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A gentleman mayor

Barlup stepping down soon, after 17 years at helm

Barlup stepping down soon, after 17 years at helm

December 18, 2005|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, PA. -

According to state Rep. Pat Fleagle, "All anyone needs for a definition of a gentleman is look at Louie Barlup."

Barlup, 79, will step down as Waynesboro's mayor on Dec. 31 after a 17-year run. He did not seek re-election.

Fleagle, R-Waynesboro, beat Barlup by two votes in the 1984 Republican primary for Waynesboro mayor and went on to win the seat in November. He took office in January 1985.

In an ironic political twist, the Borough Council appointed Barlup to replace Fleagle for the last year of his term as mayor when Fleagle won his seat in the legislature in 1988.

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Louis McClellan Barlup Jr., a retired Waynesboro school administrator, was born on a dairy farm north of Waynesboro, graduated from Washington Township schools, joined the Navy in 1944, saw duty in the Atlantic aboard ship and came home to work on the family farm for a year.

Barlup went to the then-Hagerstown Junior College in 1947, then received a bachelor's degree from Shippensburg (Pa.) University and a masters from Western Maryland College in Westminster, Md.

Barlup worked for 39 years in education, first in Washington Township, then in the Waynesboro Area School District after the district consolidated. He was principal at Waynesboro Area Senior High School for 26 years before retiring in 1990.

Barlup's local government career began with an appointment to the Borough Council to fill an unexpired term from 1960 to 1963. He returned to the council from 1965 to 1967, again appointed to fill an unexpired term.

Barlup stayed out of politics until his unsuccessful run for mayor against Fleagle in 1984.

Barlup and his wife, Jackie, moved into their home at 111 Myrtle Ave. 42 years ago. They had three children - Michael, who lives in Harrisburg, Pa.; Tracy, a Washington County veterinarian; and Louis III, who died five years ago.

Earlier this year, Barlup was one of two borough chief executives named Outstanding Mayor of the Year by the 600-plus member Association of Mayors of the Boroughs of Pennsylvania.

Barlup served for 10 years on the association's executive committee and three years as its president. He last served as president in 2003.

Pennsylvania has more than 900 boroughs across its vast expanse. Many, such as Waynesboro, have a council/weak mayor form of government.

As mayor, Barlup's chief duties, in addition to use of the bully pulpit, are supervising the borough police department, breaking tie votes on the six-member council and performing marriages.

Barlup supports Police Chief Ray Shultz, but lets him run the department, he said. He has only broken three ties in his 17 years, and has performed about 50 marriages, he said.

Barlup has performed marriages in his house, his backyard, at Renfrew Museum and Park, in Borough Hall and in private homes.

"I married my daughter and grandson," he said.

Barlup, somewhat reticent about personal aspects of his life, admitted in an interview last week that he never liked his first name.

"I always preferred Mac after my middle name," Barlup said. "I don't like Louie."

In addition to his political career, Barlup also served on a number of boards, commissions and organizations over the years.

Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger, who was hired in 1980, echoed Fleagle's reference to Barlup's qualities as a gentleman.

"He's always respected the position of borough manager and I've always respected his position as mayor," Hamberger said. "He's gentleman all the way. When you use the word gentleman, that describes Louie."

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