Macungie Mayor Rick Hoffman struck out with his attempt to equip the borough’s three police cars with GPS tracking systems during Tuesday night’s borough council meeting.
The council refused to vote on the three-year GPS contract.
Councilman Chris Becker noted that the mayor had only obtained one quote. Hoffman was instructed to obtain a minimum of three phone quotes before bringing the matter before council again.
The aborted effort began when the mayor noted that he had obtained “probably over “$1,100” in donations for the GPS systems and was requesting the remaining amount from council.
Hoffman's proposal came in at $1,078.20 annually, or $89.85 per month for all three borough police cars, with a one-time activation fee of $269 and a $24 shipping fee.
Becker said this was the first time he had seen the request and he questioned the specifics of the contract and the corresponding costs presented by the mayor.
“I just don’t understand this proposal,” Becker said. “And the second issue that this is one quote, you’re asking us to spend taxpayer dollars on this?”
“The reason I want to move on this is that they went down,” said Mayor Hoffman responded when questioned about his insistence the proposal receive immediate approval. “They’re on sale the month of February.”
“This contract also will give you 10-second updates as to where everyone is and it keeps all your data for one full year,” Mayor Hoffman noted. “…This protects the borough and our residents.”
Following the rejection, borough business owner Tim Romig directly questioned Mayor Hoffman about his proposal.
“After council just increased the tax millage on the taxpayers and now you want to have this council spend another couple of thousand dollars on another of your whim ideas?” Romig asked.
“It’s not a whim idea at all,” Mayor Hoffman responded immediately.
During a hotly-contested debate, Romig then questioned the mayor’s integrity, saying at a previous meeting the mayor had said if he couldn’t raise sufficient funds, he would personally make up the difference.
“…This is absurd to be thrown on the back of the taxpayers for your agenda,” Romig said.