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Meeting night change weighed

January 22, 2002

Meeting night change weighed



By STACEY DANZUSO

chbbureau@innernet.net

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Borough Council members will vote Wednesday on whether to break tradition and switch its meeting nights.

The 10-member council has met Wednesdays at 7 p.m. for years. Mayor Tom Newcomer suggested earlier this month that the council consider changing its meeting dates.

"The reason I had was that there is a lot going on Wednesday nights with regard to churches," said Newcomer, who in the past has had to miss church functions to fulfill his former role as a council member.

Holding meetings on a different night would also allow council members to attend Chambersburg Area School District meetings, which are held the second Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m.

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The Borough Council typically meets three Wednesdays a month for a mix of meetings and workshops.

"I really want to go to school board meetings, that is the big reason I would like to see it switched," Sharon Bigler, who represents the Fourth Ward, said.

Bigler said when she was elected to council two years ago she had to give up some church events to attend council meetings.

Council members initially seemed receptive to switching meeting nights, Newcomer said, although they now say they don't want to make changes.

Among those is Ruth Harbaugh, Second Ward council member appointed this month to fill the seat vacated by Newcomer when he became mayor.

"I am satisfied leaving it where it is," Harbaugh said.

She said she had planned on Wednesday night meetings when she joined the council, but could live with Tuesday night meetings, which seems to be the likely meeting night if a switch is made.

Councilman John Redding Jr., who represents the Fourth Ward, said he also favors leaving the meetings on Wednesday nights.

"There is not any night of the week there is not some function going on," Redding said. "People are conditioned to it being on Wednesdays."

Council President Bill McLaughlin said Monday he is still thinking about the issue and isn't sure whether he wants to make the switch.

The borough's Planning and Zoning Board meets at 5 p.m. one Tuesday a month and would not interfere with a Tuesday night council meeting. The borough Recreation Board also meets Tuesday evenings and might have to change its meeting times depending on council's action.

The council will vote on its meeting schedule Wednesday night at Borough Hall, 100 S. Second St., Chambersburg.

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