Cloud hanging over North Franklin board
North Franklin Township Supervisor Jim Huff resigned “effective immediately” as a township supervisor on Dec. 17. He not only resigned in a letter using the word “immediately” but turned in township keys and also the township prepared an agenda for its Dec. 19 supervisors meeting to accept his resignation. The meeting was advertised by the township, but was suddenly cancelled without notice, and a sign was posted on the door saying the meeting was cancelled.
As Supervisor Syl Passalacqua said at the rescheduled Dec. 28 meeting, “this stinks of backroom politics at its worst,” as Huff took his seat at the meeting and began to vote on things as if he had not resigned.
Huff clearly put himself and the township in a difficult legal position. Solicitor Dennis Makel is unable to defend Huff, and if the matter ends up in court, Huff will need to hire his own attorney to represent him. What’s worse, contracts, agreements and decisions made by the supervisors at their Dec. 28 meeting probably won’t count since Passalacqua refused to participate in the meeting, giving Supervisor Dennis Dydiw the only legitimate or unquestionable vote.
Huff cannot preside over the reorganizational meeting because he has resigned as a supervisor. Until the Court of Common Pleas rules otherwise, Huff’s votes as a member of the current board of supervisors is at best suspect, and at worst, illegal.
I do not know why after less than one year in office Huff resigned. I am disappointed. Huff has always been a frequent critic of the way other boards operated, including the board I served on from 1998 to 2004.
The residents of North Franklin have seen their recent supervisors run the township finances into the ground. I had hoped that this current board was making some progress regarding our roads, police and serious budgetary matters. However, the board cannot function with this cloud hanging over it, and I urge all parties involved to rectify it prior to the matter going unnecessarily into court.
North Franklin Township
Editor’s note: Sabot is a former supervisor in North Franklin Township.