JOHNSTON, PA – After another long, obscenity-filled tirade by John A. Clanchar is against an ordinance proposed by the Southmont Borough Council that would essentially prevent him from storing his large trailers on the street, the council unanimously approved the ordinance — effective immediately.
Violations of the law carry a fine of between $100 and $500, and owners of violating vehicles are subject to criminal proceedings before a district judge. The car may also be towed at the owner’s expense, as stated in the decree.
The decree requires delivery trucks to move without delay upon completion of the receiving or delivery process, and requires contractors to move vehicles upon completion of services for a period not exceeding eight hours. The ordinance also addresses trailers, dumpsters or storage cabins placed on streets near residences that require them.
Clanchar, 46, his father, John G. Clanchar, and his mother, Joarlyn Clanchar, of the 100 block of Dahlia Street, spoke Monday during the public comment portion of the council meeting before the vote. The proposed ordinance was announced last month and was drafted after complaints from neighbors, some of whom attended the meeting Monday.
Carol Hickman lives across the street from the Clanchars’ residence, behind one of the trailers.
The 69-year-old widow and pastor of a local Methodist church said she was grateful the council was willing to enact an ordinance removing the trailers. However, I also enumerated instances in which I felt harassed by John A. Clanchar. She spoke about his language towards her after a previous encounter, last month, when she was exiting the building and he shouted “F-ng Christian,” and spoke about the “artwork” he had placed in the courtyard, which she said was painted with obscenities regarding women.
Clanchar doubled down on the obscenity when he had his time to speak during the public comment portion by naming words he had drawn on barrels in his yard, drawing gasps and objections from people in the crowd.
What Clanchar sought to express about the decree was lost in the liberal use of the F-word and at times his raised voice, which elicited groans from listeners. He asserted what he believed to be his First Amendment right.
Southmont attorney Michael Carbonara intervened.
“Provide us with the information you need to give us,” Carbonara said. “You’re smart enough that you can use other words than the ones you use.”
“You’re right,” Clanchar replied. But do you know why I chose not to? Because it annoys everyone and you know what annoys me? “When people come down to town council meetings and (swear) and groan until an ordinance is passed, it stinks.”
At Clanchar’s home, there are three trailers parked in the street and a Corvette with an old, historic license plate parked behind one of the trailers, none of which are moving, according to neighbors’ testimony over past encounters. Clanchar declined to specify how often the vehicles move.
The items were previously parked in a paper alley next to his home until he lost a legal dispute with a neighboring property owner. He then moved them into the street, causing friction with other neighbours.
He said his actions since then were a protest against his inability to park in the alley.
After Clanchar’s sermon Monday, Stephen Chesko, of Cheney Oak Drive, spoke and identified himself as a retired U.S. Marine.
“You’re wrong,” Shesko said to Clanchar. “Don’t use that kind of language in public. You’re offending me. You’re offending people… I think with the women here, the old women, the Christian women… you’re completely wrong. I wish the police would jump in and throw handcuffs on you and drag you out of here.” . This is my opinion.”
Sam Ross, of Violet Street, who opposed the Clanchar family’s trailers, described times when he said Clanchar’s men tried to intimidate him.
“I’m not intimidated, so it’s not going to work,” Ross said. “It’s all intimidation. … They deal with intimidation, and then they want to roll their eyes and play the victim. You can’t have it both ways. … When you cause this kind of situation for a community, you affect everyone in the neighborhood. Everyone up and down the street is affected “Dahlia. The value of their property is affected. Their peace of mind has been affected.”
He told the council: “We need you as an official body to confront this matter.”
The council voted unanimously to approve Ordinance No. 545, which prohibits the parking of large vehicles, trucks and trailers on town roads.
When Clanchar walked out of the building, followed by a police officer, Carbonara informed several members of the public who were present that the town council had informed Cambria County Prosecutor Gregory Neugebauer of Clanchar’s actions during the meetings.
Carbonara said Neugebauer must give approval to officers of the West Hills Regional Police Department to charge Clanchar in such situations at public meetings or for the type of obscenity publicly displayed in his yard.
“If you feel strongly about the language that’s happening here, and you want to do something about it — this council and I are willing to do something about it — but we can’t do that without the support of the district attorney, so I will recommend that you call his office and ask him,” Carbonara said. “Do something.”
Carbonara urged meeting attendees who have concerns about conduct at the meeting to contact Neugebauer.