.

LMT Commissioner President Displays 'Hypocrisy 101'

The BOC's (with exception of Commissioner Lancsek) support of Ron Eichenberg participating in discussion, remaining on the dias and framing motions is hypocritical and unethical.

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

JT March 02, 2012 at 10:06 PM
I agree Willet. Well said. These bloggers will find ways to try and tear you down, so stay strong. You're definetly not alone. People are sick of the cast of characters who constantly beat up on the image of our township. I can't understand how they think that's a good thing.
Mark Spengler March 03, 2012 at 12:01 AM
I'm sorry you feel that way JT. What is it you feel the Freinds group is tearing down? I would say the Friends group is interested in open space preservation and smart growth. Two recent concerns we have brought forward is the M.O.U. with David Jaindl and the proposed rezoning of the Allen Organ Property. The concern with the M.O.U. is that it will lead to increased flooding, more traffic problems, future tax hikes due to the need to build more infrastructure such as schools fixing intersections etc. The Remington proposal would lead to the highest density of residential development in the entire twsp. This all flies in the face of smart growth. To disagree with such things and ask the government for a change in direction is not what I would characterize as tearing anything down. If you are referring to the criticisms of Eichenberg in the matter, I think it is fair to raise concerns that a member of the BOC framed the motion and prticipated in the discussion rather than recuse himself from the matter all together. You may disagree but our political system is not predicated on everybody agreeing. It is important for voices to be heard so please do not try to discourage participation in the process.
MS March 03, 2012 at 02:37 AM
I don't trust anyone not using their real name on here. I'm not afraid to state how I feel the commissioners are tearing apart this township with their abuse of power and financial greed in their realtor pockets. Pretty sure the no name posts are our actual commissioners. Sad
Chris Donatelli March 06, 2012 at 02:22 AM
JT and Willet, here is a new voice. How long have you lived in the area? I am going to take a guess you were not here prior to 1999. I always new the change to Class 1 was not going to stop the bleeding. People who don't know history will repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. I did my homework before casting my ballet, Had many others done so, I might not be joining this fight. As I went to vote, a women asked me to vote for Doug Brown. I asked her how she could expect me to vote for him when his decisions go against the wishes of his constituents. She had no idea about any of our community politics. I rest my case.
Ron Beitler March 06, 2012 at 02:58 AM
The creation of a township serving mixed use ordinance is huge. Don't lose site of that. Eichenberg recusal is/was important. It's good it was brought up. This is the Board President who is the realtor on this parcel, who gains financially if it sells. 9 million sale price potentially. Huge commission. Hopefully he follows through. If so it's water under the bridge. This isn't a game of "gotcha". Thats not the intention. This is whats best for the township. Can't understand why someone wouldnt completely remove themself from the get-go and pass the gavel. To do so is common in bodies all over and in examples of conflict much less black/white then what we have here which is a very clear conflict. Maybe if the supervisors were under this kind of microscope the township wouldnt have lost millions to Marge. I hope the public gets involved in the planning commission stage of this new ordinance. I truly do. Public involvment is never a bad thing. I repeat NEVER. It's the design and intent of Municipal gov't. This isnt electing representative officials to go to Harrisburg or DC or some faraway place. Local Gov't is built different. Officials are supposed to facilitate discussion and encourage particpation. You interact with the board and your peers sit on committees. The tragedy is when no one pays attention. Remington is going to be the catalyst for the creation of this important new ordinance. It's a wonderful opportunity. I look forward to this important conversation.

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