by Lisa Tome
Rising Sun town administrator Calvin Bonenberger said last week, that he may "take action" against those who have made accusations against him. He also excused himself from the May 28 town meeting after a brief shouting match with a citizen...
Within the past two months, Keith Campbell was removed from the town's Board of Zoning Appeals for not meeting residency requirements. Last week, Campbell accused Bonenberger of having ties to developer George Beer of Delaware Valley Development Corporation, Bonenberger vehemently denied the allegations.
Campbell said that Bonenberger was appointed to the Zoning Commission in Penn Township, Pa. in 2006. In 2008, the board to which Bonenberger belonged approved a plan submitted by Beer.
Campbell also alleged that:
• Bonenberger applied for a municipal government job in New Smyrna Beach, Florida in 2009. Beer owns property there.
• Campbell also said that Beer owns property in West Nottingham Township, Pa. That property is part of the area where Chester Water Authority will run a connection to Rising Sun to provide water.
Bonenberger said he met Beer for the first time last year.
Campbell also said that Bonenberger applied for another job, in Arizona, earlier this year. Commissioner Travis Marion said he was aware that Bonenberger had taken the trip for training and interviewed for the job as a town manager.
Campbell said he wants Bonenberger investigated.
"What I'm telling you is he (Bonenberger) has held us over a barrel for his financial enrichment," said Campbell.
"What (Campbell) said is not factually correct. I hope someone doesn't find that funny. It's someone's life you're screwing with here," said Bonenberger.
He also said the amount of his pay has been "taken out of context."
Earlier this year Commissioner Joanne Osborne announced that Bonenberger is earning $121,925 for fiscal year 2013. He also has a take home car, gets a percentage of grants, and will get $2,500 raises annually the next two years. His raise was also made retroactive to January 1, 2013.
"If you want to compare what I do to what other communities do, I do code enforcement and town administrator," he said. He also said he "welcomes" an investigation by the town officials.
"When it is found it is wrong, I am going to take my own steps in protecting myself moving forward. I have had it with this kind of bully tactic," said Bonenberger.
Bonenberger and Mayor Fisher also butted heads several times during last week's town meeting. "Mayor, it's just a little frustrating that you are getting on me for what I'm not doing," said Bonenberger.
He also said he is angry that the mayor is "going door to door with his petitions, telling people that he (Bonenberger) is stealing from the Town of Rising Sun and is corrupt."
He also said the mayor has created a hostile work environment and grievances have been filed against him.
"You want to be a leader in this town, then you be a leader and start treating people fairly," said Bonenberger. "I do not appreciate the slanderous comments that you are making about me or my livelihood. I'm not putting up with it. When elected people don't get reelected, they get to spend more time with their families...You screw with an employee's life, you ruin them forever."