Teens hanging out in the middle of the street, youngsters skateboarding in front of cars and kids wearing baggy pants that reveal their underwear were among the topics addressed at the most recent Emmaus Borough Council meeting.
Jack Nonnemacher, 503 Franklin St., spoke about these issues during the public comment portion of the April 16 council meeting. Nonnemacher, who lives across from the , began his time at the podium by asking about the purpose of the “yield to pedestrian law.”
“My interpretation (of the law) is that if someone is in the cross walk you should yield to them and not run them over,” he said. “But, does that give them the right to walk in front of you?
“It appears to me that the children of this borough think that as long as they are hanging out in the street and doing what they are doing, like maybe skateboarding or something like that, they have the right to take as much time as they want,” he said.
Borough councilman Nathan Brown expressed his support for Nonnemacher’s plight.
“I just want to sympathize with Mr. Nonnemacher,” Brown said. “What he is seeing is literally children or teenagers who are standing in the middle of the road, being very disrespectful.”
Borough Council President Lee Ann Gilbert said: “They are testing our patience.”
Borough Manager Shane Pepe said that he had already had a conversation with Chief David A. Faust about similar activity in the area and assured Nonnemacher he would address his concerns about what has been happening in his neighborhood at an upcoming staff meeting.
Nonnemacher went on to ask council “Is there a law against walking around with your pants half down in public? Is that a violation of some law?”
Pepe told Nonnemacher that the particular style of teenage dress he was referring to is an issue everywhere, not just Emmaus.
“There is a fine line between lewdness and freedom of expression,” he said, “and it depends on what’s showing as to which one it is. If bare skin is showing, it may be a cause for police action.”
Nonnemacher got laughs from everyone in the room when he responded with a follow up question: “Does that mean when I walk my dog out on Franklin Street I can do it in my underwear?
“We need to take back the borough from the kids because the kids think that they rule,” Nonnemacher said. “If there is something that can be done, I would be happy to help in some way.”
Emmaus Borough Council meets tonight at 7 p.m. in .