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Building inspector defends his actions

October 25, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Waynesboro's building inspector says he was only doing his job Oct. 10, but his actions that evening brought about scrutiny in a public forum.

C. Stewart McCleaf, a member of the Rouzerville (Pa.) Lions Club, addressed the Waynesboro Borough Council last week. He said he was unhappy with building inspector Mike Cermak's presence at a benefit concert earlier in the month.

Cermak was looking at Waynesboro Area Senior High School auditorium seats and taking pictures, Cermak said. That intimidated some patrons, he said.

"They thought there was something wrong with the building, and they were concerned," McCleaf said.

Cermak said he wanted to make sure the exits were accessible and areas were available for wheelchairs.

The Lions Club concert featuring The Hubcaps promised to be the largest public event in the new auditorium, Cermak said.

He said he talked to the high school principal prior to the event, and they discussed the renovated school's temporary occupancy permit.

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"I told him we'd permit the event to take place, but I'd stop in," said Cermak, whose company, Accredited Services, serves as Waynesboro borough's contracted building inspection agency.

Maintenance personnel needed to remove six seats from their bases for the event, which they did, Cermak said. Those spots are used for wheelchairs, he said.

Wheelchairs cannot block aisles, the building inspector said.

McCleaf, a former Washington Township Supervisor, said Cermak didn't tell Lions Club members why he was there, although Cermak said he did.

Borough council members forwarded the complaint to their personnel committee.

The concert drew a crowd of 900 and benefited Cameron Beckner, a Waynesboro Area Middle School student who suffered a stroke May 5.

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