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Greencastle councilwoman hands in her resignation

December 05, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Kate Deater, a first-term member of Greencastle Borough Council, tendered her resignation from the council Monday by making a formal statement, packing her bags and leaving the already-in-progress monthly meeting.

Deater resigned after lengthy debate on public safety, an issue she referred to in her statement of resignation as critical. "It seems only appropriate that I do this now," she said.

In her statement, she also specified violations in the prescribed chain of command, and violations of the Sunshine Law as issues of "concern."

"I have been dissatisfied for some time with the direction that has been taken with some critical borough issues," Deater said. "I have tried to encourage more reflection and care with these issues, bring about some type of positive change, but I have been met with denial and resistance."

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During a discussion of public safety in Monday's meeting, Deater suggested changing how the borough enforces parking meters. Saying she suggested the change in a previous meeting, she moved to shift the responsibility of enforcing parking meters off the shoulders of borough police. Later, she amended her motion and asked the council to change the current borough ordinance to remove the responsibility from the police and place it on a hired meter worker.

"Why pay someone $15 an hour to do a $5 an hour job?" she asked.

Deater was met with opposition from council member Gerald Pool who said, "It is ludicrous to have police officers downtown and not have them enforce the meters."

Deater's resignation came as a shock to some council members, including Paul Schemel, who suggested the council allow Deater a chance to reconsider.

"I would hate to close the door on this if she is willing to reconsider," he said.

Council president Charles Eckstine said he would feel better if the council took action on Deater's resignation. The council then voted to accept her resignation.

Borough solicitor Melissa Dively said the council has 30 days to fill the vacancy.

Deater first ran for a council position in 2005, and was the only female member of council.

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