GLEN ROCK, Pa. (WHTM) – In an ongoing controversy over whether a resident can play an amplified recording of “Taps” every night in a York County borough, the man behind it and the borough council have issued a joint statement.
Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania threatened Glen Rock with a federal lawsuit if the Lt. Commander Joshua Corney could not continue playing the recordings.
In a letter, the ACLU said the “short musical ritual is expression protected by the First Amendment.”
The following joint statement was released Friday:
The Glen Rock Borough Council and Lt. Commander Josh Corney have come together for this joint statement regarding the escalating issues related to the playing of Taps in Glen Rock.
The Glen Rock Borough Council and Lt. Commander Corney would like to address the threats to their community, themselves and their families, and local businesses. We all understand that this issue has stirred deep, emotional responses from the public regarding this matter. Both Glen Rock Borough Council and Lt. Commander Corney agree that ensuring and maintaining peace and safety in their community is of the utmost importance.
The Borough Council and Lt. Commander Corney are actively discussing and diligently working together towards a resolution that will be acceptable to all involved, and hope to have such a solution very soon.
We respectfully request an end to the threats, vandalism, intimidation, hateful discord, and references to violence in order to allow us a safe place to reasonably discuss and consider the issues without fear of reprisal or retaliation.
Such threats of violence are contrary to what we are all trying to achieve, and they distract from the process of coming to a positive resolution of the matter for the entire community that will allow us all to honor our fallen veterans.
Borough council last month decided to enforce a nuisance ordinance, with fines of $300 for each violation, and asked former councilman Joshua Corney to limit his playing of the amplified recording to Sundays and recognized flag holidays. The council said it had received two formal complaints about the volume and frequency of the recording since March 2016, after Comey installed a loudspeaker system for the nightly playing of “Taps” from his five-acre property.
The council has said its decision was not “a reflection of anti-American beliefs or a lack of respect for those who serve our country.” In a statement issued after its decision, it said three of five council members who voted on this issue are veterans of the armed forces, as are the residents who filed the complaints.