Commissioners look to future with new member, new attitude

Posted: 11:52 PM EST Dec 15, 2011   Updated: 11:56 PM EST Dec 15, 2011

If the last two Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners meetings had the energy of a Rage Against The Machine concert, Thursday night’s gathering had the vibe of a David Sanborn show.

Gone were the parade of residents who strode to the podium to tell commissioners they would sleep now in the fire for the “spot zoning” they believed was unfairly favorable to David Jaindl. It was replaced with cool solos of praise for one man and the promise of a harmonious future for another.

The praise was for Commissioner Joseph Pugliese, who after two years as a commissioner attended his final meeting.

When asked by President Roger Reis to stand and be recognized for his service and round of applause, the diminutive in stature Mr. Pugliese displayed a biting wit when he replied deadpan.

“I am standing.”

Pugliese, who served on the Budget & Finance and General Administration committees, said in his remarks he was honored to have served Lower Macungie Township residents.

Taking Pugliese’s vacancy on the board at the next meeting will be township Zoning Officer James Lancsek, while Deputy Zoning Officer Carl Best was introduced to take Lancsek’s post.

And even Reis is leaving – of sorts – when he indicated that tonight’s meeting would be the final one in which he would serve as president.

“This gavel is heavier than it looks,” he warned the next president.  Jokes aside, there was some serious business conducted Thursday night.

The four commissioners approved three resolutions and three ordinances, as Commissioner Douglas Brown was absent.

Chief among the resolutions was a 4-0 adoption of 2011-32 which governed the plan for the Alburtis Crossings Industrial Park, which features Allen Distribution, and 2011-34, which approved the expansion of the Red Maple Acres Mobile Home Park from about 200 homes to roughly 229 lots.

The most noteworthy ordinance was 2011-20 concerning alternative energy regulations, an issue the township admittedly an issue with which the township is still learning about.

The ordinance amended sections of older ordinances and prescribed more specific language involving solar panels, solar energy facilities, wind turbines and wind energy facilities as accessory to permitted and conditional uses. Director of Planning Sara Pandl and Manager Bruce Fosselman urged the passing of the ordinance to serve as an immediate benchmark, while the township continued to adopt and alter their guidelines.

The next township meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 3.