Glen Rock Borough Council issues statement regarding ‘Taps’ policy

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GLEN ROCK, York County — The Glen Rock Borough Council on Friday issued a statement clarifying its decision to restrict the playing of “Taps” by a former councilman and Glen Rock resident.

Earlier this month, the council restricted the playing of the song to Sundays and holidays.

Fox 43 reported in April that Joshua Corney, a naval lieutenant commander, installed a loud speaker on his property to play a 57 second recording of ‘Taps’ each night at 8 p.m. to honor current and fallen service members. He first began playing the song in 2016.

After receiving noise complaints from some residents, the Borough Council said in its statement that it attempted several avenues of compromise with Corney before finally settling on the current policy, which it stresses does not reflect any anti-American beliefs or lack of respect for those who serve in the military.

The council’s full statement reads as follows:

“Due to recent publicity, the Glen Rock Borough Council would like to clarify their decision to enforce the Borough nuisance ordinance No. 450 as it pertains to the nightly playing of an amplified recording of the song Taps by a former Borough Councilman and current Borough resident. The Council received its first formal complaint during the March 2016 meeting and has pursued several avenues of compromise since that time to no avail. During the June 2017 Council meeting another resident formally complained regarding the volume and frequency of the amplified recording, Council thoroughly evaluated this practice with respect and civility, in an open, public meeting, as it relates to the ordinance.

In order to evaluate the complaint’s relation to the ordinance in an objective manner, Council undertook thorough analysis of the specific factual situation, and did so with a view that only amplified sound volume, not content was being regulated. By unanimous decision, the frequency of playing and the amplification of the sound was found to be in violation of ordinance No. 450 and the complaint was found to be valid. It is important to note that the Borough Council enforced a neutral law of general applicability which was enacted for health and welfare issues of its Borough residents.

Council fully understood the wide popularity of the playing of Taps in Glen Rock at the time of this decision. In recognition of the sensitivity and personal nature of the subject matter, however, Council sought and offered a compromise for all parties. The recording of Taps may be amplified, at its current volume or lower, via the commercial loudspeaker system on Sundays and on recognized flag holidays. It should be noted that the playing of music from one’s residence unamplified is not restricted by the ordinance. It is Council’s understanding that there were no complaints prior to the installation of the amplification system.

In no way is the Council’s decision a reflection of anti-American beliefs or a lack of respect for those who serve our country and in no way is the decision of Council a commentary on their feelings regarding Taps. Three of the five members of Glen Rock Borough Council who voted on this issue are veterans of the armed forces, as are the residents who filed the complaints.