You may recall the Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) non re-appointment of Bob Rust and lecturing by the Board of Commissioners (BOC) on ethics.
A quick refresher: Rust, due to his representation of the appellants in the Jaindl issue completely and totally recuesed himself from ZHB proceedings. This was the correct and ethical course of action. Removing yourself completely and totally from proceedings where you have a conflict of interest is standard procedure in many (most?) governing bodies to avoid even the perception of unethical behavior.
But, despite complete removal from the proceedings, impeccable record of service to the township, the best re-appointment interview in the process, and a longstanding precedent of appointing incumbents to all other open positions, Mr. Rust was not re-appointed. Despite committee recommendation and public support he was punished for representation of the Lower Macungie community which was only looking for a voice in the coercive rezoning of 700 acres of township farmland.
So now we have Commissioner President Ron Eichenberg's weak-at-best recusal from the Allen Organ property subdivision proposal of which he is the listing agent.
This wreaks of hypocrisy.
The BOC decided that Mr. Rust was unfit to serve even though he completely and totally removed himself from his duties without question and without ambiguity. But now the BOC, with the exception of Jim Lancsek, sees no problem with Eichenberg remaining on the board dias, participating in discussion and even framing (and subsequently fouling up - casually avoiding the public comment rule) the motion?
Eichenberg is the president of the board, the gavel should have been handed to VP Ryan Conrad.
In the past LMT commissioners removed themselves from discussion if even a perception of conflict of interest could be raised. Certainly in this case with financial reward as a realtor/listing agent as clear as can be, anything less then complete and total removal is ethically wrong. Period.
This is why politics can be so disheartening for the public.
A little quick math shows what Eichenberg stands to gain. The property is listed at $9 million according to records. Depending on commission and lets say (best guess) conservatively even just 2 percent, well, do the math.
If you don't like what you are hearing, send a message to the Township... the correspondance will become a matter of record and possibly read at an upcoming Township Meeting. Contact the Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners.