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Borough Council Members Defend Borough Staff

Gettysburg Borough President Jake Schindel and Council Member Patti Lawson both expressed their support for borough staff members at Monday’s council meeting.

The statements published here have been slightly edited.  The complete statements can be seen here.

Jake Schindel:

“We elected officials are elected by the public and we should absolutely take criticism all the time for what we do. However, I do feel it is misappropriated on our staff often and I think that is incorrect. It should always lay in the elected officials.  I feel that all of us here have the utmost respect and are whole-heartedly behind all of our staff here. I think it is inappropriate when in publications and otherwise the staff is called out for certain things. They are here because of us and we should be here to support them.”

Patricia Lawson:

“I’m speaking for myself, not as a member of borough council.

I’m very proud to serve on borough council. I saw a column by the publisher of the newspaper.  I think at this time we really need to lean on one another as residents and citizens of Gettysburg and also Americans.

I think it’s a time for civility if we’re going to try to put to rest some of the unrest that’s been in this country and even as we have seen in our own borough and out at the national park back on July 4.

I was dismayed by that column last week because I thought it had a very bullying tone and a threatening tone. The staff at the borough are some of the finest people I’ve known.  I’ve worked at different institutions. This is one of the smallest staffs I’ve ever seen and the most loyal and hard-working.

My colleagues on borough council – we do not always agree. We represent different parties. We come at problems and solutions from different points of view. This is a council that regardless of what our political backgrounds are there is no personal agenda that I have seen from any of my six colleagues or the mayor.

We were elected by the public –  by our neighbors and friends and citizens in the borough. 

This is a group that is fiscally responsible. We take our responsibility seriously. 

I want to assure the public that we are putting the borough first and foremost because we are taxpayers and residents of this borough and you elected us. If people have concerns or issues about the borough I would hope they would come to the borough council members, especially our president and vice president, if there are questions.  The borough staff does not operate alone or on their own.  They operate and report to the borough council. I don’t like to see our staff bullied or threatened in any way.

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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