Sunday, February 18, 2007

Nazareth Magisterial Candidate Thumbs Nose at Residency Requirement

See the home pictured on the right. Lovely, isn't it? Looks like there's a three car garage. It's Mark Franczak's Bushkill Township residence, where he's lived since 1986.

So what's the big deal, you might ask?

Well, Mark Franczak is running for magistrate in Nazareth, and Bushkill Township is not part of that district. Pennsylvania's Constitution requires magisterial judge candidates to live in the district for at least one year before the election.

Last week, Franczak violated election laws by leaving unattended copies of his nomination petition at a local business for people to sign when they buy coffee. Thanks to an anonymous tip, we know Franczak is also apparently violating the state constitution's residence requirement. Franczak supposedly "is renting a room at the YMCA in Nazareth in order to run in this district. Talk about judicial integrity and ethics! This is what gives politics a bad name and keeps people away from the polls." Assessment records, the 2006 phone directory and a google search clearly place Franczak in Bushkill Township.

What amazes me is that Franczak pulls this stunt when his opponents include a detective, police chief, deputy sheriff, corrections director and an attorney.

Hey Franczak! The good ol' boy network is finished in Nazareth. Time to drop out, bippy. Maybe you can get yourself appointed to Tom Itterly's Nazareth Municipal Authority, where officials wink at residency requirements.

Only in Nazareth.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. In your opinion a candidate that LIVES in the jurisdiction, but OWNS a property out of the jurisdiction is illegal and unethical? I don't see it that way. I think this candidate wants this position so much that he took the necessary steps to be in full compliance with the law - to the letter and in the spirit of the law. With that being said, if you having nothing to hide, what does it matter who else is running for the position? You don't have to be a "good ole boy" when you are following the rules and laws!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:53, The point is that this dude does not really live here now, does he? He took out a cheap apt at the Y to EVADE trhe residency requirement, not comply. And as I continue to gather data, it's becoming increasingly apparent that he may not even have done thast for a full year before the election, as required by the state constiution. I called his Bushkill home today and was told to try later this afternoon. How's that for letter or spirit of the law, bippy? Clearly Franczak is just the kind of guy who has led to problems in the past. He should withdraw. If he's unwilling to do so, the DA should be asked to investigate.

Anonymous said...

B: You really need to start doing your homework and "investigating" things before you start spouting off. Yes, he does live there! I don't know about you, but a person living in the jurisdiction where he is running and owning a property elsewhere does not look like criminal activity afoot to me and I am sure the DA would be more than willing to drop his murder cases and get right on this matter - right bippy?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 1:24, I'll be making another post on this topic tomorrow. I've justy been provided with more evidence that this Y residence is a sham. We've had enough in Nazareth from people who don't play by the rules. Franczak should knoe better.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to seeing what type of "evidence" you could possibly come up with when a person is REALLY LIVING (eating, sleeping, etc) at the address listed on the petition, which is in the jurisdiction. I am sure you will find it very difficult to try and put a twist on a FACT in order to make it look like a sham, but then you may have a lot of experience at this??? Bippy - YOU should know better than to try to twist the facts!

Anonymous said...

Do you think anyone cares? Who cares about Tommy Itterly living in Allentown and being on the Municipal Authority in Nazareth. Al Pierce twists the law to claim lives in Nazareth. His daughter lives in Nazareth, that doesn't count. He changed his voter registration back to Northampton County, that doesn't count. He doesn't own property in Nazareth, he doesn't pay taxes in Nazareth, he is not a Nazareth citizen. He only feels like he is from Nazareth. After the exposure from the Morning Call, the Council doesn't care, apparently the Authority doesn't care, so anything goes in Nazareth. At least Franzack is renting, Itterly just gets the good old boys to cover up for him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I care. And I'll posting again. Fortunately, Nazareth does not determine state laws.

LSTresidentPIA said...

Me, too. I have been screwed too many times by those not following the rules and are able to get away with it.

Billy Givens said...

Bernie,

When I was growing up and living in Alabam, we would say of person ignorant of some subject that they the didn't "know their ass from a hole in the ground."

This saying still comes to my mind to this day whenever I hear people I know living in one of the boroughs like Wilson or townships like Forks say they live in Easton.

This eastern area of the so-called "Lehigh Valley," which is also a bogus jurisdiction, is the only area I've ever lived in these United States whose boundaries are identified by zip codes.

On top of this, the pols who like to keep us confused and like mushrooms in the dark and covered with manure have added the MSA, or Metropolitan Statistical Area so as to include all of neighboring Warren and Hunterdon counties, New Jersey, and crooks like Phillipsburg native Mike Perrucci and his cohorts on the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission and BethWorks and the law firm of Perrucci & Florio (Jim Florio, former Governor of new Jersey and Chairman of the Garden State's land-grabbing a mouthpiece of the Highlands "land preservation" project from which he and Mike stand to make another fortune.

Mike and Jim plan to provide their legal services, billed by the hour, navigating developers through the loopholes of the Highlands Act as escape routes from the legitimate preservation requirements of the Act.

Billy Givens said...

The development pressures on Northampton County are inexorable, and they are exerted by the New Jersey law firm of Perrucci Florio Steinhardt Fader and the Highlands Water Preservation Act.

New Jersey's Warren and Hunterdon counties are also feeling the pressure.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Billy, My post concerning this residency matter is pretty serious stuff. I don't appreciate you coming on here and posting totally unrelated material. It is disrespectful both to me and those who are interested in the subject at hand.

Chris Casey said...

I hate to sound like a jerk, but Billy is so far off topic sometimes I think he's just nuts.
The truth is he posts here because no one reads his blog. I tried, and he is as rambling and incoherent there as he is here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

He drives me nuts. I post a serious accusation about a magisterial candidate who violates both our constitution and elections laws, and he really detracts from an important issue when he brays about something totally unrelated.

And tomorrrow I intend to visit voters' registration and will check one or two other things before posting about this again. I could post something now, but want to have everything together before I do so. Expect something more about this tomorrow night.

Anonymous said...

go get 'em Bernie! As usual you've stirred up a hornet's nest or should I say ruffled some feathers of that "good ole boy" network.

Anonymous said...

I would not classify a person that does the right thing by moving out of a house he owns and into an apartment in Nazareth as "thumbing his nose at the residency requirement." I would say this person is committed, but not foolish enough to end up owning 2 houses at the same time. I am sure that he has a lot on his plate between work, running for office and other matters. Once the dust settles, I am sure you will see him purchasing a house in the district and moving his family into it. Had he established a PO Box or given a friend's address -- I would have agreed that it is a sham. However, physically moving into Nazareth and trying to do the right - and legal -- thing is not a bad trait for a candidate for judge. Basically, you have a person that moved into the district while owning property out of the district. He did not hide anything so what is so earth shattering about this?

LVDem said...

The standards on this are simple:
-Does he physically reside in the district. A copy of his utility bills or some kind of lease should establish that.
-Has he lived there for 1 year. Again, simple to establish.

If he hasn't lived there for a year and if he doesn't physically live where he claims, then he's ineligible. I'm sure his opponents will challenge his eligibility after his petitions are filed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It actually goes beyond that. If a canddidate for public office is married, he must be reghistered to vote where his wife and children reside. That's considered his principal residence, and it was drafted as part of the law to prevent someone from hedging his bets as Franczak has done. He is ineligible. I'll have more tonight.

Anonymous said...

Bern,
couldn't agree more. but didn't your boy Will Power have the same issues when he ran in a primary a couple years back?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:30,

The way I remember things, Power did not have the same issues, but there were some similarities. There was enough uncertainty in my mind to make me hesitate to support him then. And if Power did not reside in the proper district, I would not support him now. But he does, and has for the last 2 1/2 yrs.

I'm glad to know you agree about Franczak.

Anonymous said...

With regard to the residency issue, the YMCA offers rentals at a rate of $65 per week to help individuals "get back on their feet." I am certain the low rate is not to allow a candidate to falsify residence and it certainly would not be a residence befitting a district judge. As to "eating", it is an express rule that the residents cannot eat in their rooms at the YMCA. I wonder if a moving permit was issued. Also, in the unlikely scenario that Franczak wins the election on both tickets in May, I guess he'll spend the summer taking his course, praying he gets certified and also moving his family into the YMCA! I'd also like to know how he's being honest about his residence. I've heard nothing about this before. As another aside, I believe that we may be able to challenge his nomination petitions and not just the candidates. It is unscrupulous--you live in Bushkill so you wait for the opening in your district. It speaks of a desperate man trying to get out of a bad job--not a man dedicated to a cause or the community.

Anonymous said...

Voter registration records indicate they changed his residence on 12/27/06. Someone should pull the record from Voter Registration to check the date.

Anonymous said...

Families cannot stay at the "Y". It is a communal bathroom and so it's men only. Doesn't matter--we all know that Franczak isn't really there. Would love to know if he met the 1 year requirement. Bernie, any update there?

radralph said...

Bernie, this is some serious stuff. if this is true it constitutes fraud. this is the last thing a candidate needs when running for any office.some deep digging is in order

Anonymous said...

It is amazing that nobody had a clue - less than 48 hours ago, where Franczak resides. Now, everyone is 100 percent certain that he is living in Bushkill Twsp. You managed to open a case, investigate it, draw conclusions, present it on a blogspot to tarnish the guy's image and call it a day -- for now. Unbelievable! You should start on the 10 most wanted list - you should be able to have them all gathered up by Wednesday?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon, It is amazing that, less than 48 hours ago, nobody knew that Franzak was pulling a fast one. And I'm not finished. The days of the "good ol' boys" in Nazareth is over. Get used to it.

Anonymous said...

Bernie you sound so confident that the "Good ol Boy" days are gone in Nazareth. Wishful thinking. Certain things may get exposed (Tommy Itterly) but if the council or authority ignore the situation, what's the difference. Tommy Itterly lives in Allentown and serves as the authortiy chairman in nazareth. Bill White of the Morning Call exposed him and did the council tell him he is not qualified to serve. No. Perhaps Franczak has retained Al Pierce as council. Rules don't apply to Al Pierce.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:51, I know I'm talking coccky, but I'm not confident at all. This next election is very important. If we can elect people who believe in open and accountable government, we might see some changes for the better. But if we countenance a situation that is worse than Itterly, we will be stepping backwards. People need to make themselves heard at the polls, especially in Nazareth.