Macungie Mayor Rick Hoffman was a no-show at Monday night's Borough Council meeting, as he was at the June 4 meeting, again making it impossible for the borough to move forward on the question of 24/7 police coverage.
However council, pressured by community members at the meeting, are hopeful they have found a way to solve the problem.
At its last meeting, council to Macungie Police Chief Edward Harry to fill the police schedule with 25 shifts per week.
Harry has said that 30 shifts provides the most complete coverage.
But though council has said it wants the mayor allow the police chief to increase the number of shifts he fills each week, the mayor made clear in a series of email messages that he wants fewer shifts filled with Macungie police officers.
Several taxpayers took the podium at the meeting to ask about the issue, and to ask why the mayor was not at the meeting.
"The mayor doesn't have to come to meetings if he doesn't want to," council member Linn Walker explained.
Resident John Long was incensed.
"[Mayor Hoffman] doesn't have enough respect to show up and explain why he doesn't want to [allow the 30-shift schedule].
"Is there anything we can do to get rid of him? He has done nothing for this borough. All he does is argue with council and the police department," Long said.
Long also asked council if, at any time since the past council meeting, there were any open shifts during which the borough was left without its own police protection.
"Nobody knows," said council member Linn Walker.
During the non-agenda portion of the meeting, Debra Cope officially addressed the issue and council decided that President Jean Nagle would write a letter to Mayor Hoffman and ask him to respond to council's suggestion that he increase the number of scheduled police shifts to 30 a week.