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Council votes to replace president

July 21, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Borough Council President Charles "Chip" McCammon was voted out as president on Wednesday by fellow councilmembers angered over his unilateral decision to remove Councilman Dick George as chairman of the council's street committee and replace him with newcomer Stephen Monn.

Councilman Harold Mumma, who leaves office in December after losing the May 17 primary, was voted in as McCammon's replacement.

McCammon left the meeting immediately after it ended, saying he had no comment. "I just want to go home," he said.

His decision to replace George came to light when several residents questioned his reason for removing George.

"I'm not going to answer that. I felt it was better for the community," McCammon said.

He said George refused McCammon's request to take over the property and public safety committee.

"He refused and that's where it stands. This is the president's call," he said.

McCammon criticized George for pushing to have a stop sign installed at the intersection of West Third and South Church streets.

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"He'd have signs all over Third Street. We do things for the whole community, not just a handful of people on Third Street. I thought it was better to get him off," McCammon said.

McCammon also said he felt George wanted the job.

"I have no interest in being president," George said.

The street committee tried to address issues of all the people, he said.

Mumma said he received calls from residents asking that George be reinstated. Mumma requested a poll of councilmembers.

Monn, who was just appointed to the council last month to fill a vacancy, said he told McCammon he didn't want to chair the street committee.

"I told you I felt uncomfortable and tried to refuse, but you wound up appointing me anyway," he told McCammon.

George, as street committee chairman, led the effort to start a major repair of borough streets, a project for which the council voted to float a nearly $10 million bond issue to finance.

Work on the project is under way.

Councilwoman Lorena Newcomer said she didn't like the fact that McCammon acted on his own without consulting the other members. When she asked him to rescind his actions, McCammon said, "No way."

George said he was appalled by McCammon's actions.

"It's either a council of six or a council of one. You have no feelings for the other members," he told McCammon.

McCammon's retort: "I don't care."

The councilmembers voted to reorganize once they learned from Lloyd Reichard, borough solicitor, that they could legally do so.

George nominated Mumma, Cook seconded, the council voted and Mumma and McCammon traded seats.

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