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Glen Rock council talks 'Taps'

Written by Teresa Boeckel/The York Daily Record | Jul 20, 2017 5:25 AM
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Lt. Commander Joshua Corney, center, and other Glen Rock residents say the pledge of allegiance to open a borough council meeting Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Chris Dunn, York Daily Record

(Glen Rock) -- The playing of "Taps" could be moved to Glen Rock Park as part of a compromise being discussed between the borough council and U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Corney, who has been playing the military song over a loudspeaker system.

Council president Doug Young announced the proposal at the beginning of the meeting Wednesday night. Nearly 100 residents filled the Glen Rock EMS building, and the crowd clapped as both sides of the issue were presented. Several police officers stood in the back of the room during the meeting.

Young explained that it would move the source of the sound away from the complainants. The park, which is on top of a hill, is owned by the borough, and the equipment would be maintained by the municipality. It would be in concert with Corney, and talks have begun about a partnership with the American Legion.

Motorcyclists rally in Glen Rock for local 'Taps' player | 4:00Motorcyclists supporting the daily playing of "Taps" by a Glen Rock man roared onto the Freedom Armory grounds, just before the nearby borough council discussed the issue. GORDON RAGO

 

"It's a public place for people to gather, listen and pay their respects as so many people want to do," Young said.

Young said the parties hope to have a solution that is suitable for everyone soon. Witold "Vic" Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, who is representing Corney, said outside of the meeting that a resolution could take a month or two.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania has threatened a lawsuit if the borough does not lift its limitation on playing an amplified recording of the song to Sundays and flag holidays. The council voted unanimously Wednesday night to suspend enforcement while the negotiations are ongoing.

Some residents thanked Corney for playing an amplified recording of the military song.

"Mr. Corney's playing of 'Taps' is not a nusiance, and it is not noise," Glenn Engler said. "It is a profound display of respect which we all ought to share." 

He received a standing ovation.

Others, however, said it's not about the song. It's about how loud it is being played.

"It was always -- and still is  -- the volume," Becky Thomason said.

Some residents said they like the proposed solution being pursued. l it

"This was not Fort Glen Rock," she said.

Corney thanked the council for working toward a resolution during the meeting. 

Many men and women have sacrificed so much for this country, he told the crowd.

"I'm not doing this for my ego. I'm not doing this for myself," he said. "The reason why I do it is because I want to take some time out each day to say thank you to those that sacrificed so much."

He also said no matter what resolution he and the council come to, there is no cause to intimidate or make threats on either side.

The crowd clapped.

Vacant council seat

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Corney resigned from borough council last month.

The council has 30 days to appoint someone to fill the seat, said Nikki Suchanic, director of elections and voter registration for York County.

His two-year seat was on the ballot in the primary, but no one ran for it, Suchanic said. 

If the seat remains vacant after the November election, the council will have to appoint someone to fill it.

 
This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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