In our weekend edition, we outlined a story, citing state officials, which indicates that residential home inspections conducted in Honesdale were apparently illegal for more than three years.


In our weekend edition, we outlined a story, citing state officials, which indicates that residential home inspections conducted in Honesdale were apparently illegal for more than three years.

To say the least, this has gotten a lot of “buzz” over the weekend from many local residents. Let’s just say our office visits, phone calls and emails were up considerably Monday morning.

The conversations have been wide ranging and the questions seem endless. The crux of the matter is what are the ramifications to Honesdale Borough if these inspections were illegal.

Here are just some of the questions:

• Are all of the inspections null and void?

• If so, are homeowners and landlords due a refund?

• If so, are they also due a new inspection and who would pay for that?

• What if there have been damages, or even loss of life, because of illegal inspections? What are those implications?

• Why does the borough continue to employ the zoning officer yet also pays another person to do commercial inspections?

• How much has this cost the taxpayers over the past several years?

• Why would the borough continue to pay out that much money while at the same time having to borrow money just to keep the borough afloat?

These are just a few of the questions which have surfaced since last Friday afternoon when the story broke. There are many more.

One of the most central is what is the current council going to do about this mess? It’s notable there have been several councils overseeing the borough since all of this has been taking place. It appears many people may be responsible for this never coming to light.

But that is irrelevant in many ways since it’s the current crop of members who now must deal with this issue and the possible ramifications.

It would appear that lawsuits could be coming over this situation. In fact, it’s hard to imagine that won’t happen.

The question becomes how many and how far can they go?

It is not hard to imagine how this happened because at one point in time, the zoning officer was qualified, or at least it appears so on the surface, to do the inspections. At that same time, he was employed by the borough.

But then it appears his certification ran out and either he did not bother to tell the council or they did not bother to ask — or both.

It’s also possible some on the council knew about this situation and may have simply kept it quiet, letting things churn along as normal.

That would just add more questions to the list.

Why would that happen? Who would do that? What would be the motivation?

These are questions which not only need to be asked and answered, but must be by the current members of the council.

The possible liability facing the borough is tremendous. It does not matter when these instances happened, what matters is the current group of council members need to take this issue very seriously and get to the bottom of what has taken place.

It would also seem that law enforcement officials should be brought into this immediately. From the beginning, this appears to have been a law enforcement matter, but it seems they have been reluctant to move forward and make some decisions. Now, there are simply no excuses.

In some manner or another, the appearance is very clear that some type of fraud has taken place against the residents of the borough. It is not up to the people getting an inspection to check credentials, it is up to the employer. That apparently did not take place.

If that means the lie detector needs to come out, so be it. If it means the handcuffs need to come out, so be it. That’s life in the big city.

What it all does mean is that someone in a position of authority needs to forget about any possible ramifications and get to the bottom of the cesspool which has been the dealings within Honesdale Borough.

The taxpayers have already had to pay a hefty price for all of this and the real possibility exists there will be more to pay. That is a shame but it does not take away the fact a complete investigation needs to commence immediately.

If anyone steps in to try and slow any of this down — or if some officials want to drag their feet and pass the buck — they need to be called on it immediately. This is a Honesdale problem and the investigation needs to start in Honesdale. If outside help is needed, fine, let’s get that going as well.

This is serious business with serious consequences. It’s time for everyone to get serious and quit walking on eggshells.