Upper Frederick Township, Pa. office suddenly closes in wake of several resignations

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Friday, May 17, 2024
Upper Frederick Twp. office suddenly closes amid several resignations
Upper Frederick Township, Pa. office suddenly closes in wake of several resignations

UPPER FREDERICK TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Residents in Upper Frederick Township, Pennsylvania want to know why their township office is closed.

On Thursday, the building was suddenly shut down. Current and former administrators say it's because of two new leaders who have cleaned house.

As former Upper Frederick Township Planning Commission Chair Rick Buckman walked up to the township office Friday, he was met with the same thing every other resident faced: a locked door and a sign.

"It just says the township offices will be closed starting May 16 due to staffing issues," he said.

The Upper Frederick Township office closed on Thursday with a message posted on the township's website instructing residents to leave messages at the township office if they needed assistance or an appointment.

Residents who needed to drop off paperwork, including bill payments, were instructed to leave them in a mail slot at the township office.

Buckman fears the closure could be a sign of worse things to come.

"I, like a lot of other people, have resigned," he said of his own resignation last month.

Buckman says he's the latest of four resignations since January, which is when two new Upper Frederick Township Board of Supervisors members were elected.

"The township manager quit in January," Buckman said.

A post on the township's website confirms that there is now no township manager and that a secretary has agreed to work part-time. That secretary, Buckman said, had already put in her resignation after finding another job.

The township has three board members, which Buckman says are all Republicans including the two new members, William Landman and Lisa Fischer. They ran on a Democratic ticket despite being long-time Republicans.

Buckman says the two new members ran on a campaign of change, but he says they made those changes too quickly, replacing some staff and board members.

"If you want to make changes, you make them over time," he said.

Action News reached out to the new board members, William Landman, who is the chairman, and Lisa Fischer, who is a vice chairman.

Fischer did not respond to our request for comment. Landman offered only to respond to a list of emailed questions.

"The government of Upper Frederick has not shut down," the Upper Frederick Township posted on its website.

"The last two meetings were canceled. The meeting for May would have been when the bills were paid for the month," said Buckman.

According to the township website, officials are interviewing for the township manager position.

They urge residents with any concerns to leave a message on the township's phone line, saying "their calls will be returned in a timely manner."