Hearing set about borough downsizing

October 01, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Mercersburg residents tonight will hear members of the Borough Council explain why they want to downsize local government by eliminating the borough manager's job.

The council also is considering an ordinance calling for elimination of the $500 annual salary of Mayor Thomas Ralston. As mayor, Ralston's job is supervising the town police department, a responsibility he said he will keep. He said he may not attend council meetings if he loses his salary.

Judith Chambers, borough manager for the last eight years, said Tuesday she is not being forced out of her job. "Had the council wanted me to leave, all they had to do is ask. I'm an at-will employee. I made the decision to leave."


Shatzer on Sept. 9 announced her resignation, which takes effect Oct. 10. She begins a new job Oct. 14 at the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority.

The proposed ordinance would replace the manager's position with a borough administrator, a job with fewer responsibilities. Had Chambers stayed on, her salary would be cut from $36,000 to $30,000, when the ordinance took effect Jan. 1, she said.

She said she won't attend tonight's hearing because of another commitment.

Councilwoman Jeanne Rader said earlier that the council wants government to be more cost-effective. The new administrator would supervise office functions while another position would be created to supervise street and outside maintenance workers. Chambers currently supervises both.

"The council seems to want to have more hands-on control in the day-to-day decision-making," Chambers said.

The borough has six full-time and two part-time employees, Chambers said.

The hearing begins at 7 p.m. at Mercersburg Elementary School on South Park Avenue.

The Herald-Mail Articles