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Washington Township supervisors, WTMA to meet up this week

January 28, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The embattled Washington Township Supervisors and Washington Township Municipal Authority (WTMA) have a sit-down session scheduled for Tuesday, and early drafts of the agenda reflect dozens of items to be discussed.

The public meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. in the municipal offices on South Welty Road.

Supervisors Chairman Carroll Sturm recently took an early step in a process that could eventually dissolve the WTMA, which manages the township's water and sewer systems. WTMA generates its revenue from developers' fees and its customers' payments for services.

One WTMA board member fired back last Wednesday, saying Sturm has a "personal vendetta" against the municipal authority.

"You have the absolute right to dissolve WTMA, (but) I encourage you to think long and hard about the consequences and the motive," C. Stewart McCleaf said.

McCleaf, a former supervisor who remains on the WTMA board, encouraged the other four supervisors to resist "the whim of one individual with an ax to grind."

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Sturm sought legal advice on converting the WTMA, which formed in 1979, into a lease-back authority, running the system with township employees. He has accused WTMA of not planning for the future and not being forthcoming with information about its operations.

"I've been supportive of Carroll in his efforts to have another set of eyes looking at the water situation," Supervisor John Gorman said.

Richard Auginbaugh, of North Landis Avenue, cautioned the supervisors against making any decision that could raise taxes.

"At the present time, it takes three of my annual Social Security checks to pay the property taxes on my house," he said.

Wayne Fry, of Old Mill Road, criticized Sturm for seeking an attorney's advice and said the decision-making process could be pricey for taxpayers.

"He can't get his own way, so he wants to take his ball and bat and go home," Fry said. "Mr. Sturm, if there was an election tomorrow, you wouldn't stand a snowball's chance."

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