Ron Beitler, owner of Bar None Weddings & Entertainment in Macungie and a lifelong resident of Lower Macungie Township was rejected by the Lower Macungie Board of Commissioners as a volunteer member of the Parks & Recreation Board.
Beitler, a lifelong township resident, applied for the position and was interviewed by some of the commissioners.
His appointment to the board was a party of Thursday's agend at the BOC meeting.
Commissioner James Lanscek made a motion to approve Beitler's appointment.
But Commissioner President Ron Eichenberg had concerns.
"[Beitler] is instrumental in an organization that brought suit against the Board of Commissioners, and he has a lot of negativity," Eichenberg said.
Eichenberg went on to say that for those reasons he would not support Beitler's appointment.
Beitler, a frequent blogger and commentor on Lower Macungie Patch, is a leader of the Friends for the Protection of Lower Macungie Township, an activist group that supports smart growth and farmland preservation.
Beitler openly collected signatures on a petition that asked the commissioners to withdraw from a memorandum of understanding that changed zoning laws to allow the possibility of the development of hundreds of acres of farmland in the township's southwest corner.
Though the Friends group openly supports the litigation surrounding the Jaindl development in the western part of the township, Beitler's name appears nowhere in the suit.
Beitler also, on several occasions, has made a point of identifying Eichenberg as a local realtor involved in several development projects throughout the township.
After Eichenberg's statement, there was no second to the motion to approve Beitler's appointment.
"Hearing no second, the motion is denied," Eichenberg said.
Beitler is "deeply disappointed."
"I was really looking forward to volunteering during such an exciting time for the parks board. It is currently conducting a much needed comprehensive review of our parks system. We have a great volunteer board with some great people. I'm saddened the commissioners punished me because I disagree with them on certain development issues and I blog about it. I don't believe that people should be punished and locked out of local government because they
have a different opinion with our elected officials. This is not the first time this board has done this," Beitler said in a Friday morning email.