Kovacs is asked to step down
Bob Heimbecker is demanding that Hanover Township Councilman William Kovacs Jr. relinquish his seat on council.
"Mr. Kovacs has been invited by me to step down or resign his seat on the Hanover Township, Lehigh County Council. He has not done so," Heimbecker, a Republican, said during the July 17 council meeting, citing Pennsylvania Code Section 33.5-503 Recall. "It is my declared intention in the next 30 days to circulate a legally valid petition to recall."
According to Heimbecker, the township's home rule charter allows one to recall an elected official with 30 percent of the electorate signing a valid petition. The recall petition then is submitted to the Lehigh County Board of Elections for their review and approval.
Heimbecker, who is on the November ballot as a candidate for the council, said Kovacs, a Democrat, "has made statements that have put the township at risk of litigation by township residents." He added councilmen Frank M. Dreisbach and Randall C. Atkinson have passively permitted Kovacs to make such statements in an unbridled fashion. Both Dreisbach and Atkinson are Republicans.
In a telephone interview with The Press Monday, Heimbecker said during a recent public meeting, Kovacs commented he assisted a citizen in the voting booth May 21 because the citizen was "slow" and needed "help and direction."
"He's [Kovacs] insensitive," said Heimbecker.
Heimbecker also said Kovacs wore a bright yellow campaign shirt in the Hanover Township polling place showing his support for Atkinson and Dreisbach. He further said Kovacs was "physically abusive" to him, pushing him out of the way at the polling place.
At the meeting, Heimbecker said he believes he will only need 200 signatures to validate the petition to recall after which it will be certified and submitted to the Lehigh County Board of Elections for their review.
"I tell you, you go ahead and do what you have to do," Kovacs said during the July 17 meeting. Kovacs added he thinks Councilman Bruce E. Paulus, a Democrat, instigated the petition.
"Mr. Paulus has given stones to throw at me and now he's given you the stones to throw, and he's doing a very adept job at it," Kovacs said at the meeting.
In The Press interview, Heimbecker denied Kovacs' accusation that he is being driven by Paulus or other council members to circulate the petition to recall and run for council.
"Paulus has nothing to do with this," said Heimbecker.
Heimbecker said he is currently putting together the required petition to recall.
"My reason for running is I live on Sherwood Street and I am opposed to the construction of the truck garage [on Carmike property]," Heimbecker added.
Kovacs declined a telephone interview with The Press Monday.