Millersburg Borough Council released the following statement the afternoon of March 17 regarding the planned event requested by Gene Stilp and scheduled for next week:
‘‘Millersburg Borough Council considered legal advice, previous court decisions supporting Gene Stilp’s first amendment rights, and after lengthy discussion, took no position with respect to the proposed 15-minute demonstration.
‘‘This decision to take no position recognizes Mr. Stilp’s right to freedom of speech, while at the same time does not convey support or endorsement of the activities proposed and protects the financial health of the borough and, therefore, retains taxpayer dollars for positive projects within the borough.
‘‘A Google search will indicate that Gene Stilp has traveled to many municipalities to conduct similar demonstrations to what he intends to conduct in Millersburg Borough. Some of those municipalities, including Harrisburg City, Middleburg Borough, and Mifflinburg Borough, to their financial detriment have settled lengthy lawsuits by paying settlement amounts of tens of thousands of dollars to Gene Stilp, based partially on his claims that the municipality violated his free speech rights by restricting his constitutional right to demonstrate in this manner.
““The time, date, and location listed in The Upper Dauphin Sentinel’s March 16 edition is correct. The demonstration location is not near any schools, nurseries, any youth oriented institutions, or our veterans memorials. The municipal and state police have been notified about this demonstration and will monitor the situation.’’