County Commissioner to Speak at CEPTA in September

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holtProfile   Lehigh County Commissioner Amanda Holt will be CEPTA’s guest for our September meeting.  She will be discussing “Redistricting by Citizens”–how citizens can become involved in this issue and how they can make a difference.

Ms. Holt is well-qualified to speak about this topic since her efforts in this area led to a historic victory before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2012.

Please plan on attending this exciting presentation at Emaus Fire Co. No. 1, Sixth and Broad Streets, Emmaus, PA on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 7:30 PM.



Follow-up to State of Gun Rights in PA

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Presidents’ report for February

I write this report on our recent CEPTA event this past Tuesday February 17th with the help of our video recording, as I was not able to attend due to prior commitments. I am very happy to announce in spite of this or maybe because of this, the event was a spectacular hit with over 60 guests in attendance.
We actually had two hiccups that night as we were scheduled to have a guest presenter from the NRA national headquarters, however because of nasty weather down in the Washington DC area the NRA couldn’t make it.
Fortunately I had given Mr. Prince a heads up as to the NRA coming to speak and he responded that he canceled another event so he could attend ours. I didn’t realize how lucky we were to have this chain of events take place.
I want to send out a special extra-large C.E.P.T.A. thank you out to Joshua.
Mr. Joshua Prince is a partner in the Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG) a law firm that specializes in firearm litigation and is located down the road a piece in Bechtelsville, PA.
He has worked directly and indirectly with the NRA on gun rights litigation within PA and around the Country on numerous occasions and has even gotten the present Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, to reverse her stance on firearms cases that were brought before her in our fine State. This is quite a feat as Ms. Kane is not particularly a strong second amendment advocate, to say the least.
The program was jam packed from the start. Its two hour long duration was filled with so much information relating to proposed and newly enacted law. You may have seen or read throughout this past year how so many of the local ordinances about firearm use have been changed or eliminated. This is a direct correlation to the work that Mr. Prince and his firm along with the many other firearm groups like the NRA, Gun Owners of America etc. have pursued in making sure that all municipalities adhere to the correct laws and not the ones that the municipalities have created above the law in order to restrict the citizens from their second amendment rights guaranteed by our US Constitution. In fact, we have had a change in Lehigh County ordinance due to Mr. Prince’s firm.
I recommend that any one that wants to know the real laws and regulations watch and listen closely to Mr. Prince’s advice and knowledge about this topic. You’ll learn about how and when you may be in violation of PA firearm laws. What you need to do to obtain a valid “right to carry” permit and really why if you have firearms you should seriously consider getting a RTK permit (it keeps you from falling into the many traps set up by our legal system). Did you know that the term “Firearm” really only relates to handguns? Also that if you have a RTK permit you can have a car full of loaded “firearms”, but you better not have a loaded long gun (rifle or shotgun) whether it’s on a bicycle, motorcycle, or wheelchair. Yep if you are handicapped and use a wheel chair you cannot carry a loaded long gun because the state of PA considers that a vehicle. Crazy, huh? But go figure its PA and we still have a long way to go.
This was a top notch presentation given by one of the most capable lawyers within PA especially on this subject. At one point he related a story about how he was involved in a police highway stop and how he didn’t have to wait too long before the police knew who he was and called him “the gun guy” and asked that he just move along.
That is exactly how he is working for all of us, he keeps moving the laws for the second amendment right along so we can rest assured here in PA that we’ll have our rights represented.
Thanks again Joshua for your steadfast support of the second amendment.


Update on CEPTA event – How expensive & poor investing practices contributed to the underfunded public pensions

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Presidents’ letter on CEPTA event

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014


Wow!! Tuesday night’s presentation by PA State Representative Tom Caltagirone backed up by financial analyst Rich Shuker, both of the Reading PA area, was amazingly EYE OPENING. The arrangement of how the state manages its two biggest public retirement funds; PSERS and SERS seems not much short of criminal, and I don’t say that lightly.

Would you put your retirement investments into the riskiest unregulated investments that exist?

Watch and listen as Investment analyst Rich Shuker and PA State House Representative Tom Caltagirone present the incredible follow the money scenario of how billions of dollars in investment management fees were paid to hundreds of individual management firms that lost 10’s of billions of dollars for the PSERS and SERS pensions.

The way that the public pension monies are invested and the amount of cash that was lost should make every one of the public sector workers take serious note and get them up in arms’.

As soon as the video is uploaded you have got to watch it to learn what happened and is still going on today.

House Rep Caltagirone has some interesting ways he would like to clean up this mess and

Mr. Shuker brought out some really simple and clever ways to stop the bloodletting in the PSERS and SERS retirement funds
Now don.t get me wrong the legislators also had a lot to do with the size of the pension crisis. Back in ~2001 our Governor Ridge at the time, passed a law that upped the multiplier the public employees use to figure their pension benefits. Ridge upped the elected officials pension multiplier from 2 to 3% a 50% increase to their bennies. That’s not all, at the same time the PSERS was increased from 2 to 2.5% that’s a 25% increase. Then, to really top it off they made it retroactive to when the active employee started their employment instead of having it take effect the day the law passed. Finally, they also lowered the vesting time from 10 years down to 5 years. You can imagine how much of an impact this made to the increase in pension benefits all state workers got. I almost forgot to mention the COLA’s (cost of living increases) they get each year that also increases the pension benefit, each year!


If only those of us in the private sector still had retirement plans as good as our public servants.



CEPTA Picnic in the Park, Sunday June 22nd

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This year’s CEPTA picnic will once again coincide with the Emmaus Community Days Celebration at Community Park, Sunday June 22nd. CEPTA will have a stand at the event and the North Pavilion is reserved for our Picnic and guest speakers. The event starts at noon, and our first speaker, LMT Commissioner Ron Beitler will speak at 1 PM, followed by Rep Justin Simmons at 2 PM. We are in the process of adding more speakers, and we will update this schedule as it becomes available.

Highlights from CEPTA April Meeting with LMT Commissioner Ron Beitler and LC Commissioner Scott Ott

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Thank you to all who attended CEPTA’s April meeting with LMT Commissioner Ron Beitler and LC Commissioner Scott Ott. The meeting was one of the best Q&A sessions we’ve had at CEPTA. For a detailed description of the meeting please read the following article from Randy Kraft @ WFMZ.

Read more…


CEPTA April Meeting – Hamilton Crossings Mall TIF/Lehigh County Budget Process

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This month’s topics and speakers are extremely important to what’s happening in the East Penn area today. Our first speaker will be recently elected Lower Macungie Twp. Commissioner Mr. Ron Beitler and the topic he will be discussing is the “Hamilton Crossings” Mall TIF (Tax Increment Financing). This has been a major topic in our area since 2009 and is now coming to a head as the LMT Commissioners have announced their desire to bring this to a final Yea or Nay vote this June. This leaves little time for your public input on this immensely important topic.

Please see the below links for a good idea of the overall concept of the plan, and Mr. Beitler’s view on the project.



Mr. Beitler is asking for as much public participation and input as possible to be addressed to the LMT commissioners in order that they get a good understanding of their constituent’s desires. This will be an informative discussion if you live in the East Penn/Lower Macungie area because if the TIF is approved by the LMT commissioners, approximately $12 million dollars of educational funds will be taken from the students of East Penn School District and funneled directly to an out of state, Staten Island developer. This developer wants to take your hard earned tax dollars, money that should be spent locally on education and for fixing roads, to build his for profit shopping center and some local elected officials agree with him.

Now’s your chance to help stop this foolishness and voice your concerns.

Our second speaker will be Lehigh County Commissioner Scott Ott. Mr. Ott will speak about his ideas on how we can better manage the County budgeting process to the advantage of the taxpayer. As a side light to the Hamilton Crossings subject above, Mr. Ott was one of the 6 County Commissioners that voted “No” to the TIF proposal. As a result the County will not be giving your tax money away to build a shopping center for a private developer.

We look forward to seeing you there and please don’t forget to bring a friend or two.

Date- Tuesday, April 15th
Time- Doors open at 7PM, meeting starts at 7:30 and goes to ~9PM
Place- Fire Company #1; located at 6th and Broad Sts., in Emmaus
Presenters- Mr. Ron Beitler and Mr. Scott Ott
Questions- please send us an E-mail to ceptapa@gmail.com

CEPTA October Meeting – Property Tax Elimination

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Please join us for our next event titled “Property Tax Elimination”. This important legislation is in committee before both our Senate and House of Representatives. Both houses in our State Congress are backing this as a bipartisan bill with only 3more Senate votes out of 50 total Senators and 10 more votes from the House out of 203 total PA House representatives required to pass this Bill. This shows an amazing display of bipartisan support for this “Property Tax Elimination” Bill. Click on the link below to see a short video of sponsors Senator David Argall and House Rep Jim Cox explain their Bills to eliminate school property tax as the primary way to fund schools in PA.
Also linked below are the Senators and House reps that have so far signed on to these bills. Scroll down till you see the listing, there is also much more info on this topic shown within this link.
Now that you have taken some time to study this topic hopefully we’ll see you at our C.E.P.T.A. (Concerned East Penn Taxpayers Association) event this coming October 15th a Tuesday starting at 7:30 PM, location is Fire House #1 in Emmaus. Join us and learn from Mr. Shuker as he explains and shows us, using verifiable information, the process and statistics on how this could be the way to eliminate one of the highest taxes homeowners pay.
We are excited to host this public awareness event on legislation that holds the possibility of such significant change for the hardworking taxpayer in PA. Every day, homeowners face the possibility of losing their home because of not being able to pay their property taxes. This happens to almost 10,000 people a year in PA
Please click on the following link to get to our flyer with the full description of CEPTA’s “Property Tax Elimination” event and forward it to your friends and family. Hope to see you there and don’t forget to bring a friend.

CEPTA meeting notice 10’15’2013 ‘HB’SB 76’

John Donches

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