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Greencastle councilman resigns

March 02, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- Greencastle Borough Councilman Christopher Grimm resigned his council seat Monday after just two years in the position.

In a letter dated Feb. 2, Grimm tendered his resignation from council effective March 31.

He cited increased responsibility at work as his reason for leaving the council.

"I will resign my Borough Council seat in order to take on more responsibility at my employer," he wrote. "It has been my pleasure working with each of you and serving the borough, however, my priorities must shift in order to provide more time for my new role."

Grimm was absent from the council meeting Monday but the four present members, Michele Emmett, H. Duane Kinzer, Craig Myers and Charlie Eckstine, unanimously accepted his resignation.

Solicitor Melissa Dively, of the firm Salzmann Hughes in Chambersburg, Pa., said previously that the council has 30 days to fill a vacancy from the effective date of resignation.

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Council President Eckstine said he did not know why Grimm dated his letter more than a month prior to the meeting Monday and set the effective date of his resignation to be more than a month in the future.

Eckstine said he received the letter Monday.

The effective date of Grimm's letter caught the council off guard as it debated with Borough Manager Ken Womack and Mayor Robert Eberly about the exact start of the 30 days, according to the law.

If the 30 days begin when the letter was accepted, the council would need to schedule a special meeting to fill the vacancy, Womack said, as the next regular meeting falls 35 days later.

If the 30 days begin after the effective date of Grimm's resignation, the council could fill the position at its April 6 meeting.

The borough solicitor was not present Monday. Womack said he has adopted a policy of only inviting a solicitor when a solicitor is needed, and he did not foresee the need for a legal opinion at the meeting.

The council adjourned at 9:10 p.m. Monday without specifying when it will fill Grimm's seat.

Eckstine said that anyone who is interested should submit a letter of intent and list of qualifications as soon as possible.

Grimm, who works for First National Bank of Mercersburg (Pa.), joined the seven-member council in January 2007 as an appointee to fill the seat of Kate Deater, who resigned for personal reasons.

Grimm pursued politics, he said, because he wanted to work toward preserving the things that make Greencastle unique.

"I don't have an agenda," he said in early 2007. "I want to work on ensuring Greencastle remains Greencastle."

In the 2007 general election, he won a four-year term on the council and while two years still remain on his term, Womack said Grimm's seat will be up for election in November. Unless re-elected, whomever the council appoints will only serve through the end of 2009.

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