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'Public servant' to step down from Waynesboro council

Porter has served since late 1990s

Porter has served since late 1990s

November 29, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Retirement has come again for Allen "Al" Porter.

The 48-year Waynesboro resident has been a member of the Waynesboro Borough Council off and on for the past decade.

Porter opted not to run for re-election, and his Ward 3 seat went to uncontested Democrat Benjamin "Ben" Greenawalt in Pennsylvania's Nov. 6 election.

Porter "was and is a public servant in the true meaning of the word," Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

"If you can't do something to help somebody else in this world in some way, what's the use of living?" Porter asked.

Porter, of 932 Sunset Ave., filled a vacancy on the borough council in the late 1990s, then won a four-year term. He announced in March 2003 that he would not seek another term.

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However, his successor resigned early and the local Republican committee selected Porter as the party's nomination for ballots in November 2005.

Porter, with a 12-vote margin, won the seat and has since been serving on the council.

Now 88 years old, Porter said he considered running for another term, but wasn't sure he would want to be a councilman in his 90s.

"Everything he says is something you want to hold onto, and I'm going to miss that. I'm just going to really miss him," Council President Craig Newcomer said.

Porter has always researched and investigated matters before forming opinions, Newcomer said.

"He's one of those people that when he speaks, you want to listen. Finding somebody like him is a once-in-a-lifetime thing," he said.

An interest in the community's vitality originally brought Porter to the board.

"This is a nice town to live in, and we want to do everything we can to keep it that way," he said.

Porter's most recent stint on the council has included overseeing the street committee. He said he is especially proud of the work to redesign Center Square and improve the flow of vehicles through synchronized traffic lights.

The project is on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's schedule for 2008.

"We see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel," Porter said while recapping the history of the longtime project.

Engineered traffic light plans have been completed by PennDOT and are being reviewed by the borough.

"The new plan would call for the traffic lights to be centrally controlled," Porter said.

Porter, an inquisitive and welcoming former Pentagon employee, said he would recommend service on the council to others, despite the frequent phone calls of criticism and few of praise.

"There are a number of retirees who have unused talents and capabilities who would be well advised to run a couple of tours on the borough council," he said.

Porter also has been involved with or is working with the Rotary Club of Waynesboro, Hearthstone Retirement Home, AARP IRS tax-aid program, Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library, Occupational Services Inc. and Easter Seals.

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