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Gary Cordner Announces Run for Macungie Mayor

Primary election to be held May 21

Democrat Gary Cordner, 61, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Kutztown University, has announced he will run for mayor of Macungie.

Cordner served as a police officer in Ocean City, Md., and as the chief of the St. Michaels, Md., Police Department in the 1970s and 80s, and was a commissioner on the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, the only national body that accredits police departments.

He was a professor and served as dean of the College of Justice and Safety at Eastern Kentucky University, and wrote the textbook "Police Administration" which now in its eighth edition. He has studied, taught, and/or practiced policing and police administration his entire adult life.

Cordner is currently a member of Macungie's Civil Service Commission and has lived in the borough for the past five years with his wife AnnMarie and daughter Lera.

Doris Horner January 23, 2013 at 10:06 PM
I'm happy to hear that Gary is planning to run for Mayor. He is an extremely qualified individual and will serve the community well. He has already helped work on the Emergency Management Plan, as the Deputy Emergency Management Director. He has always been extremely pleasant when I worked at the Borough. Best of luck in your endeavor. Macungie would be very lucky to have you as Mayor.
Gary Cordner January 24, 2013 at 02:37 AM
Thanks Doris. How's retirement?
Dave January 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM
I for one look forward to learning more about this man. He certainly seems qualified. Good Luck Gary.
My 2 Cents January 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM
Have you supported or opposed the current's mayor's handling of the police department?
Honesty January 24, 2013 at 12:57 PM
My 2 Cents, Mr. Cordner did an excellent job answering that question in the Morning Call release. I encourage you read the article in mcall.com.
Honesty January 24, 2013 at 01:08 PM
My sentiments exactly. I too look forward to learning more about Mr. Cordner. He certainly seems to be well qualified and I was impressed with his press release in the Morning Call.
My 2 Cents January 24, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Honesty I will look for that article. Thank you.
Gary Cordner January 24, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Short answer -- opposed. It seemed like it went south right from the start. I don't see what was accomplished and there was a huge cost in money, bad feelings, and bad publicity. Credit where credit is due -- the mayor is elected by the people and the mayor is responsible for overseeing the police department. The current mayor has tried to do this, I think. Also, I don't know all the details, but I think he deserves some of the credit for getting PennDot more involved in redirecting trucks away from the hill. More prevention and less enforcement, if that's a fair way of looking at it, is a good accomplishment. Hopefully the next mayor will provide oversight and direction and support but not try to micro-manage the PD. The Chief is fully capable of managing the place and he seems like an honorable, upstanding guy. The mayor should be able to work with him, not against him.
Dave January 24, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Gary, I like your answer. But I must disagree on a couple of points, This "mayor" was not elected by the people - in majority - he was elected by friends and family. I didn't even know who this clown was until he started pressing his childish agenda into the media making our little town the laughing stock of the Lehigh Valley. In addition, I think the only items he deserves credit for are: A: Making our town budget run into the red by causing the town council to amass absurd legal fees in order to protect itself from it's own "mayor" B: Turning several council meetings into an almost "free-for-all" with his edicts, redacting of edicts, double talk and foolish childish behavior. As I have said before, I look forward to reading more about you and your ideas for Macungie and hopefully meeting you one day.
Honesty January 24, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Thank you for answering My 2 Cents question. What seems so sad is when you look over the past 3 years our current Mayor has been in office you have to look real hard to find anything positive he did for our community. Our next Mayor really needs to work with the Chief of Police and the entire PD as well as working with council. Our entire municipal government needs to work together, not against each other.
My 2 Cents January 24, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Love your answer. Thanks!
Never A Dull Moment January 25, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Gary Cordner, will you continue to use the abilities that the Court says are yours as Mayor, such as setting the schedule and the number of shifts and insisting on having keys to the office and privy to all records and undercover ops? If the new Mayor chooses not to do these things...as you say you think the current Mayor should not have done...then the expense we paid to get to this point is even more wasteful. What exactly will all of this fuss have accomplished other than giving one sorry individual with an ego and an ax to grind a big head? Also, how can actions by the Mayor on behalf of a few blind or ignorant truck drivers that have cost this community at least $10K a year in revenue be a good thing under any circumstances?
Gary Cordner January 25, 2013 at 01:17 AM
You guys are tough. No, I would not plan to use that authority unless it became necessary for the proper functioning of the police department. Otherwise, you have a police chief whose job it is to run the police department on a day-to-day and operational basis. He knows a lot more about that than a part-time mayor. Regarding the truck drivers, the issue on the hill always was presented as a safety problem -- not a safe stretch of road for big trucks. So now, if the trucks are going the other way and the road in the borough is safer, I think it's 100% a good thing, no matter who deserves the credit.
Responsible Citizen January 25, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Mr. Cordner...you soud like a breath of fresh air in this borough and a positive influence with regard to our MPD!! Our police chief IS an extremely educated, professional and honorable man with the safety and best interests of Macungie as his focus. We NEED a mayor who will not constantly obstruct the chief's ability to do his job...as I understand it, Chief Harry had a completely unblemished and well-decorated professional work history until Rick Hoffman became our mayor elected by a small minority!
Never A Dull Moment January 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM
If there was always such a safety problem regarding the trucks where is the history of accidents or safety related issues? There is none. The former signs were in place for years and years and repeatedly held up in Court. The issue for Mr. Hoffman was he could stick his nose in there and do something on behalf of a few ignorant complainers who wanted to take the shortest route and not use Buckeye Road. Also he could flex his muscle and deny the MPD the ability to generate revenue. He has put a halt to every revenue generating function they could use to promote safety. No truck scales, no over length violation stops, no sitting still to long to enforce the speed limit on Main St. The citizens now must pay for this folly with our increased tax dollars. How many places can you go where the PD is not allowed to do any of these things to help the budget and make the town safer?
My 2 Cents January 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Never A Dull Moment, I think a lot of us were saying all along that the current mayor should have stopped, because it was and is wasteful. That doesn't meant the next mayor should carry on or support the mess. Check it up to a personal accomplishment for the current mayor, but not necessarily Macungie.
My 2 Cents January 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Another good answer from Mr. Cordner.
My 2 Cents January 25, 2013 at 12:28 PM
The one thing I would like to see is a wider intersection at the Subway location in Macungie. It's hard for the big trucks to get turned there and it seems like there is some land that could be purchased to make it a better intersection. I'm not sure if that would be a township job or what level that should land on. I have also noticed the accidents at the Rt. 100 and 29 location have gone down. Maybe this has something to do with the route change of the big trucks. Anyone else notice that?
Gary Cordner January 25, 2013 at 04:22 PM
In my opinion, police enforcement should be motivated by safety considerations, not generating revenue.
Never A Dull Moment January 25, 2013 at 10:36 PM
I agree Gary, but not allowing the MPD to continue to do any of the above measures even though all the necessary equipment is already here is nonsense. Saying they are parked in one location so long that we needed GPS duplicate tracking systems in the cars is BS. How do you monitor speed limit infractions if you are not allowed to park somewhere and do it? If the speed of traffic on Main St is an issue then curb jut outs, flower planters and islands are not the answer. All those things would be a disaster this time of year especially. We simply need to lower the speed limit. I ask again, where is the record of safety issues that required those signs to be changed? Please identify the communities that do not raise any revenue using their PD. All you have to do is drive around and you see them everywhere...radar guns, speed traps, parked patrol cars, truck weight and length enforcement as well as DOT inspection checkpoints. To not allow this just to prove "you are the man and can do it" is not a valid reason to stop.
Gary Cordner January 25, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Never A Dull Moment, you seem to know a lot more about this than I do, so I guess I will have to study up on it. My understanding is that local police in PA are prohibited from using radar -- am I wrong? As far as commercial vehicle enforcement, most places that's mainly a state function. I would be surprised if most borough residents want their PD driven by revenue generation. I know I don't. I doubt that it's in the oath of office or the official mission statement.
Never A Dull Moment January 26, 2013 at 12:19 AM
When I mentioned radar guns I was including State Police in the equation. That is also a revenue generating tool for the State. Local PDs have other tools at their disposal to achieve the same result. Commercial vehicle enforcement can be done by any Dept. that has the equipment and the properly trained and certified personnel to do it as far as I know. We have, or had, both. In most cases there is some sort of revenue sharing system in place for the fines that are collected. We do not get to keep it all. I do not think most communities do these things solely or primarily to generate revenue.
Never A Dull Moment January 26, 2013 at 12:19 AM
I agree there must be the safety aspect involved. The commercial vehicle items insure that those vehicles passing thru our town are operated by qualified drivers who are not violating hours of service requirements or restricted operation areas such as Main St between Buckeye Rd and Rt 29, are not over loaded, and are in good enough shape to pass a DOT inspection. Those sound like pretty major safety concerns to me. You can routinely see these things being done all over the place as you travel by other PDs. When was the last time you saw the State Police doing any of these things on Main St? We used to do them as well. It seems as though we stopped because our officers are not allowed to sit in any one place for more than a few minutes. That is a terrible reason to lose all that revenue and caused our budget to be greatly out of balance and our taxes to be increased. An even worse reason is to appease a bully Mayor and a few Council members who hate the PD!
Gary Cordner January 26, 2013 at 01:37 AM
Interesting. It sounds like something to talk with the Chief about and also see what the Borough's residents think. I have to admit that truck weight enforcement is not something I tend to associate with small local PDs, and it wouldn't seem efficient to have all of PA's 1000+ local PDs doing it. But if, as you say, it's a safety issue for the Borough, it should be looked into. As far as this thing about sitting in one place for more than a few minutes, I don't have a hangup over that. Police should be attentive and visible, but they don't have to be on the move all the time, in my opinion. Especially not with the cost of gasoline.
Never A Dull Moment January 26, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Not all of the PDs in the State do it. Obviously there has to be an area with sufficient truck traffic and a place to safely allow the officers to perform these checks within their jurisdiction, among other things. We have, or had the portable scales and the properly trained people and everything else in place to do them in the past. I too, want to see the officers sitting on Main St to help keep all motorists aware of the speed limit and have their presence be seen. If the State Police can do it, so can we. They can respond immediately from there to anywhere they may have to go very quickly. Also Gary, I just realized that in my earlier comment I left off a zero in the amount of revenue the PD was generating for the Borough. I believe it was actually over $100K per year. I remember someone at a meeting saying that it cost the budget over $1Million over the next ten years. Thanks for responding. It is nice to have a potential Mayor that you can actually have a decent conversation with.

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