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Four submit interest in open Waynesboro council position

June 02, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A loser in the May 17 primary, a former councilman and two political novices will be interviewed next week for the seat vacated last month by Waynesboro Borough Councilman A.J. Benchoff.

Benchoff resigned his Ward 3 seat May 18 after serving less than a year and a half of the four-year term to which he was elected in November 2003. He was sworn in Jan. 1, 2004.

Benchoff, in his letter of resignation, said he was leaving the council to avoid conflicts of interest. His law firm represents local developer Ronnie Martin, who has had many contacts with borough officials in recent years because of commercial projects that went through the borough's permit processes.

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More and more, Benchoff said in his letter, he has had to abstain from votes to avoid conflicts of interest because of Martin's projects.

According to Council President Charles "Chip" McCammon, the four applicants will be interviewed by the council Wednesday.

The four include:

· Stephen L. Monn, 58, of 126 W. Main St.

Monn lost his primary bid to assume the Third Ward seat being vacated by Councilman John Cook, who decided against running for a second four-year term.

Monn was beaten by Craig Newcomer, who will run unopposed for Cook's seat in November.

Monn, a lifelong borough resident, has been attending most council meetings for the last two years.

"I'm interested in the borough's well-being and its future," he said.

· Allen W. Porter, 85, of 932 Sunset Ave.

Porter served six years on the council until December 2003 when he decided against a re-election bid.

He was appointed to fill the last two years of a four-year term of a member who stepped down, then won his own four-year term in the next election.

Benchoff was elected to fill Porter's Ward 3 seat. Now, Porter wants it back.

He, too, has been a regular in the audience at council meetings.

"I thought the council needed some continuity," he said, explaining why he submitted his name.

He also said McCammon asked him to seek the slot.

· Michael Forney, 38, of 123 W. Third St.

Forney is a member of the borough's recreation board.

He said he is seeking a council seat because he has three young children and is concerned about the borough's future.

He said he wants to ensure that it grows "in the right direction."

Forney has been at most council meetings in recent months.

· Benjamin Greenawalt, 72.

Greenawalt is a retired Waynesboro postal carrier who also has been sitting in the audience at meetings.

A political newcomer, Greenawalt said he submitted his name "because the town needs a change."

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