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Chamber discusses issues for new representative

Published November 12. 2010 05:00PM

While the election may have come and gone, our job is not done.

Instead, we must continue to work together with our local officials to make our communities better places in which to live.

Toward that end, a list of important issues that should become a priority for Representative-Elect Doyle Heffley was the topic of conversation among members of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

Peter Kern, president of the chamber, lauded Heffley on his appointment.

"We'd certainly like to congratulate Doyle Heffley on his selection to State Representative of Carbon County," Kern said. "It's nice to have a Palmerton person representing Carbon County."

Kern then asked chamber members what issues they would like to make Heffley aware of.

Chief among those issues is education, according to Sister Virginia Stephanie, principal of St. John Neumann Regional School's Palmerton campus.

Sister Stephanie said she'd like to see more state support and efficiency, and questioned whether the manner in which education will be delivered to students may change.

Kern said "we have to have some incentive to make our education become more efficient."

Diane Danielson, director of the Palmerton Area Library, said public libraries must not be ignored either.

Kern concurred, and added that "the misconception is that libraries are dinosaurs."

Another area of interest should be redistricting, according to Kern.

"Carbon County is unique in that it is the only county in the state of Pennsylvania that has only one representative," Kern said. "We're very fortunate that we had [Speaker of the House] Keith McCall representing us here."

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson suggested the potential development of the former New Jersey Zinc Co. West Plant is a matter of public importance.

"One of the big things facing the West Plant is access," Danielson said. "The present access is not going to be real appealing."

Lastly, Kern said the economy on the whole is an "overriding issue."

Kern told chamber members that he will share with them a letter he'll put together to present to Heffley.

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