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Macungie Mayor Absent Again, No 24/7 Decision

Council president will write to the mayor to ask his decision.

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.

Dave June 19, 2012 at 12:21 PM
What the heck is wrong with this cry-baby we have for a "mayor"? He needs to leave office now and let council or the population of Macungie replace him with someone that will improve our beautiful little town and not tear it down with childish antics and school-yard spats. He's like the little boy who won't bring the baseball to the game unless everyone wants to play his way and his way only. I do not feel it is right for council to "beg" the "mayor" for a decision, and I disagree with the assertion that "he does not have to show up for meetings if he does not want to." He is the "elected" (sic) "mayor" of this town. He needs to be at every meeting to listen to council and even more important to listen to and interact with the people of Macungie. But he decides to sit at home and ignore the very people he chose to represent and serve. "mayor" Hoffman, I know from your previous statements that you "don't care about the blogs" or what people say, but I am asking you, as a concerned citizen and someone that loves this town very much to step down NOW! Stop hurting our town! Let us move forward and move Macungie forward.
Responsible Citizen June 19, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Well articulated Dave! I would also like to add that Linn Walker's response to the question whether or not the borough has ever been uncovered by our own police.... "NOBODY KNOWS"!!!!!! Please help us understand WHY these irresponsible councilmen (women) REFUSE to ask the very individual...the police chief...who can easily provide them the answer!!!!!?? Better yet....he already has!!!!! He himself has covered what would be otherwise open shifts and this action costs our borough NOTHING!!!!!! Refer back to prior meeting minutes where he had to request to speak during "public comment", unless of course, that information was somehow left out!!! Police Chief Harry is often in attendance while this inane bantering takes place. The frustration he must feel experiencing their inability to treat him as the professional in the room and request the information from HIM is exasperating!!!!!!!! Such ignorance and disrespect!! This behavior extends from the mayor down through council!! Get rid of all of them....the next election cannot come soon enough!!! Our borough's well-being depends on it!!!
moderate Republican June 19, 2012 at 01:28 PM
As you say, the next election is on its way. In 8 months, the citizens of Macungie can circulate nomination petitions for mayor, and for half of council. May i suggest that the citizens of Macungie do exactly that. In 2009, the citizens of Macungie forgot to do that. The mayor was elected. And, since then, he has followed the law, 100%. (Nobody else has.) (Nobody.) So, instead of complaining, may I suggest: (1) pay attention to your RESPONSIBILITIES to follow the law, and (2) pay attention to your RESPONSIBILITIES to circulate your nomonating petitions in February. Do it.
John Rogers June 19, 2012 at 02:03 PM
The mayor follows the law ONLY when it is convenient for him. He also twists the law to further his own agenda. So please don't insult the Republican party by trying to in any way suggest that this fool is acting properly!!!
Lower Mac Resident June 19, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Odd, this Mayor sounds somewhat like our current commander in chief...both destroying what communities have worked hard to build...hmmmm
Robert Sentner June 19, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Yes lower Mac and with there own hidden agenda....2 peas in a pod
MaryEllen Schueck June 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM
As a Borough Resident, I am embarrassed and appalled by what has been happening with Council, our Police Department and (I use the term loosely) our Mayor. The most recent issue, No-show Mayor, is another example of Pride, Selfishness and Foolishness. As far as I am concerned, Council and the Mayor need to get of off their high-horses and down to reality. They are making fools out of the Borough Residents, which includes me!
Responsible Citizen June 19, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Just exactly WHAT are you talking about??? "Follow the law...."???? What "laws" have not been followed and by whom???? And exactly WHAT laws has this inane mayor followed that "nobody" else has???
voice June 20, 2012 at 12:44 AM
i also am appalled by this so called mayor, what was his statement oh yeah this is not what i signed up for,please this is exactly what you signed up for, but then again hes just acting like a typical politcian just want to collect a check and neglect all his responsabilitys,perhaps he needs to crawl back into the hole where he came from and step down and get a more compentant person to take up his and the boroughs role in this community.
Robert Sentner June 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Not the entire council is bad, but some of them make the entire council look that way. Remember you can't throw the baby out with the bath water.
Responsible Citizen June 20, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Unfortunately, Debra Cope seems to be the only one with COURAGE!! And that is a extremely vital quality for a councilman or any elected official!! No one is asking for blind agreement with a particular side or group. What we need is thoughtful and informed discussion and more importantly good listening followed by the courage to challenge......all qualities Debra Cope posesses! Not so sure or convinced about the others. There actions or INaction proves otherwise!
get real June 20, 2012 at 11:04 PM
We need more people with the same type of qualities as Debra Cope to get involved in Macungie.When good, decent people with morales, ethics and common sense choose to not get involved, then we get people like Rick Hoffman. Residents of Macungie, lets get some new blood and new ideas, stop waiting for someone else to do it, and or making excuses why you can't get involved.
get real June 20, 2012 at 11:11 PM
As for the Mayors absence from council meetings, i believe his brain has been absent for some time now, and now his body has decided to do the same.
MaryEllen Schueck June 21, 2012 at 11:16 AM
The Borough is lacking Leadership. Unfortunately for myself and all Borough residents, we are now suffering. Leadership does not involve the (an) individual but does involve a Leader leading a group of individuals, working together, with one vision or mission in mind. Who is serving the Borough and its residents and who is serving themselves? Residents, get out and VOTE! Our voices may not be heard or cared for at the Council Meeting but we do have rights and we can make some noise at election time.  Leadership combines ethical decision-making and ethical behavior that carries over in both the individual and an organizational context in which the leader can install upon his followers. Leaders are decision makers between what is right (or more right) in a particular situation as well as being able to determine what ought to be, while keeping one’s personal or organizational value system. Leadership must encompass ethical decision making, ethical behaviors and the assurance that the organization understands and practices their ethical codes. (The University of Nebraska at Omaha)
jncdd23 June 28, 2012 at 12:11 PM
I am so tired of being the butt of jokes from outside communities. I have lived in Macungie all my life and am appalled at the leadership of our council. I thought Guy Ramsey was a wishy washy president but now we have Jean Naugle, come on. It is time for her to step out of the picture as well. I was told that the Mayor could be removed from office if the safety of the town was put in jeopardy. Isn’t this newest police fight putting all of us in harm’s way? I don’t agree with everything that police force does, I do think they have been left to their own way of things for far too long. I commend Chief Harry that he picks up the slack when needed, but I don’t believe in his discipline tactics on his officer’s. Officer Bernhard is a menace to our community. He is nasty to little kids, he came driving so fast into the park during the Macungie School festival that he almost hit a child, and when children say hello to him in a convenience store he ignores them. He only puts on his friendly professional face when someone important is around. So I do believe that the police force needs some additional structure but the Mayor just takes it too far. Most of the council members are too involved in their I’m right attitude that they are not making any progress to restore this town to what it once was.
Honesty June 28, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I understand what you mean about restoring this town back to the way it was but I'm sure you'll agree we also need to move forward. With the right individuals on council there is a way to do both. However, we don't seem to have enough individuals that are willing to step up to the plate and run for council. We have 4 council seats and the mayor whose terms end next year. What we need to do is to get people to run for council who don't have personal agendas are are here to honestly represent our community and listen to the people. So I encourage, no challenge anyone of you who blog or write comments to please consider running for council. Many people in the past have gotten on council or most recently become Mayor by default and now look at what happened. Seriously, you can't change the people that are on council now. We need new people who have never served on council before and don't bring with them past resentments and form cliches. There's only one council member currently serving that's trying to do a good job but unfortunately one person can't make changes when the majority vote against it. We need people on council who are willing to listen to what's brought to the table and make the right decisions. Perhaps someone could post what an individual has to do to run for council because it's important to have their names on the primary ballet come spring of next year. That's how we're going to make a difference.

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