Ron Beitler Rejected as Member of Twp. Parks & Rec Board

A local business owner, the township native is active in environmental and community causes.

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.

John Rogers September 21, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Ron Beitler September 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM
I joined Friends LMT after the lawsuit was initiated. Not knowing any of the other members at the time, but having an interest in the smart growth initiatives they support and what they were trying to accomplish I sought out the group after reading about them in the paper. After becoming a member of the steering committee nearly 2 years ago I was nominated for and voted into the chairpersonship. No one on the Friends board is a appellant in the lawsuit. We do openly support and fundraise on the behalf of the appellants because we believe the decisions made by the BOC in regards to the Jaindl case weren't in the best interests of the township. Here are some of my "negative" blogposts. Advocating for flood victims: http://lowermacungie.patch.com/blog_posts/residents-petition-twp-for-money-to-buy-out-flooded-homes Helping spread the word about Parks and Rec Comp plan meeting: http://lowermacungie.patch.com/blog_posts/parks-rec-comprehensive-plan-kickoff-meeting-917 Warning of hyper polarization in our political system: http://lowermacungie.patch.com/blog_posts/george-washingtons-words-of-wisdom-in-seemingly-polarized-times How residents can address speeding concerns:http://lowermacungie.patch.com/blog_posts/how-residents-can-address-speeding-concerns
Ron Beitler September 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Yes I write about development issues also. Often wonderful projects like Lumber St. in Macungie or Hamilton Crossings in the twsp. And yes I am critical of ones I feel are negative like Jaindl or The Allen Organ Supermarket. I do point out Ron Eichenberg is a Realtor on tracts where major decisions are to be made that will affect us all. I think it matters and I think people need to know. I simply ask the board to man up and be clear. They know "Friends" doesn't make decisions regarding the lawsuit and aren't the appellants in the suit. We support it and help fundraise. I was denied last night because I wrote critically of the board on my blog. Period. I am respectful ALWAYS at meetings and in my writing. I support many great township initiatives, far more then I am critical of: Greenway, PR comprehensive plan, The walkability study of Hamilton ect. ect. ect. I roll up my sleeves and attend sometimes 2-3 meetings a week, I volunteer at local events, I'm as far as I know the only candidate to ever actually attend (5/7 of the last 7) a Parks and Recreation meeting. At least ones I was in attendance at. I'm convinced I was punished for my criticism of the board. I'm not angry. More so sad for the township. There are many volunteers on various boards who publicly have supported friends or donated to friends. About a dozen off the top of my head. Will all these good people be targeted and punished? We've had people donate but asked not to be named. I understand why now.
MS September 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM
It's very interesting.....interesting how the BOC doesn't hold back on their Bias......can't wait to vote these morons out. Just goes to show that when you get the wrong people in office, the right people who want to volunteer can't even do that.
MS September 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM
And yes, I have no plans to volunteer right now iether, at least until these bozo's are gone
Ron Beitler September 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM
You've spoken out against them on a blog using your real name. Your probably on a list somewhere. If this wasn't so sad it'd be almost funny it's so ridiculous.
Dave September 21, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Ron, I applaud your efforts to help your community and once again an uncaring and obviously vindictive board has protrcted their own interests instead those of the commuinty. HEY, I have an idea, become a self-absorbed loudmouth with a childish and petty agenda that pees in the neighbors bushes and they'll appoint you right away. Oh wait, that's the Macungie "mayor" and on of it's "highly respected" (snark) council.
slyfox September 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Seems to me this fine gentleman is being railroaded. If what I am reading is true something needs to be done. Doesn't surprise me though for this type of silencing under the thumb happens in more places that I would care to admit. What a shame. A young man being denied his important voice. Sorry to read this and hope it won't spread like a cancer throughout our region. So many things to worry about. So little people that care. Good luck Mr. Beitler in whatever you may do. I have a feeling this won't be the last we will hear from you.
Mark Spengler September 21, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I was at the meeting where Ron was blackballed from the Parks and Recreation Board. The recommendation to approve Ron was 3-0 coming out of committee. Here is a guy who volunteers countless hours attending meetings, studying the issues and writing to educate others about smart growth, walkable neighborhoods, The Greenway project etc. So what is the problem? He has criticized the BOC for the MOU with David Jaindl. Remember what happened to Bob Rust who was a present member of the Zoning Hearing Board? He was removed from the board when his term was up. Why? He is an attorney for the appellants in who are trying to reverse the MOU http://lowermacungie.patch.com/articles/retribution-in-lower-macungie-township. Blackballing citizens from volunteer positions within the township is appalling!
Robert Sentner September 21, 2012 at 07:41 PM
What more would you expect from the crooked, good old boys club. Ron move to Upper Milford We would welcome some one like you with open arms. Only problem is we are VERY transparent, ask from input from our community, believe in promoting farm land preservation and we are Pro business for the little guy. You wouldn't know what to do here. Don't let it get you discouraged keep up the good work and don't let the machine bring you down.
ron September 21, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Wow they turn down volunteers.This is a loss for the people of lower macungie. But nothing new i guess most decisions the B.O.C makes end up being a loss for the people. I may write a book ill call it how to run a borough or township for dummies. It would only be one sentence long. It would read " Look what macungie and lower macungie are doing and do the opposite". Ron keep your head up and keep trying. You could always change your name to Jaindl that might help.
Scott Bieber September 21, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Yes, Ron Beitler, if your name was Jaindl, you might have some power in this township. Mr. Eichenberg's comment that you have "alot of negativity" is absurd. Of course the decision not to appoint you is not surprising. As a student of politics, you must know that you will not be allowed to join the team if you criticize the leaders. The solution is to replace the current leaders with yourself and other likeminded citizens.
Robert Sentner September 21, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Scott that sounds like a nomination for Ron to run for commissioner. If so I'll help just let me know what I have to do.... got to get some of these self serving people of the boards in both Macungie and Lower Macungie. Beyond bad apples !!!
Guy Ramsey September 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM
Chin up. Stay active Ron.
Percy Dougherty, Ph.D. September 23, 2012 at 03:08 PM
The LMT Commissioners made a big mistake in not appointing Ron Beitler. He is involved in the community and he is a big proponent of smart growth and protecting our environment. He has much to offer so turning him down just because he disagrees with the Commissioners on farmland preservation makes no sense. Even in a good marriage, people disagree on a few things, but that does not stop them from working together.
careless fills September 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Small town politics....don't you love it? I disagree with Ron more than half the time, but I would still want him as a member of this board. Commisioners, get lost!


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