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Changes aplenty at Waynesboro Borough hall

July 17, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — In a span of 11 minutes Wednesday, the Waynesboro Borough Council lost a council member, gained a council member and hired a top administrator.

The council had all its paperwork prepared and ready for the resignation of Council President Jason Stains, the appointment of Harold Mumma as his replacement on the board, and hiring of Stains as assistant borough manager.

Stains will be paid $51,938 a year.

Stains applied for the assistant borough manager position in 2010, when the council instead hired Greencastle, Pa., area resident Jason Cohen. Cohen is leaving at the end of the month for a position with the Borough of Chambersburg.

Stains, who studied public administration, resigned from his elected position Wednesday evening just moments before the council hired him as Cohen’s replacement.

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Newly appointed Council President Wayne Driscoll said when the council learned Cohen was resigning, it thought about its finalists from 2010.

Back then, Stains “was a very close second to Mr. Cohen,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll told the crowd of 13 people at the meeting that the assistant borough manager position needed to be filled quickly by someone with knowledge of the municipality’s issues.

In an interview after the meeting, Councilman Craig Newcomer gave a similar reason for not advertising for a new council member and not opening that position up to candidates.

Mumma previously served on council for several years.

“We wanted a tenured council member. ... It felt like the most logical option,” Newcomer said, saying it could take two months to interview and appoint a candidate.

Mumma, who, like Stains, lives in the Second Ward, will serve the remainder of Stains’ term, which expires at the end of the year.

Newcomer said the council discussed the personnel issues in a closed-doors session last week to formulate a plan. He said the borough’s solicitor attended that meeting and advised the council its methods were legal.

“We just thought it was the best thing to go forward,” Driscoll said.

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