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EDITORIAL: The Glen Rock compromise
Maybe we should give the Glen Rock Borough Council a crack at the state budget or even health care reform.
The elected officials of that tiny municipality, tucked in one of York County’s many nooks and crannies, recently faced an issue that divided its residents.
It was emotionally charged, black and white — one way or the highway.
No win, in other words.
Yet the council's solution was remarkably reasonable — and swift.
At issue was the nightly practice of one of its own.
Every night around 8 p.m., then-Councilman Joshua Corney, an active-duty Navy lieutenant commander, played a recording of taps through three massive loudspeakers in his backyard.
His broadcast was heard for miles, even outside the borough’s boundaries by some accounts.
For two years.
Not surprisingly, some residents didn’t appreciate his patriotic ritual.
And also not surprisingly, others loved it.
But as we mentioned before: play any tune — including “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “America, the Beautiful” or “Amazing Grace” — loud enough, often enough, and it’s going to grate on people’s nerves.
Corney claimed it was his right to do this.
We said his neighbors have a right to peace and quiet — and that doesn’t make them any less patriotic than him.
Enter the borough council.
On June 21, about a month after Corney’ taps became an issue on social media, the council unanimously decided he was violating the borough’s noise ordinance.
It was the right decision — otherwise why have an ordinance at all?
However, the council members did allow Corney to play his amplified recordings of taps every Sunday night and on “Flag Holidays" — July 4, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Flag Day and Patriots Day.
It’s a perfect compromise.
Corney’s neighbors don’t have to be bombarded, and he can still publicly announce his patriotic feelings 52-plus days a year.
Well, when was the last time you blared taps — or anything — to your neighbors?
The answer is probably "never," and that's probably because you're considerate.
After initially waffling, Corney said last week he'll abide by the restrictions "until such time as I am able to take this back to the council and fight."
He later announced he was resigning from the council.
We hope the former councilman just lets this go.
If he doesn't, we hope his colleagues stick to their very fair compromise.