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Helman to resign from Chambersburg Council

April 09, 2004|BY DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg Borough Councilman Carl W. Helman informed the borough this week he will resign later this month because he is moving outside the borough limits.

Helman's resignation from his Third Ward seat will be effective Friday, April 23, according to Borough Secretary Tanya Mickey.

Helman, 43, of 1089 Progress Road has been a member of the council since Dec. 20, 1995, when he was appointed to fill the vacancy created when Bob Thomas was elected to the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, according to Mickey. He was subsequently elected to a four-year term in 1997 and re-elected in 2001.

"My goal was to serve 10 years. No more, no less," said Helman, who is in his ninth year on council. "I've seen the effects of people being there too long."

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Helman, who served as council vice president in 2002-03, said he had planned to finish out his term, but his family had been looking for a larger home for more than a year and recently found one that met their needs in Guilford Township.

"I have been talking to a number of my constituents who I feel are qualified to step in for me. My goal is to have a couple of names for recommendations," he said.

"I'm kind of curious to see who he's going to recommend to replace him," said Councilman Ken Gill.

The council does not have to abide by the recommendation of a departing member, nor is it required to appoint someone from the same political party, although Council President William McLaughlin said Helman's replacement likely will be another Republican.

The council will have 30 days from April 23 to appoint someone to fill out the rest of Helman's term, which runs through the end of 2005, Borough Manager Eric Oyer said. If an appointment is not made by then, a vacancy board will have another 15 days to fill the seat.

Helman is the director of facilities design for Country Meadows Retirement Community of Hershey, Pa., and serves on the borough's planning and zoning commission. Providence Place just outside the borough is one of the projects developed by the business.

"The layman's description of what I do at Country Meadows is problem-solver," Helman said. "Basically, that's the approach I had on council."

"I think that's one of the biggest things we'll miss is his knowledge in that area," Gill said of Helman's background in architectural design. Helman serves on the borough's planning and zoning commission, Mickey said.

"I think he's a person that's been very thoughtful in most of the things he's done and tried to do," Hill said.

Although they were at odds over a number of issues over the years, McLaughlin called Helman "a hardworking, dedicated member of council who frequently brought new ideas and different insights to the deliberations."

"I really enjoyed the times we all came together and put our personal agendas aside to do something on behalf of the community," Helman said.

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