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Beitler seeks county commissioner seat

Ron W. Beitler, Lower Macungie Commissioners’ president, has announced he is running for Lehigh County commissioner in District 2.

The district includes Lower Macungie, South Whitehall and Upper Macungie townships, as well as the Borough of Alburtis.

Beitler has served as a Lower Macungie commissioner for two terms and as board president for the past three years.

He also serves as an appointed member of the Lehigh County Farmland Preservation Board.

Beitler is seeking the position with the endorsement of longtime County Commissioner Percy Dougherty, the current occupant.

“Commissioner Dougherty served residents with great distinction and dedication for 28-years,” Beitler said of Dougherty. “Percy has been among the most important champions and leaders supporting farmland preservation efforts countywide for decades.”

Lehigh County now has more than 25,000 acres of preserved farms among counties ranking in the top five by acreage in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Under Beitler’s leadership, Lower Macungie doubled its preserved farmland including the largest preservation effort of its kind in the region’s history - the preservation of the 190-acre Weiner Farm.

Dougherty praised Beitler for his work on the issue and as a commissioner.

“I’ve worked closely over the years with Ron on farmland preservation and I find him to be a very hard working, dynamic, and intelligent person who delves into the issues with great thought and analytical skills,” Dougherty said. “He is genuinely interested in the good of the community.

“Ron will make an excellent county commissioner.”

In addition to his work on farmland preservation, Beitler says he spearheaded successful efforts to reduce homeowner property taxes.

Lower Macungie instituted a local homestead ordinance which reduced the average homeowner’s property tax bill by half each year since the ordinance took effect in 2015.

Over his term, Beitler says he facilitated a popular local “Coffee with a Cop” program with the state police in an effort to bring police officers and community members they serve together in an informal setting to discuss issues and learn more about each other.

Beitler identified the following areas of focus as a potential county commissioner in discussions with community members and stakeholders.

Continuing Commissioner Dougherty’s leadership in farmland preservation, securing federal and state infrastructure funding in particular to help small Boroughs like Alburtis struggling with unfunded mandates, supporting law enforcement and refocusing efforts on the opioid crisis which continues to take the lives of over 100 county residents a year, he explained.

“Lehigh County has a robust department of drug and alcohol abuse, but I do believe legislatively there can be a refocusing on the problem at a larger scale. This is the crisis of our times,” Beitler said.

Beitler notes he will not seek reelection for Lower Macungie Township stating, “I believe in term limits, elected officials should come into office with clear goals, work to accomplish them and then move on.”

Beitler, 42, is a lifelong resident of the area and a small-business owner.

Ron Beitler