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Resident asks for township supervisor to step down

June 05, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Tension was evident at Monday's Washington Township Supervisors meeting, but anger did not erupt like it did last week when a small group of residents challenged the elected officials' motives and intelligence.

On Monday, Kerry Bonner of Meadowview Avenue continued to focus a sizable portion of his frustration on board chairman Carroll Sturm, who broke a gavel last Tuesday during an argument.

"I'd like to ask for the resignation of Carroll Sturm from president of the board and the Washington Township Supervisors. He half scared me to death," Bonner said. "If he doesn't resign, I'd like the township to pay for anger management class because I think he needs it."

Sturm's fellow board members said after the meeting that they would not ask for his resignation. Sturm said he will not resign and feels he has reacted appropriately to "provocation."

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Bonner asked for a laundry list of financial information, including those tied to gasoline taxes and supervisors' expenses and salary. Township Manager Mike Christopher said supervisors are paid $65 a meeting; he and Solicitor John Lisko said Bonner needed to fill out a right-to-know form for the other items.

Bonner continued to complain about the costs of Washington Township Boulevard and a proposed municipal government complex, remarking that "your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are paying for something like this." He also mentioned the school district's $46 million high school project.

Richard Auginbaugh of North Landis Avenue described a "civic duty to confront any and all issues when government has become unrepresentative."

"I bet there isn't an individual here who doesn't feel betrayed by a level of government," Auginbaugh said.

Hostilities developed last Wednesday during an architect's presentation regarding a proposed municipal government complex that could house a senior center, the police department, administrative offices and the township municipal authority. Cost estimates have not yet been released for the project.

Some residents have already said the project is too massive, although only wish lists have been created.

Auginbaugh said there is "public anger, discontent and frustration with township government."

Washington Township Boulevard is a $14.3 million relief route being built in stages north of Waynesboro. Its first section, from Pa. 16 to Old Forge Road, is open.

Developer's traffic impact fees, levied at $2,714 for each vehicle their development "creates" during peak times, are funding the lion's share of the road. Washington Township Boulevard is designed to alleviate traffic congestion on Pa. 16.

The municipal government complex remains in preliminary planning stages with Newcomer Associates of Chambersburg, Pa., in the midst of a feasibility study. The architect is expected to present cost estimates and site plans this month.

A representative of the firm said the complex could be 83,000 square feet, built in two phases, and require almost 4.5 acres of developed land.

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