Waynesboro's 'biggest issues' debated

May 06, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Storm-water management. Vacant storefronts. Cohesive vision. Barely started housing developments.

Candidates for Waynesboro Borough Council and the Washington Board of Supervisors provided a variety of answers when asked this week what they perceive to be the biggest issue facing the Waynesboro area. The question came as part of a nonpartisan forum hosted by the Waynesboro Area Democrats.

Council candidate Billie Finn, a Republican, was the first called upon to identify her perception of the biggest issue.

Seeing dozens of houses listed for sale and commercial spaces remaining vacant is disconcerting, Finn said. Also worrisome is data showing that the borough population is declining and the median income is below that of surrounding areas, she said.

"We have a lot of people working very hard in the borough, but I don't get a strong sense they have a coordinated vision," said Finn, who is a Ward One candidate.


Charles "Chip" McCammon, a Democratic incumbent looking to retain his Ward One seat, said the planned costly improvements to the borough's storm-water system are the biggest issue. He specifically mentioned the need to fix problems at the Cemetery Avenue outfall.

"We need lots and lots of money to solve that problem, and we don't have it," said McCammon, who added that he's also anxious for Center Square construction work to start.

Tiffany Shindledecker, a Democrat who is running for the one open Ward One council seat, identified the biggest issue as an undefined vision that lacks enough community input.

Citizens need to provide more comments at council meetings, she said.

Ward One council candidate Wayne Driscoll, a Republican, said he also sees the commercial vacancies and infrastructure problems.

A rebounding economy, bolstered by strong local businesses, will fix a lot of the problems, he said.

Incumbent Jason Stains, a Republican, is unopposed as he seeks another four-year term for Ward Two.

Although the council and supervisors recently finished a joint comprehensive plan, more cooperation is needed to better position the town for the future, he said.

Supervisors candidate Jeff Geesaman, a Republican, said he's concerned about a lot of development that started and didn't progress. He mentioned ground that was prepared for subdivisions and for Washington Township Boulevard.

"They're not going anywhere and not going anywhere in a long time," he said.

Dave McCarney, a Republican who is Geesaman's opponent for the one open supervisors seat, agreed with Geesaman's assessment of the township's major problem.

"We might need to plow some stuff over and reseed for a while," said McCarney, who added that residential growth was allowed to get out of hand.

Council candidate Lenore Gawf, a Republican from the First Ward, was absent from the forum.

A forum for Waynesboro Area School Board candidates will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in the Waynesboro Ambulance Squad building.

Pennsylvania's primary election is May 19.

The Herald-Mail Articles