NEWS

Letters fly between borough and citizen

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

The Borough of Greencastle and a resident have exchanged letters since the council meeting of Aug. 5. At the meeting, which coincidentally included an agenda item on adopting standards of decorum regarding public comment, citizen H. Duane Kinzer addressed the board on a variety of issues.

He was most adamant that the borough enforce its ordinances in a timely manner. That included weeds, sidewalks and property maintenance. Kinzer spoke for 20 minutes, and during that time raised his voice and used language the council later said was inappropriate.

He received a letter dated Aug. 8 from borough solicitor Samuel Wiser Jr., that said the passed resolution allowed five minutes per person for comments, and that people should follow the chain of command, first bringing concerns to borough manager Susan Armstrong. If a resolution was not found, council president Charles Eckstine should be contacted.

“The Borough of Greencastle has a longstanding relationship with you,” wrote Wiser to Kinzer, a former council member and president, “and values the numerous contributions that you have made and continue to make to the community. (It) desires to advance the objectives of the community in a respectfully passionate and cooperative manner. Your cooperation is appreciated.”

Kinzer said of the missive, “They are trying to suppress the public. The five-minute limit should depend on the topic.”

He didn’t like the fact that he shouldn’t talk to council directly about the ordinance enforcements. “I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

He admitted he might have used colorful language but “it wasn’t a four-letter word. I apologized to Susan.”

He responded with a letter of his own on Aug. 20, intended for borough council and Wiser. His rebuttal included examples of his interactions with the borough, and accusing the board of “picking and choosing” which ordinances to enforce through the years.

As president of Greencastle-Downtown Inc., Kinzer wrote, “We continue on our mission to improve our downtown and Greencastle-Antrim. We have a lot of ideas (which) were presented to council while I was still a member. They have taken a position to suppress public comment.”