U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent Holds Office Hours in Nazareth
About 70 Lehigh Valley residents attended U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent's "Office Hours" in Nazareth.
About 70 Lehigh Valley residents filled the Nazareth Borough Council Chambers this morning looking for an opportunity to ask their local Congressman a few questions.
During Congressman Charlie Dent’s “Office Hours” in Nazareth, topics of discussion ranged from the Environmental Protection Agency, to the war in Afghanistan, to a once proposed federal detention center in Upper Mount Bethel Township.
But what really got the residents’ tongues wagging was the topic of Social Security.
“I want to know why the government did not give seniors a cost of living increase in two years, but gave the working class a 2 percent decrease in social security?” asked Norman Shafer of Wilson Borough.
After resounding agreement from the crowd, Mary Jane Long, president of Palmer Township’s AARP group, chimed in.
“They’re squeezing the middle class more and more,” she said. “Seniors rely on that money to keep their homes and to pay their medical bills. It’s about time the bureaucrats realize that the retired working class are trying to live out here.”
Dent told those in attendance that he believes the Social Security crisis is “manageable” and “repairable.”
“Social Security will have to be reformed at some point, and so will Medicare – especially Medicare,” Dent said, adding that the last major Social Security reform happened in 1983.
“[Social security] is certainly not sustainable in its current form, but it’s a manageable problem,” he said.
After “Office Hours” were over, Dent headed to Main and Broad Streets. He first stopped by Barbara’s Treasures, a store that features a variety of trinkets and gifts.
“How’s business, by the way?” Dent asked Barbara Saslo, the owner of the store.
“We’re holding our own,” she said.
After Saslo moved her business to the corner of S Broad and Belvidere Streets, she said she doubled her foot traffic, but has yet to double her sales.
“I’m still living off my savings, which isn’t easy,” Saslo said.
After leaving Barbara’s Treasures, Dent walked to Goodfella’s Pizza and Grill, and greeted a few business owners along the way.
After lunch, Dent headed to Alexandria Manor, an assisted living and personal care facility on South New Street.
Make sure to check back later when Kristine Porter, a Patch contributor, has a full story on the rest of Dent’s visit to Nazareth.