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Retiring township supervisors honored

March 26, 2004|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Thirty-four years of public service officially ended Thursday night when Washington Township said farewell to former Township Supervisors Paul Benchoff and Richard Eigenbrode at a retirement dinner at the Mountain Gate Family Restaurant.

Benchoff, 78, ended 18 years of service on Dec. 31 when he chose not to seek re-election.

Eigenbrode, 70, a 16-year veteran, announced in January that he was stepping down for health reasons.

The banquet, attended by about 40 people, was replete with reminiscences by fellow supervisors, all three Franklin County Commissioners, state Rep. Pat Fleagle, state Sen. Terry Punt and Township Manager Michael Christopher, among others.

Punt called Eigenbrode and Benchoff "two outstanding men who exemplify quality, integrity and character."

"I've known Paul for 40 years and Dick for 32 years. They both only had one agenda - working for the good of the people of Washington Township," Punt said.

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Fleagle was equally flattering, saying of Benchoff, "You are testimony of what a good person should be, the kind that people look to in life."

Fleagle remembered Eigenbrode as his junior high school football coach, saying he was a "tough disciplinarian."

"I needed that," Fleagle said. "You helped me turn a corner in my life."

Benchoff was succeeded by Chris Firme, who won a six-year term in November.

Rick Mohn was appointed to serve the remainder of Eigenbrode's term, which ends Dec. 31, 2005.

Benchoff and Eigenbrode said they will miss local government.

"The township is in a very important growth phase," Benchoff said. "It will be difficult to sit back and not have a part in it."

Eigenbrode said he would still be serving if it weren't for his health problems.

Other members in the audience, in addition to family members of the honorees, included the five seated supervisors - Jim Kirby, Stewart McCleaf, Firme, Mohn and Chairman Art Cordell.

The retired supervisors were presented with small gifts from the county commissioners, but it was the gifts from their former supervisor colleagues that were indicative of the time they now have on their hands.

Eigenbrode received a wall clock and Benchoff was given a mantel clock. Both also received plaques from the township, noting their years of service.

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