The Borough Council of Macungie struggled to discuss anything other than the topic of 24/7 police coverage at their meeting on Monday night.
The Borough Council opened the meeting with the vacation of Vine Street, but the conversation quickly turned negative when audience member brought up his concerns to the Council.
He questioned how much this vacation will cost the Borough and when the last vacation was. Borough Council President Jean Nagle was unsure of how much this vacation was going to cost the Borough, but was able to tell this audience member that the last vacation was almost 20 years ago.
A second audience member stepped up to the podium and directed his concerns to the Mayor, Rick Hoffman. Although he mentioned several concerns in his letter to the Mayor, his largest concern was in regards to the police coverage for the Borough. This topic came up several times from both audience members as well as Council members, and led to a heated debate for almost an hour.
Mayor Hoffman sat quietly as comments circulated around the room, and when it was his turn to speak according to the Borough Council agenda, he focused his comments on this issue. He gave multiple financial statistics regarding the cost of police coverage and stated that he felt that 25 shifts per week would be sufficient for 24/7 police coverage as well as be financially adequate for the Borough.
Although this decision did not sit well with some audience members and led to further heated debates, one council member did compliment the decision. Council Member Linn Walker stated that he has been a resident of the Borough of Macungie for 25 years and applauds the Borough for always maintaining 24/7 police coverage.
Some residents have been requesting for the Mayor to allow the police station to staff 30 weekly shifts, but Hoffman repeated that after some research, he found that 25 weekly shifts is adequate for 24/7 police coverage.
After the conversations cooled down, the Borough Council went on to approve and further discuss other zoning and financial issues regarding the Borough. One concern that was brought up by Council Member Chris Becker was the Shade Tree Commission. He would like to see more trees throughout the Borough and Borough Manager Chris Boehm commented that some residents have mentioned that they would like to see trees replanted. The Borough Council mentioned to the audience that they are seeking members to reactivate the Shade Tree Commission and are looking for volunteers for this committee.
The next Borough Council Meeting is scheduled for August 6th.