We, the undersigned bipartisan coalition of current and former Mount Pocono Borough Council Members, demand the immediate resignation of Mayor Michael Penn. We acknowledge our political differences but come together in defense of civility and the sanctity of borough government.
Michael Penn has violated the boundaries set for a mayor by Pennsylvania’s Borough Code causing discord and distress to Mount Pocono. Most egregious and pressing:
● His late-night and unannounced removal of his election opponent’s Financial Interest Form and the simultaneous placement of his past due Financial Interest Form
● An unannounced removal and subsequent altering of the March 2021 meeting audio recording.
● Recording an unscheduled meeting to chastise the Borough Manager for his reveal of the mayor’s removal of the documents mentioned above.
Additionally, Michael Penn has amassed an unethical amount of influence over the council, and has solidified his position with hand-picked appointees and employees. Including but not limited to:
● His elevation to Chair of Planning Commission
● Sitting on nine, and chairperson of five, council sub-committees
● Maintaining a seat on the Mount Pocono Municipal Authority
● His orchestration of the removal of a Council President
Even if these moves were ethical, the state of our Borough has declined. His intimidation and undermining of employees led to a hostile work environment resulting in employee turnover, several expensive lawsuits, and a movement to unionize. His personality politics caused division among council members, employees, and residents. That division has paralyzed the council and stopped all progress on essential issues like Short Term Rentals, a balanced budget, and Road Safety.
We urge Michael Penn to make the right decision for Mount Pocono, its residents, and business and step down immediately. The turmoil of the past two and half years must come to an end.
We hope that this letter will start the healing process.
Signed by Frederick Courtright, Karl Davis, John Finnerty, Matthew Hensel, William Jabara, Dennis Noonan, John Scalamandre, Stacy Stewart-Keeler, Claudette Williams, & Jeff W. Woehrle
Editor’s Note: The authors are current and former Mount Pocono council members. John Finnerty served as council president for 25 years. Fred Courtright was on council and also mayor. Penn was appointed to fill out Courtright’s term and is running for election to a full term for the first time this year.