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Pa. code enforcement complaints 'out of hand'

September 11, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - The complainant in a matter before the Waynesboro Borough Council on Monday remarked that "this got blown out of proportion" as the council deliberated behind closed doors.

Carroll Woodring, of CW Builders, went before the council several weeks ago to share dissatisfaction with the conduct of the borough's contracted construction code inspection agency, Accredited Services Inc. His problems were overwhelmingly with company chief Mike Cermak.

"It was the issue of how he talked to my customers," said Woodring, a general contractor.

While most code inspection issues would go to the appeals board, Councilman Charles "Chip" McCammon demanded the council evaluate Cermak's job performance. The council pushed the matter off until Monday's special meeting.

At the end, Woodring and Cermak shook hands. The council's decision was to improve communications, ensure fees are posted and clear up overlapping regulations.

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"I believe it got out of hand with one of our council members inviting people in to speak against our code enforcement officer," Council President Craig Newcomer said.

In fact, area contractors and developers did share comments about Cermak and his business - only they were 2-1 in Cermak's favor.

"I feel if you do what he asks you to do, he treats you fair," said Jeff Todd, a businessman from Antrim Township, Pa.

Ira Mickley, a former building inspector in the borough, was the first person to pointedly question McCammon's personal involvement in the matter.

McCammon served as the borough's building inspector before he, in his own words, "helped (Cermak) get the business off the ground."

The pair worked together for about four months in 2004 before differing visions caused a split, Cermak said.

McCammon has made no secret of his dislike of Cermak.

When Cermak jokingly called himself a "big dummy" Monday for forgetting something, McCammon interjected that "you've got that right."

Cermak has been called upon to issue permits for the electrical work McCammon does. One duplex project has failed inspection at least four times this year, causing the pair to butt heads again, according to Cermak.

"It wasn't legal or safe, so we wouldn't pass it," he said.

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