Chambersburg Borough Council meets tonight

CHAMBERSBURG – Tonight’s, 8 February, Borough Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, 100 South Second Street.

Allen Coffman, past Borough Council President and Ward 1 Councilmember said the meeting will be in-person with social distancing guidelines in place, including wearing masks and taking temperatures for those in physical attendance. The meeting is also available on the Zoom platform as well.

Pat Ryan noted that there are five seats on the council that are up for re-election. Coffman will run again for his seat in Ward 1.  Ryan noted: “School boards, borough council and state and federal elections have consequences,” so the importance cannot be overstated.

One of the important topics at tonight’s meeting concerns fire fighter appointments for the borough of Chambersburg.“We’ve got some impending retirements coming up,” Coffman said. “That creates a vacuum in the system.”

Potential fire fighters will need to go through classes, which start in March, and students aren’t guaranteed a position just for taking the class – they need to pass the school and testing.

“Time is of the essence here,” Coffman said. Council will have an executive session following the meeting to discuss the fire fighter appointments. Ryan noted, “Chief Camacho and Sergeant Greenawalt [of the borough police department] did a terrific job in getting 150 plus candidates and whittling that down to a couple candidates for their hiring so I wonder what’s going to happen out of the fire department.” 

In reference to police candidates, three gentlemen will be coming on board as probationary patrol officers in the Chambersburg Police Department. Their appointments (and names) will be made official after tonight’s meeting and vote, according to Coffman.

Also slated for discussion at the meeting are reports from the Planning and Zoning Commission as well as the Parking, Traffic and Street Light Committee.

There will be a review of the borough’s traffic calming policy. Traffic calming measures are designed to slow traffic and reduce cut-through volumes. They are raised intersections. There’s one at the intersection of Norland and Wilson Avenue in Chambersburg.

Coffman said they will discuss “how we’re going to get the required petitions if people want these traffic calming devices in their neighborhood. The criteria is extremely tough. You can’t put one in every neighborhood. It’s based on a lot of things, including the number of accidents that have happened.”

Discussion then turned to the importance of council meetings.

Ryan said council meetings – in any borough from Chambersburg to Mercersburg to Waynesboro – are a way to “hold people accountable.”

Coffman agreed, but warned of the dangers of anonymous Zoom participation at the meetings, which allows for “keyboard warriors.”

Ryan point out that the “folks in Waynesboro have it right. You have to get registered through the borough, then you’ll be let into the meeting. They confirm who you are before the meeting and if you pull any stunts, we know who you are.”

Results of tonight’s Chambersburg Borough Council meeting will be discussed tomorrow morning on News Talk 103.7 FM at 6:40am.