who attend Easton Middle School. If you happened to miss the news today, a triple homicide happened in the West Ward of Easton in close proximity to our middle school. The school quickly implemented a school “lock-down” in order to protect all members of the school community. As a parent of a 10 year child that attends the Easton Middle School, I was grateful and impressed by the school’s quick reaction.

This sad incident happened just days after a semi-public debate about the role of parents strongly advocating school safety to the Easton Area School Board (see Express-Times article “Parents’ motives assailed in student moves” – November 19, 2007). It seems the article is implying that any statement by Forks Township parents that advocates for improved school safety for the Easton Middle School is tantamount to racism. I absolutely disagree with this statement!

The press and public officials spend a lot of time stating we need more involvement from the community at the federal, state, county, and local levels. They declare we want public input. As soon as one brave Forks Township parent talked about school safety in Easton West ward, this person was criticized in the press by a school board member elect.

I know this is a school safety issue, but I feel we have a responsibility as a community to protect our children. We have no greater or scared resource, than our children. The children of our community are our future and our legacy. The EASD school board needs to ensure that our schools provide a quality education for ALL our children regards of their race, gender, and national origin.

Whether it is school safety, public safety for our multi-use trails, township comprehensive plans, or budgets, it is very important we encourage open and honest communication between the public and our elected officials. We must go out of our way to provide the opportunity for public input and celebrate the fact that people take the time to share their thoughts and opinions on critical issues!

All levels of government (Forks BoS, Northampton County Council, EASD school board, etc.) must seek out ALL opportunities that allow the public to comment on plans. For example, the Forks BoS has a great opportunity to gather public input by releasing the draft version of the 2008 budget, to hold public meetings on Saturday to provide greater accessibility to our local officials for residents to provide input on how our tax dollars are spent, and to broadcast Forks BoS meetings on the local cable channels so busy working families can watch the meeting from home.

Once again, we have an opportunity to have a great debate about a critical issue facing our community. Let the debate with school safety for the Easton Middle School start now.

If you have any ideas or comments about critical issues facing Forks Township, please share your ideas via our blog or email at

Get Involved – Every Voice Counts!

David Billings

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What to Blog About !

Everything Forks…

I was wondering what topics we could discuss in my blog for the next few years. I was worried about the fine line of addressing key issues in my blog and the tendency of some blogs to criticize public officials. I campaigned on creating a clean and open government, so I will not be naming names or criticizing people by name in my blog.

We will address key issues, share ideas, and have some fun in order to create a better future for Forks Township. Additionally, we will address Lehigh Valley issues that have an impact on our community. I believe the power of the blog is its ability to create an environment for open and honest debates without the name calling or mud slinging. I have had enough of these tactics.

So, I will try to post blog entries about two to three times a week depending upon currents events and my upcoming vacation.

If you have any ideas or comments about critical issues facing Forks Township, please share your ideas on our blog or via email at

Get Involved – Every Voice Counts!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Forks Township Meetings

The following is a list of township meetings for late November and December 2007.

1. Round 17 of the Kings Mill Zoning Challenge Hearing - Zoning Hearing Board - Monday, November 26 - 7:30 PM - Municipal Bldg

2. Planning Commission Workshop - Tuesday, Nov 27 - 7:00 pm - Municipal Bldg

3. Board of Supervisors Meeting - Thursday, Dec 6 - 7:30 pm - Municipal Bldg

4. Planning Commission Meeting - Thursday, Dec 13 - 7:00 pm

5. Round 18 of the Kings Mill Zoning Challenge Hearing - Zoning Hearing Board - Monday, December 17 - 7:30 pm

6. Board of Supervisors Meeting - Thursday, Dec 20 - 7:30 pm - Municipal Bldg

The BoS is taking applications for the two Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board openings. The deadline for letters of intent is December 17, 2007. The interviews by the current and new board members is scheduled for December 20, 2007.

It is very important to stay involved in township decision making and speak out on critical topics. Only together can we do better!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Transparent Government

I read a very interesting editorial in the New Jersey edition of the Express-Times. The editorial was dated November 12, 2007 and discussed the impact of practicing transparent government in Washington Borough and Greenwich Township.

The editorial stated the Washington Borough needs to re-advertise the municipal attorney and planning positions, since the borough only received one bid. Meanwhile, Greenwich Township should reverse a decision to by-pass the township planning committee and let the township committee hold the hearings for a zoning change on 110 acres of land. Both of these municipalities has the opportunity to practice true open government and allow the citizens to have a full and open debate about the facts of these situations.

We also have a good opportunity to practice true open government in our own community. I am hoping the Forks BoS provides the public copies of the 2008 budget, so we can better understand the reason for a tax hike. This would allow for the opportunity to provide real public input at the December 2007 BoS meeting and lead to better transparency between the board and the residents of Forks Township. Another opportunity for better government is for Forks EMS to release their financial statements, so we can better understand the actual financial condition of our squad.

Let’s hope!

It is very important to stay involved in township decision making and speak out on critical topics. Only together can we do better!


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thank You!

I wanted to take a moment and express my appreciation for all the people who voted for me in the General Election. I am very humbled!

It was an honor to meet all the wonderful people of Forks Township and discuss the future of our community. Many people have asked whether I am going to stay involved in township activities. The answer is yes!

I truly believe we shaped the debate about our future. I will continue to advocate for true open government, lean spending, and green spaces. As I have stated, these ideas are not just campaign slogans, but a new and better way to manage our township.

In the coming months, the township is facing many critical issues that shape our future. We will be updating the Comprehensive Plan, approving the 2008 budget, continuing the Kings Mill litigation, and making appointments to the Planning Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board.

It is very important to stay involved in township decision making and speak out on critical topics. Only together can we do better!


David Billings

Monday, November 5, 2007

Forks Election Day

On November 6, 2007, Forks Township faces a very critical election. We will get to decide the future direction of our community. The choice is whether we want to continue on the current course and speed or do we want a person that is willing to lead the fight to improving our Quality of Life (Clean, Lean, and Green). The persons we choose for the two Forks Supervisor openings in this election will have a lasting impact on our community and Quality of Life.

We have seen many changes to our community in the past few years. We face many challenges as we try to maintain critical public services, update the infrastructure to support our growth, and sustain fiscally responsible policies with our township finances. Improving the Quality of Life for the residents of Forks Township is a key issue facing our community.

My campaign has focused on ideas to improve our quality of life in Forks Township:

1. Clean Government – Create a true open government; incorporate new ideas, and serve in the best interests of the township.

2. Lean Spending – Sustaining sound financial policies and maintaining critical public services.

3. Green Space – Preserve farm land, where possible, and fight ongoing high density development.

My participation in many civic organizations and industry has provided me with invaluable experience. When the opportunity to seek a seat on the Forks Township Board of Supervisors presented itself, I was encouraged to run for office. I am a candidate that is willing and ready to serve you.

I have campaigned door-to-door for the past 2 months to meet and listen to the concerns of our residents. It was a wonderful experience as I have met many great people and enjoyed the conversation about leading Forks Township into the future. My message was tested at every doorstep and in every meeting with groups of Forks residents. The feedback has been clear from our longer term residents and from the new arrivals that have a found a home in our community. We are deeply concerned about the future of Forks and want a new direction.

On November 6, 2007, we get a chance to set a new direction.

Only together can we do better!

Please remember to vote.

Every Vote Counts!


David Billings

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Walking the Neighborhoods near Election Day!

I have been walking the neighborhoods over the past two months to meet the people of Forks Township. I have met people in all our neighborhoods and had the opportunity to discuss the many issues facing our township.

The election is just days away, and I just wanted to share some of the thoughts and comments of our fellow residents I have encountered on the campaign trail:

1.“Forks Township needs independent thinkers elected to the board.”
2. “I am very tired of the over-development in this township.”
3. “I would like to see the Forks Township budget, so I can understand the costs.”
4. “We do not have enough senior activities.”
5. “I am very worried about over-crowding in our schools.”

I did have some people question my sanity … then they smiled and wished me luck! The message from our residents is simple--we need new leadership to bring innovative ideas to our Board of Supervisors. We must do better!

At the Northampton Community College candidate panel discussion, I heard a very telling quote from a fellow panel member: “The world is run by the people who show up”. I am hoping the good people of Forks show up on Election Day.

If you have any ideas or comments about critical issues facing Forks Township, please share your ideas on our blog or via email at

Get Involved – Every Vote Counts

David Billings