Thursday, April 30, 2009

Three weeks and counting - Attending Meetings

The election is less than three weeks away and the LV blog-sphere is alive with campaign talk.

Bernie O’Hare’s Lehigh Valley Ramblings has posed a particularly intriguing question: Should Municipal candidates attend meetings? I believe that Bernie O’Hare means before actually winning a slot on the ballot.

I have mulled this issue over during in my 2009 campaign for Forks Supervisor because, as it happens, I have been a regular meeting attendee for years. Seeing only one other regular, and now (write-in) candidate, has been sobering. I am stunned at the lack of interest in what Supervisors do and deal with all the time that is being shown by my Primary contenders.

I guess they know what’s important already and do not need the reminders that being witness to the process would give them. Too much information, right?

My question to Forks voters is:  Does it matter to you that a candidate cannot take the time to attend meetings?  What will happen if these candidates get into office?

Not caring enough to learn about the township issues is not my idea of a candidate’s strength. Is it yours?


Get Involved! Every Vote Counts

Monday, April 27, 2009

League of Woman Voters Candidates Questions

The following are my answers to the League of Woman Voters questionnaire.


Name of Candidate: David Billings

Home Address: Forks Address

Business Address:

Telephone Number: 732-513-8158

Email Address:


Date of birth: August 27, 1958

Candidate for: Forks Township Supervisor

Part 1-Qualifications: Limit responses to 50 words for parts A, B, and C.


BA , Virginia Wesleyan College; MBA , Moravian College; Executive Education, Northwestern University.

Current Occupation: AT&T Product Director

Qualifications for this office: My extensive community involvement combined with my leadership experience uniquely qualifies me as an ideal candidate.

  • Forks Township Planning Commission
  • Forks Township Comprehensive Plan committee
  • Easton Area School District Board committees

Part 2 – Question: Please limit your response to a total of 75 words

What do you view as the major issue in this campaign and how you will address it?

Ever-increasing taxes and costs burden us. We need to discuss these issues candidly so we can do something about them. That is what my candidacy for Supervisor is about. It is my opinion that the role of local government is to work for the people, and not for personal interest or gain. I carry the message that we cannot continue to conduct business as usual. We need more responsive and financially responsible local government.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day- "Think Globally, Act Locally"

We all have heard about going Green. Right?  We have been encouraged to buy hybrid cars, turn off our lights, recycle our plastics, and save gas by carpooling.  Many of these activities have been a part of our lives for many years and we have grown accustomed to supporting these programs. To most of us, these activities are just the right thing to do.

According to the Earth Day Network web site, "Earth Day Network was founded on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment. Our mission is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable environment.

We pursue our mission through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer activism campaigns. Our campaign and programs are predicated on the belief that an educated, energized population will take action to secure a healthy future for itself and its children. Earth Day Network has a global reach with a network of more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. More than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world".

In the spirit of the Earth Day principles, Forks Township is starting to look at updating our zoning laws to include provisions for Solar and Wind power in all our zoning districts. Our draft comprehensive plan talks about green initiatives that puts our township on a path to reduce our energy needs.  In the next several months, we will all get a chance to give additional input to the township about "going green".

It is important for all of us to incorporate activities that reduces our carbon footprint and our dependency on fossil fuels on a daily basis.  My mom was right! We need to leave our little slice of the planet in better shape than we found it.

It is truly the time to "Think Globally, Act Locally" !

Monday, April 20, 2009

It Matters who we elect!

During these troubled economic times, it is important we remain vigilant in our managing our township expenses.  Ever-increasing taxes and municipal costs burden us all here in Forks. You and I need to discuss these issues openly and candidly so we can do something about them. That is what my candidacy for Supervisor is about.

I have walked many township neighborhoods and shaken many hands.  Mostly though, I shared my ideas and listened to the thoughts of folks like you about our town and what to do to make it better.

I do indeed have a deep belief in the importance of civic involvement and of being an active part of solutions.  In fact it is my opinion that the role of local government is to work for the people, and not for personal interest, gain, or ego.

I try to live this conviction.  I serve on the Forks Planning Commission and am an active member of the Township Comprehensive Plan committee. I have held various leadership positions in my church, including three years on the church Vestry. I want to be your township Supervisor.

I carry the message that we cannot continue to conduct business as usual in Forks. We need more responsive and financially responsible local government.

It is critical that newly elected members of the Board of Supervisors be focused on ways to reduce the load our citizens pay for the cost of local government. You deserve no less. You need to be confident that your votes will make a difference for the better in all things Forks.  I

I look forward to discussing these issues with you on the campaign trial.

Get Involved ! Every Vote counts!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Pizza Place for Forks Township

Yes, that is right. Forks Township has a new pizza business, but with a twist. The pizza is deep-fried! Our latest pizza parlor is called Pizza  Snobz. The following is some additional information about Pizza Snobz:

  • Address: 308 Old Mill Road
  • Phone Number: 610-438-5550
    Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m. - midnight
  • Friday and Saturday, and noon to 12 p.m. Sunday.
  • Speciality: Deep-Fried Pizza, cheesesteaks, twinkies, etc


Rick Michaels of Classic Hits 99 The Hawk radio station will be at Pizza Snobz from 11:00 to 1:00 to celebrate the grand opening of the Forks location.

Go ahead and sample the tasty food our latest business!


Get Involved ! Every Voice Counts!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

PA Senate Bill 419- Is this bill a bad idea?

For the past three years, I have been advocating the need to build a better government. The need to establish full transparency between the local government and the public using the latest technology, including internet access.  However, I have been quite mindful of how many people actually have internet access in our community.

The Yankee group, a telecommunication consulting group, is estimating the United States has 1 broadband line for very two people, including wireless lines.  Countries like Japan, Italy, and Sweden will achieve one broadband line per person in 2009. Right now, the United States may not achieve this tipping point, one broadband line per person, until 2011.

It seems the PA Senate (Senate bill 419)  is considering a law that allows the townships to post legal notices on their web sites. This law allows the township to bypass the current requirement to post legal notices in the local papers serving the community.

So, how will this work? The townships will post the legal notice on their web sites and not run the legal notice in the local papers. In our case, the Morning Call and Express-Times will not run the legal notices. Only people with interent access can view the legal notice.  If we assume the Lehigh Valley broadband penetration is the same as the national average, then only 50% of the population will have the opportunity to view the legal notice.  This is bad!

The second issue is the ability of the townships to maintain a quality web site. Finally, the township will be required to maintain extensive databases to store the legal notices for many years. To be honest, most townships in the Lehigh Valley do not have the ability to maintain high quality web sites and establish robust data storage capabilities. Sad, but true.

In reality, this proposed law restricts the information provided to the general public and is not in the spirit of the new PA Open Records Law. Today, it is just too hard to get information about our community from the local municipalities.  This proposed law is bad public policy and will set back open government initiatives  many years.

Get involved!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sound Fiscal Management Matters

Managing Budgets

Here is a question for you. Does a municipality need to adjust to economic conditions after the yearly budget was approved?

This is an interesting question for all levels of government. In the private sector, the conservation of cash is of the utmost importance during a recession. This practice allows a private business to make tactical investments, while the business re-positioned itself in a specific market during the recession. For a business, it is important to be well positioned in the their market, as the economy leaves a recession.

For local governments, it is important to conserve cash, as tax revenues decreases, residential development stops, and local business struggle to be successful. Unlike, a private sector business,  local governments cannot make investments to create future revenue streams. The local governments revenue streams are depended upon the regional and national economy. Local governments have a limited ability to affect the broader economy.  They can create a business friendly environment by creating business tax breaks or tax free zones, but it is up to the private sector to create the future revenue streams.

Saving our pennies!

As inflation increase, our disposable income is declining. The job market is not growing as the economy  continues to falter and job loss mounts.  Nationally and locally, we are in a recession with escalating job losses and further reductions in housing prices.

So what does all this mean? We need to watch our pennies and conserve cash. As our revenue streams decrease, we need to reduce our capital expenditures in-year!  in reality, this means we need to postpone new capital projects, including new buildings until our economy recovers from the recession.

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 Vote Counts!