Let’s dig in to last night’s Chambersburg Borough Council meeting

June 27 – The Chambersburg Borough Council held a rather lengthy meeting last night where a number of items were decided. 

The four-hour long meeting began with a citizen comment from Kim Wertz, who said, “Last meeting, a comment was made that was one very uncalled for. It was disrespectful.”

Allen Coffman, borough council president, said, “A couple of us talked after the meeting. We have no clue what that was about. So I think there may be some follow up to try to get to the root of that. I do not understand what that was leading to or what conversation she was referring to.”

Three police officers were promoted last night. 

Coffman said, “We had a full house last night. There was extra seats that were brought into Council Chambers. I did a count after the meeting last night. There were 59 seats there, so there was probably about 59 people there and there were about 45 at the peak time on the Zoom meeting. So a lot of people were interested in A, I guess to see what the promotions were like and B, to see who the council member is going to be.”

The Chambersburg Police Department saw promotions to lieutenant, sergeant and corporal. 

Matt Bietsch will be Lieutenant, Joe Jakubic will be Sergeant, and Patrick Hinds will be Corporal.

Coffman said, “So a lot of family members there. This is a big deal in an officer’s life just like it is in the military and lots of pictures taken, a lot of happy people last night.”

The new borough council member, Stacy Short was sworn in to replace council member Larry Hensley who died unexpectedly in May. 

Four candidates showed up last night for the seat. 

Coffman said, “We did have four candidates that showed up last night. Two that were on the list to be interviewed were absent. I don’t know where they were. I don’t know why they weren’t there. By the time we got done with our interview process, we got down to who was selected and that was Stacey Short who’s been literally a lifelong resident of the Fourth Ward, I think since 1974. So I couldn’t be happier with her. She was a great choice. That was shown I think by the vote itself for her which was a seven to two vote. She actually works as a Life and Health Insurance Agent, working from home.”

The Aquatic Center was another hot topic of discussion. Adult swim has been officially canceled. 

Coffman explained, “There was a motion that was made to have the staff review what can be done in the manner of providing something to replace the Adult Swim. The remaining part of this year would stay as it is – no Adult Swim. Obviously the people that came to the meeting were not happy about that choice. It was interesting all the players were in the room at the same time last night. You had Council there. You had people that wanted the Adult Swim and you had the Recreation Department, especially the people that are working in the pool area. So we came to that compromise. But I’d have to go back to your comment you made and I would agree, we spent a lot of money on this pool. The fact of spending a lot more money, knowing that playground equipment and pool equipment is expensive, I’ll be willing to see what the staff comes back with, but I’m not willing to open up the purse strings to put in another 300,000 or whatever the number may be. I don’t know what the number is, but none of it’s cheap when you come to recreation and pools.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “It would seem to me why don’t you just put adult swim back in there Instead of adding more expenses? If you’re talking about adding a whole other area for adults or for age specific, I don’t know. It’d be interesting to have some bean counters to figure that out.”

Coffman said, “I’m sure it will be looked at very closely and the thing that really made the Adult Swim people really upset about it was well, nothing happens anymore this year and it could be years until you get this facility built. Well, that’s true. I don’t know that anybody really came out of there happy with anything about that last night, but at least we have a course of action now to follow and see what it’ll show us.”

Then, the recent ex-wife of Mayor Ken Hock, Robin, drove from North Carolina to address the council. She discussed the mayor’s online bullying toward her from his personal Facebook page. 

Ryan asked, “What became of that conversation between council members, if there was any, and the difference between the mayor’s page and a personal page?”

Coffman said, “Well, the comment I have would be she drove from wherever it was in North Carolina, to have about two minutes and 45 seconds to talk about a situation that she had that involved social media and it had no involvement whatsoever with the Borough of Chambersburg. It’s a personnel matter. I think if she thinks that she has something there with cyber bullying, I’m surprised that she hasn’t taken it to a law enforcement agency if that’s what she thinks it is. But to me, it’s entirely a personal matter between the mayor and his ex-wife and had absolutely nothing to do with the operation of the Borough of Chambersburg.”

Council had an executive session following the meeting. 

Coffman said, “Some discussion there about some possible litigation with Aldi over some work that was done over there on their driveway. Also some talk about some work that was done at the Service Center and I’m sure there’ll be a follow up news thing come out on that, which is a good outcome for the residents of Chambersburg concerning the Service Center.”

A new Montezumas will be coming to Walker Road, near Olive Garden. 

Coffman said, “So people are still building restaurants, people still like to go out and eat. That was one of the things that I thought was interesting. We’re still building.”