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Easton Safer Despite Record Killings, Mayor Says

Violent crime dropped in city in 2012, the same year as a 'historic' number of homicides.

Despite a "historic" number of homicides last year, Easton was a safer place in 2012, Mayor Sal Panto said Wednesday.

Panto addressed the city's record six killings in his annual state of the city address, saying that crime actually dropped in Easton last year.

Violent crimes went down 14 percent, the mayor said, with overall crime declining by 16 percent.

Of the six killings last year, police have identified suspects in four cases. One of those four—the death of Matthew Kelly—was ruled self-defense last week by a Northampton County grand jury.

Panto used much of the addresses to review signficant city accomplishments of 2012:

  • The arrival of new restaurants like Mesa and Casera.
  • New events downtown like the comedy night, polar plunge and Hispanic heritage festival.
  • The opening of the Pomeroy building. ("Seven mayors tried, but our team, we succeeded.") Panto also noted that the Cheeburger, Cheeburger restaurant chain had signed a lease to rent part of the Pomeroy space Wednesday.

The mayor also praised the city's volunteers for their work on projects like the Easton Farmers' Market, and the city's first responders for their work during Hurricane Sandy.

"I watched our firefighters fight a fire in 70 mph wind," he said.

Jimmy Madden March 29, 2013 at 02:01 AM
Very well said @open arms. I wanted to reply to this thread when i read it during my lunch break but, you beat me to it. Could have not said it any better myself. On a different note...@ Ronnie...I read your post quite often and notice your "beef" with Panto. What would you do differently then the Mayor? Could you fill his shoes for a term? This is no way a slight towards you I am just a curious citizen. You strike as someone who knows what is going on in the city. Enlighten me in your "what if" scenario.
Ronnie DelBacco March 29, 2013 at 12:30 PM
I'd be glad to expound on my vision if I ever decide to run for mayor. As is true of any elected position, there is always more that a candidate learns once elected than he or she could have possibly known while running for the position. I'd be happy to talk with you privately about what I think needs to be done, because anything I say here will never get a fair critique or consideration. I have been a harsh critic of Sal Panto mostly along ideological terms. I view individual rights, fiscal responsibility, and very limited government as core values of good governance. In my opinion, Sal does not.
Rita Chesterton March 29, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Thank you, however none of these offer one-story living (a preference I failed to point out in my initial posting). Yes, an apt inside a multi-story bldg could be called one-story living, but those are usually quite small. With so many Boomers coming down the pike, it's a shame builders did not get ahead of the curve and coonstruct new neighborhoods with homes for independent living. I'm not talking about 55+ communities per se. Most of those developments are far too costly ($225,000 and up for a sm two bedroom semi-attached unit, in most cases... often with hefty monthly maintenance fees). They also come with a lot of 'rules.' Personally, I would like to see architecturally smart single homes for seniors that are reasonably priced for either purchase or rent. No one in later years wants to look out onto a sea of parking lots; no one wants to squeeze into a generic box with two tiny bedrooms that leave no room for an 'active interest hobby.' I also feel that seniors (below a certain income level) who own a home or carrying a mortgage (after the age of 65) should not be required to pay the 'school tax' portion of their property tax. I'm nearly 70 and still paying on a mortgage. My property tax bill takes a huge bite out of my SS income... so much so that I might be forced to sell my home (in NJ)...and move to PA. Seniors need a break. Where will the lost school revenue come from? Afraid I don't have an answer for that... but maybe someone else does?
Open arms March 31, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Ok Rita, your preference does present a unique challenge but not impossible. What you won't find, is that type of dwelling within city limits. Easton is a very old community. While its active residents are forward thinkers, they are also historically responsible. One specific neighborhood does come to mind. Woodridge Terrace in nearby Palmer township. It is a very senior friendly location. The only down side is that it is not that close to downtown. Other than something like that, you will need to look at future projects like the Silk Mill.
Rita Chesterton March 31, 2013 at 04:57 PM
I'd LOVE to live at the Silk Mill.... my mother worked there as a loom operator throughout the 1950s and '60s. Loft style living at the Mill will likely attract a mix of artists, independent thinkers, young people, and age deniers, as well (ha!).

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