Chambersburg Borough Council adopts gender-neutral policy to address council members

Close-Up Of Metallic Restroom Sign On Orange Wall

CHAMBERSBURG — The Chambersburg Borough Council has adopted a new, gender-neutral policy this week, according to a PublicOpinionOnline report.

As a result, each member will now be addressed as a “council member” — and not a “councilman.”

According to the Public Opinion, the policy change came after the topic came up two years ago, when people began to notice that council was still using the term “councilman” in meetings and on documents, even though the group had five male and five female members.

Council member Herb Dolaway told the Public Opinion that Chambersburg borough manager Jeffrey Stonehill brought up the topic again during a council reorganization meeting on Jan. 2.

The current council also has a 50-50 split between men and women.

The council added an item to its agenda proposing that council members be addressed in a more gender-neutral fashion. The item passed with an 8-2 vote, with council members Allen Coffman and Michael Herbert voting against it.

Coffman told the Public Opinion that he didn’t see any reason to change how council members were addressed, and added that the gender-neutral term change was the “most ridiculous” agenda item he had seen during his 24-year tenure on council.

“It’s never been an issue that I’ve been aware of,” he told the Public Opinion.