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Council member resigns at meeting

November 07, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Wednesday night's Waynesboro Borough Council meeting ended with a bombshell when council member Vicki Jo Huff announced her resignation after reading aloud a statement critical of other council members.

Huff's letter accused council members of violating the Sunshine Law, not taking any action against employees "who have committed crimes" and being rude to her.

"I will also be watching to make sure that this council starts playing by the rules. I only hope that my replacement is treated with a lot more respect from this council than I have received recently. Best of luck to you, you'll need it," Huff said.

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In the letter, Huff said council member Charles "Chip" McCammon "has talked about me in derogatory ways" in the community and has called her a liar, and said Borough Council President Douglas Tengler has done nothing to control McCammon's behavior.

Huff said McCammon has openly said the council can do whatever it wants regardless of Americans With Disabilities Act requirements and that McCammon has told people in the community that a woman would never be president of the council as long as he was a member.

"I resent all your accusations. There's a lot of lies there," McCammon said after Huff finished.

Tengler was obviously upset about Huff's comments during the meeting, and tossed his pen on the table as she read her statement.

Although Tengler said it's hard for him to respond to the letter since he had just heard it, he said it contained a lot of "inaccuracies and (was) misleading. And I will just leave it at that right now," Tengler said.

Huff did not elaborate during the meeting about what crimes employees were allegedly involved in.

After the meeting, Tengler said Huff would have to give him more details, like dates, in order for him to know what she was talking about.

Huff, who ran for council six years ago, said she will continue to serve the community in other ways "because Waynesboro is worth the effort."

Council members were planning to go into an executive session after the meeting but Tengler said they were considering postponing it because council members were tense over the situation.

Huff stood in another part of the room and calmly answered questions from reporters after the regular meeting.

"When I first ran for borough council six years ago, it was for the purpose of giving back to this community what it has given to me," Huff said in the opening lines of her statement.

"The council back then, although they didn't always agree on things, was a council that worked together for the good of the community. We worked toward common goals, and when we disagreed, it was with respect for each other and their opinions. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case within the Waynesboro Borough Council," Huff said her statement, which she distributed to reporters after the meeting.

Huff said she believes the council has been violating the Sunshine Law because she has found out that issues have been discussed before they are brought to her attention.

The Sunshine Law requires that members of a government body discuss business in the open. Exceptions are given for certain circumstances.

She said council members are trying to remove employees with good evaluations while taking no action against the ones who have allegedly committed crimes.

Huff said some council members have tried to remove her from office and she has been removed from committees.

Huff said Tengler told her recently that "I was an outspoken female and some of the councilmen did not like that."

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