Council, Public Clash On New Rules

By Dave Greber

Council, Public Clash On New Rules

February 15, 2012 Updated Feb 15, 2012 at 12:37 AM EDT

Montrose Borough, PA (WBNG Binghamton) Longtime council members in Montrose Borough declined to comment on a decision Tuesday to better control public meetings, making a quick decision, and then leaving just as fast as they arrived.

At issue was whether the council, facing a rapidly growing interest in their decisions, should adopt new rules for the use of video and audio recording equipment.

Despite several objections about the new rules from the audience, which included borough residents and others in neighboring townships, the measure was approved 6-1.

Tuesday's agenda was a reaction to a meeting last week, when members of the council, led by President Tom Lamont, walked out in protest to someone using a video camera to record the proceedings.

Tuesday night, council members left the meeting quickly, pushing past reporters; in at least one instance, physically.

Julanne Skinner, who cast Tuesday's lone dissenting vote, said she was disappointed with her fellow council members' behavior toward the public.

"The way this was put together, it seems to me, is an intent to contravene the ability of the public to be informed," Skinner said. "I feel that it was ramroded through. There wasn't enough time for discussion. More points should have been discussed."

The borough's next public meeting is set for Monday, when the council is expected to consider an issue that many have said has divided the small Pennsylvania town: The use of a privately-owned water spigot in the borough that's being used to supply water to residents along Dimock Township's Carter Road.