— The Greater Honesdale Partnership is not taking the possible loss of the liquor store lying down.
“We need to bombard these people in Harrisburg,” said Gail Tucker, executive director of the GHP.
Just last week, officials from the Liquor Control Board announced they had made a decision to move the state-owned store from its present location on Main Street in downtown Honesdale to the plaza on Route 6 in Texas Township.
It has since been learned through local business owner Paul Meagher, Sr., that a public hearing was held in Harrisburg to discuss the issue. The problem is nobody from Honesdale was made aware of the hearing.
“If they had sent GHP a week or two notice about the hearing, I would have been down there three days early,” said Tucker.
However, she said the state did not notify GHP — or anyone else locally — about the hearing.
“The fact is we don’t want them to move it,” said Tucker.
Meagher is in agreement and has drafted a letter to Joseph E. “Skip” Brion, chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. The letter was also sent to the governor and the local elected officials.
Meagher said he was “totally shocked” by the announcement from the state the store was moving. He went on to say that Gov. Tom Corbett, as well as former governors Tom Ridge and Ed Rendell, have said that “the backbone of our country comes from Main Street small business owners and that is what makes our state and country special.”
Meagher also wrote that in the past several years, tax dollars have been designated to Honesdale to improve the infrastructure, which he said has “been very successful. For the state agency PLCB now to make a unilateral decision to move an anchor retail store from our Main Street is not a wise decision on your part as Chairman of the PLCB.”
Meagher went on to say that around 15 years ago, Wal-Mart established a retail store in Texas Township and “everybody felt it would be the demise of Main Street.”
However, he said that “residents and merchants” came together and said “that would not happen.”
The result, he wrote in the letter, is “our Main Street is now stronger than ever because of the hard work, prudent decisions and business concerns. Now for a state agency to do what is proposed is just one more reason why PLCB should be eliminated and private enterprise should take over the retailing of liquor and assorted items as Gov. Tom Corbett said would happen if he were elected governor.”
One issue which has stuck in the craw of many in the local area is the fact the liquor control board never sent anyone to this area to talk to residents and see what kind an impact such a move would have.
Page 2 of 2 - “Why in Harrisburg?” said Tucker.
Tucker went on to say that though Honesdale might be a “teenie, tiny small town” in Pennsylvania, the fact remains “we still pay your salaries,” speaking of officials in Harrisburg.
With that in mind, Tucker is asking everyone who has an opinion to let the elected leadership in Harrisburg know their feelings.
Tucker is urging people to use email to send letters, saying it will have the greatest impact on those who can make such decisions.
Here are the email addresses of those officials:
• Atty. Joseph E. Brion - RAfirstname.lastname@example.org
• Senator Lisa Baker – http://senatorbaker.com/contact.htm
• Senator Sandra Major – email@example.com
• PA. State Rep. Mike Peifer – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Governor Tom Corbett – Governor@pa.gov
If you would like to send a traditional letter or for more information, contact the GHP office at 253-5492.