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Greencastle mayor pulls name off ballot

August 22, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Some Greencastle Republicans and the chairman of the Franklin County Republican Committee will interview potential nominees today for mayor of Greencastle for the Nov. 8 election.

Mayor Robert "Red" Pensinger won the May 17 GOP primary but officially has requested his name be removed from the November general election ballot.

Pensinger had a falling out with some Greencastle Borough Council members over issues with the borough police department, he said earlier this week.

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One of Pensinger's main responsibilities as mayor is overseeing the borough police department. He has been urging the council to appropriate more money for the department to add another officer and the equipment to support the position, he said.

"Some council members don't think the police department is doing its job and they don't want to give them any more money," he said.

The department has been operating with an acting chief since Chief Terry Sanders retired earlier this year.

The deadline for accepting applications for the police chief's job ended Friday, Pensinger said.

The department currently has three full-time officers and six who work part time, he said.

"I don't see any change coming," Pensinger said.

"It's like butting your head against a brick wall. This is a spur-of-the-moment thing, but when you're 72, you don't need this. If I was younger, I might handle it different," he said.

Councilman Charles Eckstine said borough police officers spend too much time patrolling in adjacent Antrim Township, which doesn't pay for the service.

"It's not fair for borough taxpayers to pay more taxes to support police services in the township," Eckstine said. "The borough has no responsibility to the township."

Antrim Township does not have its own police department.

Also, he said, the council wants the officers to do more foot patrols downtown.

"The council feels that if the police stay out of the township there would be enough officers to cover the borough," he said.

Robert Beckner, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Committee, said Friday he and some local Republicans will hold interviews with people interested in putting their names on the November ballot for the mayor's job.

So far, Beckner said, only two potential nominees are scheduled for interviews Monday. Any Greencastle Republican interested in the position may call the county's GOP headquarters in Chambersburg, Pa., at 717-263-7999, he said.

The mayor's job pays $1,500 a year, Pensinger said.

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