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Borough Pays to Keep Staff Through Year's End

Macungie will use 'found' money to hang on to personnel the 2012 budget would not allow.

The borough of Macungie will keep its administrative staff in the positions they currently occupy through Dec. 1, according to a decision made in executive session of Monday's council meeting.

According to the very tight and , the budget only supported keeping the administrator of the through July 31.

Karen Holt's job was to end at that time, according to the budget.

The tax collector who works in , Rosemarie Nonnemacher, was to take over the Macungie Institute job as of Aug. 1, it said.

And the third borough administrator, Doris Horner, who also works at Borough Hall was to be unaffected.

At Monday night's council meeting, council decided in executive session to continue to pay Holt through the end of 2012 with money it had not expected to have, said Borough Manager Chris Boehm.

Nonnemacher will remain at Borough Hall as a result, also.

Additionally, council decided in executive session, council adopted a separation agreement to provide for Horner's retirement as of Dec. 1.

The agreement pays more than $10,000 that will cover vacation and sick days to which Horner is and was entitled to but has not used. It will also pay about $9,000 for single employee benefits until Horner is Medicare eligible about 13 months after she retires.

The money came in the form of an unanticipated insurance dividend of $29,000 the borough learned of earlier this year, Boehm said.

It will provide about $21,000 for Holt's salary, she said.

Money for Horner's insurance will come from the 2013 budget, Boehm said, and the money for Horner's sick and vacation pay has been provided for all along as part as part of the Teamsters 773 bargaining unit to which Horner belongs.

John Rogers August 10, 2012 at 02:07 PM
What is amazing ron is that you are the first one to call out other posters on allowing people to express their opinions and espousing the virutes of the freedom to do just that. So, no I am not kidding. That is the adjective that best describes how I feel the boro has treated the police department over the years. Now maybe you need to take your own advice and respect that opinion even though you may disagree with it. Or did you just need an opportunity to use the word of the day...histronics???
Ron Beitler August 10, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Yes Yes Yes. I've used the building twice this year. One for my business (We held a boutique Bridal show there early summer, local businesses get great rates) and another time for another community organization I am involved in to hold a smart growth presentation. If folks are unfamiliar with the programs and services offered by the institute check out the website: http://www.macungie.pa.us/Macungie%20Institute/Home%20Page.htm
John Rogers August 10, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Let me make my position perfectly clear. The boro of Macungie has many very good emloyees. My problem is with how council plays games with the budget, positions, etc. "Find" the funding when the budget is completed to keep everyones positions and stop playing with peoples lives. Maybe then people like Ron won't have the opportunity to forget that the only boro employees who lost their source of income this year were police officers.
Ron Beitler August 10, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I don't believe gov't should be in the business of creating jobs for the sake of it. Good gov't should make staffing decisions without personal bias. If you can make an argument that any of these staff positions are un-needed I would listen. I've met and like Karen, but my advocacy for the position is for the value the institute provides. Not the person. As for MPD the borough has FIVE full time officers. We have 24/7 police coverage (rare for a comparable borough this size) in almost every instance except the most rare circumstances.
David August 10, 2012 at 02:37 PM
The Macungie Institute is a great resourse. Karen Holt works very hard at promoting the building. Unfortunately, despite her admirable efforts, it continues to lose money. Is it the responsibility of a municipal government to maintain a building that operates at a loss so that people like Ron can have a place to hold their events??? Particularly when it means that other boro employees lose their jobs?
David August 10, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Don't know where you get your figures Ron but the borough PD staffing is LESS than comparable boros in size and population. Check the figures that had been provided to council by former council president Ramsey during budget workshops.
Ron Beitler August 10, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I've been looking last 30 minutes at comparable boroughs in PA. (location, demographics, size) Please find me examples of boroughs with same population, same suburban location, same demographics where police coverage is better then we are provided here by MPD. I'm talkin in measurable ways like officer per population ratios, crime statistics ect. ect. Show me something concrete that shows MPD is getting "raped"... (please note quotations as using that word pretty much disguists me... I'm quoting someone else) Our MPD is the cadillac of borough police departments. To characterize it as anything less is absurd.
Ron Beitler August 10, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Really? 1 officer per roughly 600 people is deficient in a borough thats ONE square mile in size? I mean deficient to the point where you can categorize the council as "raping" the police department and putting the community at risk?
Ron Beitler August 10, 2012 at 03:09 PM
It's not meant to make money, thats the current directive. It's been discussed recently in terms of general philosophical purpose. What community centers make money?
John Rogers August 10, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Seems like another voice gave you an example of where to find the statistics. You may be disgusted by the term "rape" but I am equally disgusted by people who constantly denigrate (wow, another word of the day) the size and importance of the Macungie PD. So many people think it is easy to provide 24/7 coverage with 5 full time officers, but I for one, would not want to try. In talking to the officers it becomes readily apparent that it is not as easy as it may seem to some. And the term "cadillac" to describe the department? Tell the officers that their salaries, facilities, manpower and equipment are the cadillac of borough police departments. My guess is that they would be far removed from agreeing with that description.
John Rogers August 10, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Check the last two studies that were completed showing that according to federal formulas, Macungie should have 2.5 officers working per shift.
Ron Beitler August 10, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Average salary for patrol officers in the USA is 50,193. Our patrol officers make 53,769.
John Rogers August 10, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Not meant to make money!!! Now you must not be serious. When a government entity is having budget difficulties, the last thing they should be doing is underwriting a facility that is losing money. Particularly a facility that is not a necessity for the safety, quality of life, etc. of the community that is footing the bill. Not very good business acumen. Glad you are not preparing the budget.
John Rogers August 10, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Wow!!! Really grasping at straws there to try to defend your point aren't you???? That stat to support your argument is so flawed I wouldn't know where to begin since it is so ridiculous. Look no farther than a few short miles away and you will find a police department with only two officers, both full time. They each make over $75,000 a year. But hey, nice try anyway. That's not comparing apples to oranges. It's more like comparing raisins to pumpkins!!!!
Ron Beitler August 10, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Alburtis has a population of 2200. 2 Officers = coverage of 1,100 residents per officer vs. 600 here in Macungie. By your viewpoint Alburtis should be burning down from all the crime. Seniors left helpless in their homes with no services. If they came up to your levels of coverage and 24/7 no way those two officers would be getting 75,000. It would bankrupt the borough. It would be more in line with what Macungie is paying (still above national average) Apples to apples, borough providing the same coverage paying officers the same amount of money. To pay X you have to take in X. A borough couldnt sustain officers at the coverage you prescribe without cutting all other services and raising taxes to ridiculous levels.
Ron Beitler August 10, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I'm glad you brought up Alburtis. Their level of police protection is perfectly appropriate. Perfectly adequate.
John Rogers August 10, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Ron, it gets so exasperating even attempting to debate anything with you because you dont read what is written, you take things out of context, and you skew stats. All for the $40 you contribute in taxes to Macungie if I remember a prior post correctly. When in the hell did I say I was referring to Alburtis??? Quite a stretch you made there. Especially since Alburtis has more than two officers. And I guess that I should also make an assumption about the thriving business you must have since you are so busy with it you have so much time to spendlaing on the computer. Let me end by making this comment. If you are such the businessman and expert in what local governments should be doing, why don't you put that expertise to work and run for office?
Ron Beitler August 10, 2012 at 06:00 PM
What police dept then is "a few short miles away" and has 2 officers at 75K each? What's the population (tax base) of this place?
Ron Beitler August 10, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Actually no. Done. You've again devolved into personal attacks. Seems to be your MO. I decided not to engage you anymore awhile ago since you clearly have an agenda. But since you today decided to categorize council treatment of MPD as "rape" I couldnt keep quiet. Bottom line is I've never spoken to one person in this town who didn't feel safe or felt that MPD does not provide adequate protection under the parameters outlined by the mayor and council. Now if anything (and I don't personally agree with this) what I hear from folks is that people avoid the town because of fear of getting pulled over arbitrarily. Again, I don't personally believe thats an issue, but that IS the perception. There are other responsibilities local gov't has in addition to police protection esp when the protection CURRENTLY being provided is 100% adequate. And it is. No doubt about it. Macungie is a great place. I appreciate any attempt by local gov't to reign in costs while providing adequate service. Thats the case here. Service is in fact beyond adequate. We have 24/7 right now, more then the vast majority of boroughs in the state.
Mariella Savidge August 10, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Carol, Karen is staying. Into next year and beyond according to the current plan as I understand it.
Mariella Savidge August 10, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Debate on the issues is what we're looking for here. No personal attacks, please.
John Rogers August 10, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Mariella, you are absolutely correct. My apologies. Ron, you are correct also. I do have an agenda. It is standing up for not only the Macungie PD but all PD's. Historically no matter where you look, municipalities look to their police departments as the first place to make cuts. Why is it that elected officials look to essential services as the FIRST place to cut. It never seems to be the last resort as I feel it should be when dealing with public safety.
moderate Republican August 10, 2012 at 08:47 PM
With all of the so obviously passionately involved citizen of the borough of Macungie paying so very much attention to what is happening, i certainly hope that somebody will run for office in 2013. You have very little right to complaint about the government you have, when you haven't encouraged your neighbors or yourself to take on that responsibility.
get real August 11, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Anyone who follows Macungie politics knows this wind fall treasure is just another example of Chris Boehm back room politics. This latest magic show is just part of her standard operating procedure, take care of her loyal peeps and stick it to the Police.She is also working her magic to keep another loyal peep Linn Walker from resigning, or at least buy time to dig up a loyal peep replacement. Chris Boehm has no integrity and no ethics, not to forget she also talked the Mayor out of resigning.We really need to thank Chris for making sure we don't lose such talented officials, and for looking out for the best interests of the borough.
Kelly August 11, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Think you need to check your facts......I can tell you that isn't true. IF you find evidence that supports your claim go tell some of the officers cause they aren't getting that money.
Ron Beitler August 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM
@Kelly if you are saying the 2012 budget information available online is incorrect. Well then that truly is a an issue. http://www.macungie.pa.us/Budget/GFExpenditures%202012.pdf 2 patrol FT officers salary = 107,536.00 / 2 = Is that what you are saying?
Kelly August 13, 2012 at 06:45 PM
That figure is off by quite a bit ( and I did check this out) the starting salary was in the the low 40's and there was only 1 full time and 1 30hr position. The 30hr officer left before the budget took effect and the FT officer was cut by the budget and offered PT. I hear he took another FT position in another city ( can't blame him). If the 2 salaries were averaged, I have no knowledge of that but didn't want the public believing these officers were being paid more than they actually were.
Responsible Citizen August 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM
AMEN!!!! Well said and very true as we are well aware here in daily life of Macungie politics!! The next election cannot come soon enough!!
Ron Beitler August 16, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Here is the budget info: Line item: 410 Police Department Police Chief’s Salary: 57,429 Sergeant’s Salary: 57,408.00 Corporal/K9 Officer Salary: 56,181.00 Patrol Officer Wages: 107,536.00 This is for 2 full time patrol police officers Part-time Police Wages: 51,359.00 The Borough employs part-time officers at $16.37/hr Source: 2012 General Fund Expenditures Note for comparison UMT is advertising it's positions at "The starting probationary salary is $51,000." - Source Patch article, I would imagine this is for full time patrol. My point is simply this. In no way shape or form are MPD officers underpaid.
Kelly August 16, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Yes Ron I read the budget.... I still stand by my comment......they new hires did not make near 50,000. I have no idea where this figure came from but it isn't accurate!

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