Thursday, May 9, 2013
City always had good working relationship with Bethlehem state senator.
State Sen. Lisa Boscola's new district is good news for her and for the city of Easton, Mayor Sal Panto said Wednesday. A state Supreme Court ruling handed down this week approved new legislative district maps that will go into effect for the 2014 elections. One change that comes with the ruling: Boscola's new 18th district boundaries will now include the Easton area, the Express-Times reported. Boscola, a Democrat, had represented Easton for two years before redistricting put the city into the 24th district in 2001. During that time, "she was an excellent state senator for us," Panto said, noting that he also worked with her during his first tenure in office, when she was a state represenative. (Boscola's district then didn't include …
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Easton mayor joins Philadelphia's Michael Nutter in news conference in front of Sen. Pat Toomey's office.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto joined Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter Tuesday morning at a news confernce in that city calling for new gun laws. The event, which also featured former Gov. Ed Rendell and other mayors, happened in front of the office of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. It was sponsored by the groups Mayors Against Illegal Guns and CeaseFirePA. Two weeks ago, Panto led a Mayors Against Illegal Guns rally for new gun laws in Easton's Centre Square. Toomey was reportedly in talks with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on an expanded background check law, one of the main things Mayors Against Illegal Guns is pushing for. "Pennsylvanians are counting on Sen. Toomey to stand up for us in the fight against gun violence," CeaseFirePA …
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
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 mayor also praised the city's volunteers for their work on projects like the Easton Farmers' Market, and the …
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Easton mayor one of several speaking against illegal guns in ad featured on CNN Wednesday.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto is one of several heads of U.S. cities featured in a new public service ad calling on Congress to help end gun violence The ad—featured in a CNN story Wednesday morning—was created by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. It shows a group of mayors—including Panto, Ed Pawlowski of Allentown and Michael Nutter of Philadelphia—asking legislators to require background checks for all gun sales, take military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines off the streets and to make gun trafficking a federal crime. (Panto appears twice in the 86-second clip: first at 17 seconds in and again at the 34-second mark.) "I support the rights of the Second Amendment," he says at one point. Last year, the mayor—along with several of …
Monday, February 11, 2013
Mayor Sal Panto says Easton's city offices should be inside new intermodal building.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto wants to move the city government offices out of the Alpha Building and into the new intermodal unit on S. Third Street. Panto made that announcement Monday afternoon, saying he will take the plan before City Council Wednesday evening. The mayor said the city would sell the Alpha Building and try to move into the intermodal -- a $26 million project that will include a three-story structure and a new city parking deck -- by the first part of 2015. "Downtown is really the place for City Hall, there’s no doubt about that," Panto told reporters at a news conference at City Hall. "Whether it needs to be right on the circle in the most prominent building in the city, I don’t think so." Panto said the city is having the …
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Council tables eminent domain vote after property owner agrees to meet with the city.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Tom Coombe
Thursday, January 24
Easton City Council will wait three weeks before voting to condemn and seize a downtown parking lot. Council made that decision Wednesday night after lot owner Scott Kindred said he would meet with city officials and try to work out a different arrangement, one that would possibly allow Kindred to keep his property and allow some public parking. After the meeting, Kindred expressed cautious optimism about the vote. "They're willing to talk, so I'm willing to listen," he said. Initially, the city had wanted to take the N. Fourth Street lot by eminent domain. Mayor Sal Panto said the city would use the parking lot -- which is now private -- as a public parking lot. The city's parking study identified the lot as a good place for another …
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Mayor Sal Panto of Easton and David Perrusso of Wilson are among several U.S. mayors signing a letter from Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Editor's note: The following is a letter sent to the White House Wednesday from the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Among the mayors signing were Sal Panto of Easton and David Perruso of Wilson, as well as Gerald Gross of West Easton. In the last year, both Easton and Wilson have been struggling with gun violence. Easton had five homicides in 2012, four of them gun-related. A city man was shot and wounded in Wilson earlier this year. This letter is in response to a different gun crime: the school shooting last week in Newtown, Conn. Dear President Obama, On Friday, December 14th the entire nation watched as parents stood outside the Sandy Hook Elementary Schooland waited, desperately hoping to be reunited with their children. That …
Friday, December 14, 2012
Mayor outlines plans for Easton parking for local merchants.
Panto says Easton needs to replace Pine Street garage and make meters easier to use.
Easton needs to replace its Pine Street parking garage and make parking at meters a less painful experience, Mayor Sal Panto said Friday. Two days after City Council voted for a budget that raises meter rates around the city, Panto presented a larger vision for the future of parking in Easton to members of the downtown business community at the Grand Eastonian. It includes extending the life of -- but ultimately replacing -- the Pine Street garage, and finding room for another parking garage downtown in addition to the planned intermodal unit on S. Third Street. Ideally, the second lot would be on N. Fourth Street, across from the Express-Times building, Panto said. "I’m not saying we build big Taj Mahals for parking and nobody comes," …
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Easton mayor says he has no plans to leave city to try to run Northampton County.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Easton Mayor Sal Panto has no plans to run for Northampton County Executive next year, according to published reports. Panto said that while he's been mentioned as a possible candidate to take over for Executive John Stoffa, he has no interest in trying for the job, the Morning Call reports. "I don't want anybody thinking I dropped out because someone else is in the race," Panto told the newspaper. "I was never in the race formally myself. Other people had me in there." The story lists Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan and former executive Glenn Reibman as Democratic front-runners in the race. Stoffa is not seeking re-election. Panto said the only job he'd consider taking outside the city is superintendent of the Easton Area School District, …