Williamsport briefs

November 12, 2003|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Business owners want bus stop moved

WILLIAMSPORT - Three years after a Washington County Commuter bus stop moved from Potomac Street to Conococheague Street, some people want it moved again.

At Monday night's Town Council meeting, Janice Rothstein of J&J Check Cashing and Keith Jenkins of Keith's Kountry Kitchen said they favor a new spot.

Rothstein said her business, which is at 45 N. Conococheague St., could use more parking spaces on the street.

Jenkins, whose business is at 2 E. Potomac St., said relocating the bus stop would be better for the downtown.

"I just think it should not be in the block that the businesses are on," Jeanne House added from the audience.

Councilman Monty R. Jones, who owns Byers Market and Always Catering at 18 N. Conococheague St., agreed. "We need all the parking we can get for businesses," he said. "There's no question."


The bus stop moved to Conococheague Street from around the corner on Potomac Street in 2000 after Maryland State Police said it would be a safer spot, according to a news account at the time.

Mayor John W. Slayman said Monday that town officials will talk to County Commuter personnel about a new stop.

Town Council meets in executive session

WILLIAMSPORT - The mayor and Town Council met in executive session Monday night, but took no action.

Mayor John W. Slayman, Councilwoman Roxann Long and Councilman James G. McCleaf II said the session was called to discuss a personnel issue, but they wouldn't comment further.

Last month, town resident Regina Yohe - who ran unsuccessfully for the Town Council in March - read aloud a letter harshly criticizing Town Clerk Bonnie J. Errico.

No one on the council answered Yohe's accusations. Monty R. Jones was the only council member who spoke. He said Errico went through "a horrific time with other employees who attacked her."

"Nobody's ever going to replace Donna," Jones added, referring to Donna K. Spickler, the longtime clerk who preceded Errico. "Donna had a heart for the town of Williamsport."

Errico defended herself during an interview when the meeting ended.

The next day, McCleaf said the discussion should have taken place privately and probably would be the topic of an executive session at the November meeting.

Normally, as town clerk, Errico sits in on executive sessions. However, on Monday, she left the meeting before the executive session began.

Police activity reported to Council

WILLIAMSPORT - Included in the October report of police activity presented to the Town Council Monday was an item that made Mayor John W. Slayman take notice: A driver was stopped for going 52 mph over the limit.

With the speed limit at 25 mph, Slayman said, "He had to be going 77 miles per hour. Whew!"

The driver was cited and fined $523, the report says.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department's resident deputies responded to 120 complaints in October and arrested four people, including one child.

The deputies gave out 17 speeding tickets, two drunken-driving citations and 13 other tickets, the report says.

Cats congregating at Vermont Street house

WILLIAMSPORT - Councilman Monty R. Jones said Monday that he's concerned about a house on Vermont Street where cats congregate.

Jones said he called animal control officers and the Washington County Health Department after seeing about a dozen cats there.

Council amends 'boot' removal fee

WILLIAMSPORT - The Town Council on Monday approved an amendment to the town's vehicle immobilization ordinance.

A "boot" is attached to the wheel of a motor vehicle when the owner has a certain amount of unpaid parking tickets.

To free the vehicle, the owner must pay the fines plus a $10 immobilization fee.

The Town Council voted to raise the immobilization fee to $60 if it's paid from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on weekdays, which would require calling a town employee into work to remove the lock and paying the employee overtime.

The fee is still $10 if it's paid before 3:30 p.m.

The amendment will take effect on Dec. 1, according to Town Attorney Edward Kuczynski.

Town offers free parking at meters

WILLIAMSPORT - People who park at meters from Dec. 1 to Jan. 5 will not have to drop coins in for up to two hours, the Town Council decided Monday.

The town offers a similar grace period each Christmas season, Councilman Monty R. Jones said.

Council discusses fishing and park use

WILLIAMSPORT - Fishermen should obey the same park hours as the rest of the public, the Town Council decided Monday.

Mayor John W. Slayman said a fisherman recently asked if he could be on the water after dark, even though the town closes its parks at dusk.

No one on the council suggested altering the restriction. "I'll give this gentleman a call and tell him, 'Don't hang me. Hang you guys,'" Slayman said to the council with a smile.

A few people in the audience wondered how the town could keep people away from the water when it's state property.

"It's not our intention to shut off access," Councilman Monty R. Jones said. But sheriff's deputies need to enforce park restrictions evenly, especially when some people claim they're fishing but are merely drinking beer, he said.

Jones said deputies might not stop a fisherman who was on the water after dark if he were returning from an excursion that started before dark.

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