Chambersburg: Coffman is new Council president

Allen Coffman is Chambersburg’s new Borough Council president, replacing Alice Elia during a reorganizational meeting Monday night.

Elia is a six-year veteran council member, becoming the borough’s first female council president two years ago. Coffman, a 28-year Council veteran, served as council president several years ago. He won reelection last November in a general election that saw a reversal of council’s political majority.

That reversal created a Republican majority on Council this month, something that caused tension later in the meeting. The now-Democratic minority accused their Republican counterparts of meeting secretly and plotting to remove Democrats from key committees and boards.

The reorganization and election came after Magisterial District Judge Glenn Manns administered the oath of office to Coffman, four new Republican Council members and a new Republican mayor.

Coffman, Dominique Brown, Larry Hensley, Weston Waytow and Tom Newcomer, as well as Mayor Ken “Hockey” Hock took the oath of office in front of the raised platform where council is normally seated.

Council elected incumbent Fifth Ward Republican Bill Eyerly Jr. as its vice president. Council’s new finance chairman is Second Ward representative John H. Huber. Tom Newcomer, who also represents the Second Ward, is Council’s assistant finance chairman.

A long list of candidates for boards, commissions and committees was mostly approved unanimously. The three Democrats did question why there were so few members of their party on the list.

Council reorganizes the first Monday in January every two years. The 10-member Council representing the borough’s five wards, or neighborhoods, serve four-year terms. Half of them – one from each ward — run for election or reelection every two years.

READ: Alice Elia Heads 2020 Chambersburg Council