Borough sued over square

October 08, 1998

Save the SquareBy RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff writer, Waynesboro

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Borough Council's 4-3 vote in August to change the look of the town's historical public square continues to draw protests from some citizens.

This week it netted the borough a $1 million suit.

Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger and Solicitor D. Lloyd Reichard II refused to comment on the suit filed this week in federal court in Harrisburg, Pa., by William A. Kent, a disabled Cascade, Md., man. Hamberger said he referred the matter to Reichard.

Kent, who said he is a certified paralegal, filed the case on his own behalf. Named as defendants are the borough, the three council members who voted to change the square - Vicki Huff, Allen Porter and Richard Starliper - and Mayor Louis Barlup, who cast the tie-breaking vote. Also named is the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.


Council members Charles McCammon, Ardie Winters and Darrell Potts voted to leave the square alone.

Kent's suit alleges that the borough's plan to widen the walkways around the square will eliminate its only handicapped parking space and decrease access for the disabled to businesses there.

The project is supposed to improve the downtown traffic flow and synchronize traffic control signals, including those in the square, officials have said.

Kent's suit lists 16 discrimination claims, including the council's vote, plus a number of charges, including the borough's failure to supply adequate handicapped parking spaces, failure to provide accommodation for the hearing impaired and failure to include disabled persons in the planning process. He seeks an injunction to stop any construction and punitive damages of $1 million.

John Leos, who owns two buildings on the square's southeast quadrant, has been a passionate opponent to change. He presented petitions to the council and was part of an effort to hang ribbons of protest on trees in the square. Borough workers removed them earlier this week.

Hamberger said the ribbons were put up without permission in the public right-of-way.

The latest flap between Leos and the borough deals with a large banner that reads "Save Our Square" that Leos installed across the top of his building at the corner of South Church Street and the square. The owner of a building across the square hung a similar sign.

Hamberger said Reichard is investigating whether the banners are legal.

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