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Chambersburg Transit Authority needs clear support of community

February 07, 2004|By Wade G. Burkholder

Per recommendation of the CTA recovery plan, I do hereby submit my resignation, from the Chambersburg Transit Authority Board of Directors, to the Borough of Chambersburg, effective in 60 days.

The same is submitted with a request to be considered for re-appointment to the CTA Board.

Most of CTA's current problems were deep-seated long before I was appointed to the board, two years ago. During my tenure, there have been many points of improvement. Yes, there still are lots of problems that need to be solved. I am proud to have served in helping to get the authority through this most "trying" past year.

The beginning of this year, I semi-retired at my current place of employment, after 141/2 years. I now have more personal time to do things I want to do. One of those "things" is to spend more time helping CTA.

I have more than 41 years of marketing, advertising and promotional experience. I personally know many business and professional people in the Chambersburg area. I served a number of years as an elected official in local government. I have more than 20 years of business knowledge through my involvement with investment properties. I feel I am a qualified, "worthy" member of the current CTA Board.

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While I am hereby requesting serious consideration to be reappointed to the CTA Board, I wish to make known some concerns of my own, that I feel need to be addressed.

A. Foremost: I would like to know how each member of council, and the mayor, feels about the need for public transportation in Chambersburg, and the surrounding townships. In the past, when I have attended several council meetings, where CTA has been discussed. I have received no feeling, one way or the other, from some council members. Others, I believe, would like for CTA to just go away - thus not having to deal with it any more. I respectfully request a public statement, firm and concise, as to how each individual council member really feels about the need for, and the future of CTA. This could be a written prepared statement, read at a public meeting, or via an interview given through the print media.

B. I also wish to address the media coverage that CTA has received in the past two years. I feel that the Waynesboro Record Herald has always given us fair coverage. Both good news and bad news from the authority's meetings have been equally and fairly reported. They have gone above and beyond, to help CTA, including printing the Waynesboro area bus schedule on the front page of their paper. The Gazette has given fair coverage, and many times added that little extra boost, and special attention, to fund-raisers, requests for donations, etc.

The Hagerstown Herald-Mail Co. has given us fair and accurate coverage. Being a large regional newspaper, they have provided a lot of lineage, considering the area they report news from.

I personally have been greatly disappointed, over the past two years, with our local Public Opinion newspaper's reporting and the editorial page comments. I do feel that the current reporter's meeting coverage is much more "balanced" than what had been reported in the past. "Good" news that is discussed during CTA meetings should get as much space as the "bad" news. For a long time, most that went wrong, was given a lot of detail, while the positive happenings went untold. I also have been quite concerned by the constant negative articles written by those responsible for the paper's editorial page in the Public Opinion.

It appears there has been an ongoing effort to give the current board members Hooligan status. No one from the editorial staff has ever been to a CTA meeting, to actually see the board members at work. To write editorials based strictly from reading the reporter's articles is to be compared to doing a school book report from someone else telling you about the book without you reading the book for yourself. I would hope that our local paper would see fit to become a "booster" for the new CTA Board and be fair and positive when writing their editorials.

I would like to conclude by stating I have found much personal fulfillment in working with all the present, and former, CTA Board members. I would also like to express a personal word of appreciation, and gratitude to President Jim Jenkins for his strong leadership. Many times during the past two years he has given me encouragement to keep going, when I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep on keeping on.

Whatever the wishes of Borough Council, I will accept your decision as to be the best for the future of CTA, the Borough of Chambersburg, and its surrounding municipalities.




Wade G. Burkholder is a board member of the Chambersburg Transit Authority.

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