The law is a funny thing. As we’ve seen in many places in this country, some elected officials decide to follow the law, while others decide to bend or ignore laws. In places like New York City, the new District Attorney has decided to downgrade to a misdemeanor nearly every crime short of murder. In Democrat controlled cities like Philadelphia, they decide to create sanctuary cities by not cooperating with the Federal Government when it comes to enforcing immigration laws. In California, a person can walk into any store and steal whatever they want (under $1,000), and only get, at most, a slap on the wrist. So, why would Warminster, a Democrat run Township, be any different? Well, it may not much different.
At the January 20, 2022 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Supervisors appointed Tina Cairns, the failed School Board candidate, to the Environmental Advisory Council. Last month, Ms. Cairns was appointed to the Zoning Hearing Board, a paid position. On its face, this seems like an innocuous appointment, but it could be a violation of Pennsylvania state law.
In Pennsylvania, local towns are empowered by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (Act 247) to create Zoning Hearing Boards and Planning Commissions. Article IX of this Act defines the Zoning Hearing Board and the membership of these boards. In Section 903 (a) of Article IX of this law, when defining membership on Zoning Hearing Boards, the law clearly states...
“Members of the board shall hold no other elected or appointed office in the municipality, nor shall any member be an employee of the municipality.”
What this means is that a member of the Warminster Zoning Hearing Board may not be appointed to any position on any other Committee and/or Board in the Township.
We don’t have a law degree, and to be fair, as far as we know none of the Supervisors are trained in the law. But the township does pay hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for expert legal advice, so you’d think someone would have realized this appointment may be a violation of state law. Or maybe it was known, and someone just decided to ignore this law. We do hope that it was just an honest mistake, and one that can be easily corrected.