Lower Nazareth Township Manager Denies Right-To-Know Request on Her $13,000 Salary Increase

Lori Stauffer began working for Lower Nazareth Township as township manager on January 15, 2018 for a salary of $80,000. Only 6 months later, Stauffer was granted a raise of $10,000 on June 27, 2018. There does not appear to be a township resolution documenting this raise as is proper; it can only be found buried in the Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting minutes here. Stauffer received yet another raise of $3,000 effective January 1, 2019, bringing her salary to $93,000, a 16% raise over her incoming salary just one year before.

This seemed excessive and I could not find any justification for the $13,000 raise. Just the raise itself potentially adds significantly to the township’s pension liabilities should Stauffer remain employed by the township for 10 years. On April 29, 2019, I submitted a Right-to-Know (RTK) request to the township requesting to “please provide me with any documentation available to support, substantiate, justify or rationalize the salary increases received by the township manager of $10,000 in mid-2018 and $3,000 in December 2018/January 2019. These could include, but is not limited to, township supervisor emails.”

Several days later I received in the mail a RTK denial letter signed by Stauffer dated April 29, 2019, the same day I submitted it. [Lori Stauffer is also the Open Records Officer for the township.] Since I disagreed with her response, I filed an appeal to the state Office of Open Records on May 3, 2019.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office of Open Records opened docket number AP 2019-0710, Jake Towne, Requester vs. Lower Nazareth Township, Respondent shortly thereafter.

I do not plan to comment further until the appeal is resolved.

Please note that as township auditor I have been denied free access to township records which you can read about here and here. As you can hear here, the township is working to remove me as auditor by a quo warranto court hearing. Residents should also be aware of a proposed income tax hike they can vote against next Tuesday at the municipal primary, which they can read about here.

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