Upper Saucon Government

Upper Saucon Township has a history extending back to the middle of the eighteenth century when it was originally settled by a mix of German, English and Welsh immigrants starting around 1732. Prior to that it was home to Native Americans who had established a village around Saucon Creek. The name derives from the Indian word “Saukunk”, which means “mouth of the Saucon Creek”.

While the landscape was and still is farmed, producing mostly arable crops, Upper Saucon itself is primarily a bedroom community that serves the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. The population numbers around 15,00 and is predominantly white (93 per cent of the population) and professional in nature. Of those employed, more than 80 per cent work in the services and administration sector. Nobody living in the town is employed on the surrounding farms.

Accordingly, the median family income is just short of $100,000 per annum with per capita income at $38,000. At the time of the last census, just 312 people within the township lived below the poverty level.

News items strongly suggest that politics in the township is dominated by planning issues and the control of local government costs. Property taxes have remained at the same level since 1989, though this is balanced by the fact that the majority of land is put over to parks and recreation, with residential areas falling slightly behind.

The town is governed primarily by a board of five supervisors elected on a staggered basis for a period of six years. They oversee a range of sub-committees that monitor the various departments necessary for the effective running of the town. The current board of supervisors, all of whom are Republicans, is listed as follows:

  • Stephen Wagner (Chairman). Term ends January 2016
  • Joaquim (Jack) DeMatos, (Vice Chairman). Terms ends January 2016
  • Patrick Leonard. Term end January 2018
  • Dennis Benner. Term ends January 2018
  • Philip Spaeth. Term ends January 2018

Each of the five supervisors serves as chair of one of the sub-committees. These are:

  • Planning and Zoning
  • Public Works and Transportation
  • Administration and Finance
  • Emergency Services
  • Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces
  • Appointments Review

In addition, the board of supervisors appoints members of subsidiary organizations that have responsibility in selected areas. These are:

  • Municipal Authority
  • Sewage Treatment Authority
  • Park and Recreation Commission
  • Zoning Hearing Board
  • Planning Commission
  • Environmental Advisory Council

These boards, commissions and authorities all oversee the work of paid government employees which are split into the following departments:

  • Administration
  • Community Development
  • Water and Sewer Department
  • Finance Department
  • Road Department
  • Police Department
  • Fire Department
  • Ambulance Corps
  • Tax Collector
  • Sewage Enforcement Office