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Meet the Candidates: Dennis Benner

Helping you to make an informed decision this Election Day

Dennis Benner

Running For: Upper Saucon Board of Supervisors

Affiliation: Republican     

Residence: Upper Saucon

How Long have you lived there: 13 years

Education: Graduate Lehigh University-1976- BA Government; Graduate Thomas Cooley Law School-1980- Juris Doctorate

Profession/Work Experience: Lawyer/Businessman

Have you held an elected position before: Yes

How long have you held the position: 3+ years, Board of Supervisors, Lower Saucon

Committees served on: Board of Directors-Artsquest, Past Board of Directors- Thomas Cooley School of Law, Board of Directors-multiple companies in the region

Why are you running? The major issue is runaway spending. With Lehigh County pursuing a countywide property reassessment, tax burdens will likely increase. Cost containment starts at the local level. Government exists to serve its people, not burden them with excessive costs.

If elected, what would you like to accomplish? Existing government policy needs to change and if elected, I will work to change wasteful policy.

FORUM QUESTIONS

Vision for the Future of the Township:

There’s a lot of nice area in the township. It seems appropriate to maintain a reasonable level of open space within the township.

Collaborating with the School Board:

I think it’s very, very important that local government interacts in a very meaningful way with the school board. It’s easy to lay policy on a school board that binds their hands. I think that a lot of the problems that end up in the school district’s hands you don’t have any choice about because it’s directed or governed by local governmental policy. I think clearing that away is incredibly important.

Township Employee Pay Raises:

I’m of the opinion that it’s a larger question. The larger question is, is there bloat within a governmental body itself? If so, I think that needs to be looked at. I don’t know what the salary levels are within this community. I know that there are expenditures that I think are out of line. I think the question needs to be viewed in a broader way. Do I think that anyone is exempt from marketplace conditions? I don’t think they are. I know that we represent a number of businesses and a number of people throughout the region here, and policies and procedures that affect people.  It’s easy to talk from 30,000 feet away about jobs and the rest of it, but it really hits home when you’re the one who gets the pink slip. When you get the pink slip it has a different meaning to you. So, I think that when that occurs people become less tolerant of waste. And I’m about eliminating waste.

How many township supervisors meetings have you attended in the past yr?

I don’t recall.

What is the annual township budget?

I don’t recall.

Have you ever filed any legal action against the township?

I’m a lawyer, so I live in a world of lawsuits and litigation, so sure I’ve been involved in litigation throughout the region. I don’t have a law firm in Upper Saucon Township. I don’t have any litigation pending with Upper Saucon Township at this time.

Do any of the candidates have land investments? Would this cause any issues, and if so would you recuse yourself?

I have land that I own in this township that’s in addition to my home. But if a conflict arises you recuse yourself. That’s common sense I would think.

UncleSam101 May 02, 2011 at 01:23 PM
Mr. Benner has sued the township government many times. Mr. Benner uses lawsuits as a business strategy rather than to obtain redress for damages or enforcement of the law. No doubt Mr. Benner would like to become a supervisor to further his many real estate development interests in Upper Saucon Township.
Notbornyesterday May 02, 2011 at 04:42 PM
I understand that this person is a Developer. I don't know why this is not mentioned in his bio. Just google Dennis Benner, Upper Saucon township to see what he's done in our township. Do we want more developments?? Keep in mind that it costs MORE to educate each child then we receive in school taxes. Do we want Upper Saucon to become another Lower Macungie?
Elizabeth Rich (Editor) May 02, 2011 at 05:22 PM
@notbornyesterday, the League of Women Voters gave us access to their voters guide. We pulled the answers directly from there.
UncleSam101 May 02, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Note that Mr. Benner is not just any developer. He is a developer who has had a number of problems with Upper Saucon Township including representing that one of his developments was not in a floodplain when it was in a floodplain. As a direct result of the misrepresentation about the floodplain the development was approved...in a floodplain. For some reason he completed only about three years of his six year term as a supervisor in Lower Saucon some years ago.
Notbornyesterday May 03, 2011 at 01:14 PM
Thanks for the response Elizabeth, I am just surprised that Mr. Benner chose not to share that information himself, it's a very important part of his bio. For the people that share his views about mass development, that might have been helpful. He talks a good game with the "wasteful spending" because he knows what people want to hear but his real agenda is more about himself. Him being elected would be like having a fox guarding the hen house.
UncleSam101 May 08, 2011 at 03:07 PM
The following is a quote from Benner: “I’m very happy when I’m dealing with real estate issues,” he admitted. “Give me a problem that includes building and zoning codes and I enjoy trying to figure out how to get around it. I always think to myself, ‘I’m going to beat this code. By trying to beat the code, I’m really trying to give the client what they want.’” Is seems inappropriate that a developer with this attitude and clear conflict of interest be in charge of Upper Saucon Township zoning. Reply
Observer May 10, 2011 at 01:04 AM
Mr. Benner is preceded only by his reputation, unfortunately severely negative. Ask anyone from this area (Lehigh Valley): harmful litigation with various personal estate developmental issues in surrounding townships, including Upper Saucon. An internet search will outline and detail his private motives.
John Connor May 11, 2011 at 11:25 AM
I know enough about Dennis Benner not to vote for him...his Epernay development is in a former floodplain (buyers beware...buy flood insurance), he sues municipalities where he develops. His way of saving Upper Saucon and himself money will be to get rid of engineers and inspectors for his projects. The township has several active development agreements with Benner. Once Benner is supervisor he can negotiate new contract terms with himself on both sides of the negotiating table and make a mockery of government. What worries me though is the following quotation penned by Shakespeare in Julius Caesar: "Cassius suggests that the people get the government they deserve…". This can be a good thing, if (and it’s a big “if”) the people do their homework and vote based on facts, not on rumor or innuendo. Be assured the first paragraph is neither rumor nor innuendo but documented fact.
Karen Samuels May 16, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Perfect example of the fox guarding the hen house!
John Connor May 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM
The door to the hen house just opened. The fox is in the entranceway.

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