What do Hellertown, Palmerton, Coaldale, Weissport, Lansford and Lehighton have in common? They've all filled council vacancies since January following public interviews and hearing. They follow the Sunshine Act.
Nazareth is filling its own vacancy on borough council. Interested applicants were publicly interviewed last night, and an appointment is expected Monday. Solicitor Al Pierce bragged last night that Nazareth is the only municipality in the state that does things this way.
Al Pierce is wrong. Nazareth is simply following the Sunshine Act. It's following the same procedure, more or less, that other area municipalities followed to fill a vacancy. And it's only doing so because the last time it appointed a council vacancy, the decision was made behind closed doors. Conrad Bowers was appointed without public discussion or interview.
Why would Nazareth's solicitor mislead us? Perhaps because Nazareth is currently a Sunshine Act defendant. It recently filed an Answer to my complaint, raising all sorts of goofy and misleading defenses. According to Al, the Sunshine Act complaint is barred by contributory and/or comparative negligence, consent, failure of consideration, fraud, justification, statute of frauds, laches and privilege.
What the hell is he smoking?
Some of these defenses might help in a car crash or a real estate deal gone sour, but they have nothing to do with the Sunshine Act. I've filed objections to Al's answer.
It's one thing to mislead the public. But it's very dangerous to mislead judges. They have no sense of humor.