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Montgomery Borough Council adopts ‘2nd Amendment sanctuary’ status

MONTGOMERY– The Montgomery Borough Council unanimously approved of a resolution to be a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” at their teleconference meeting via Zoom recently.

Jonathan DeWald, borough solicitor, said that the organization Gun Owners of America has been bringing the Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance template around to different municipalities, including Montgomery Borough. He added that this template essentially said that it would provide monetary fines and possible imprisonment for going against the sanctuary ordinance.

He said that the borough decided to adopt a resolution just to show support toward the Constitution and that the borough will not “expend funds for enforcement of laws deemed and determined to be illegal.”

“They elected not to do an ordinance, but a resolution to show support,” he said. “It’s a middle ground. It shows support but doesn’t obligate you to do anything further than that.”

The resolution reads: “Borough Council proclaims and affirms their support of the rights afforded to citizens under the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions, including the right of its citizens to keep and bear arms; and further, that, the Borough Council will not expend funds for the purpose of enforcing laws or ordinances adjudicated to be illegal or unconstitutional.”

DeWald and other borough council members declined to comment further about this resolution.

Gun Owners of America, an activist group, is advocating the ordinances or resolutions throughout Pennsylvania and in other states. Bradford County adopted a resolution at the county level, and Buffalo Township in Union County, Jackson Township in Lebanon County and West Manheim Township in York County previously adopted resolutions at the municipal level.

“Local officials take an oath to defend our federal and state Constitutions, both of which affirm our inalienable right to self-defense,” Erich Pratt, the organization’s senior vice president, said in an editorial published by the Roanoke, Virginia, Times. “Local officials have a duty to limit their actions to their constitutionally-granted powers to secure the common good. If the state passes an unjust law, criminalizing constitutionally-protected actions, then the state should not expect local governments to enforce them.”

In another business matter, the council unanimously approved of a resolution stating that all borough recorded tapes will be destroyed after three years. This means that the borough will be currently destroying anything prior to 2017 recorded meetings.

In addition, borough council unanimously approved their Comcast Franchise Agreement, which according to Dewald was similar to last year’s though there were minor changes to the percentage that the borough will receive from that agreement.

Borough council also unanimously approved to have Lyco Hot Shot, a South Williamsport company, provide a product service to clean borough owned spaces including police cars and trucks, the borough and police buildings.

The cost for the entire disinfectant treatment would be approximately $400 if the borough was not compensated via police budget or water and sewer.

According to borough council members, the product treatment that would take place kills thousands of viruses including COVID-19.

In a different matter, council members including C. Roger McRae and Shawn Coles have brought up concerns regarding the movement of the recycling center including that the new area is a highly populated area in terms of drivers as well as businesses in the borough.

Donna Miller, borough manager and secretary, is looking into PPL’s cost and information regarding putting in a pole and electricity at the current recycling center location.

In another matter, Jon DeSantis, community member and school board member, expressed concerns about the street sweeper saying that the unit is taking a longer time to do its work down streets and is leaving reminisce from cinders causing extra clean up.

This issue is being looked into.

The borough also held an executive session prior to Tuesday’s meeting for personnel issues.

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