Lower Nazareth Township Solicitor Demands Auditor’s Resignation

… And that lucky auditor is me! Last week I wrote another email to the township mostly inquiring about the increase in local income tax that the township is seeking to impose by winning a majority vote at the historically super-low turnout – 8% in 2017 – municipal primary this May. Below is the only response I received.

Today I wrote back this email to the township Board of Supervisors:

Dear Ms. Stauffer and the Board of Supervisors –

I have just received two copies of the identical letter, one certified and one normal post, from Mr. Asteak postmarked April 15 requesting my resignation as township auditor or otherwise be “given an opportunity to show cause why you should not be removed from the Office of Auditor” at the next BOS meeting on April 24. As related below, I had already received a letter from Ms. Stauffer requesting my resignation. 

I would like to discuss this matter with you all. I do have a family commitment Wednesday at 6:15 pm where I coach my son’s soccer team so my simple question is whether around the time and place which was not specified in the solicitor’s letter.

Per the township website, the BOS meeting is at 6:30pm but there is no location listed so I wish to confirm the address – whether they are still at the Rec or not.

Would 7:45pm or later work for you all? I could also probably make 7:30pm if I rush a little. 

However if these times don’t work for you all, kindly let me what time. 

Feel free to forward to Mr. Asteak if you like. My reason for not copying him is simply to reduce solicitor costs which are partly funding through the taxes I have paid currently and in past years. I did file my township income taxes on time this year, and will do so again by April 2020. 

I am still interested in my below questions on past open space contracts in the township, the printer, et cetera which remain unanswered. 

I should make you all aware that on April 16 -while totally unaware of the solicitor’s note –  I filed two Right To Know requests with Ms. Stauffer. The first was in regards to the open space contracts currently existing in the township. The second was in regards to the 623 Municipal Drive property as a follow-up to prior 2018 multiple RTK requests on township assets which were denied in full or in part by Ms. Stauffer in 2018. 

Feel free to contact me at this email or the phone number listed below. 

Sincerely, Jake Towne

I look forward to my discussion with the township next week… and hopefully some kind of a response on the income tax increase. I remember when I won the 2017 election as auditor as a Libertarian and thought to myself that if nothing else, I would learn about township finances and possibly rest in the knowledge that while larger governments are inept and not at all transparent, at least my local government where I have lived for most of my life would be transparent since I was now an elected official, swore the required oaths to the US Constitution, et cetera.

I have been sadly disappointed in all of the obstructions to records that should be public and freely available to any taxpayer and certainly the people elected by the taxpayers to be a fiscal watchdog on the township.

I hope to write more about my findings from 2018 but giving credit where credit is due, in 2018 I wrote about the township pension plan and interestingly enough, months later the township closed the pension plan to new employees and is now offering a defined contribution plan instead. Maybe I will also take the chance to remind the township supervisors that they have an easy way to not spend $5000 of taxpayer funds annually.

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