If there's one thing which came out of Monday night's meeting of the Honesdale Borough council, it's the fact the group needs to meet more often.
It was obvious going into the meeting it was going to be long. There was an agenda over three pages long packed with major issues like CVS Pharmacy, Tractor Supply, zoning rules and much more.
Just the public comment portion of the meeting took up well over a half hour.
When this new council formed in January, they made a change to start meeting twice per month because they had so many issues with which to deal.
And they did.
The problem is, they still have a lot of issues to deal with and it takes a lot of time.
Certainly, nobody wants to have more meetings but the need here seems obvious.
One of the reasons a second meeting is necessary is very simple: After a certain amount of time, people get tired and unproductive.
It's very difficult to sit in a small room and try to make major decisions when you've been there so long. In fact, it becomes counterproductive.
The reasoning the council used when it first formed should still apply today. The borough faces a lot of tough issues and those issues need to be dealt with in the proper manner.
We're not saying they aren't doing their best. In fact, we've seen a lot of improvements since the new members of the council came on board.
However, that doesn't mean the major issues have gone away. Monday night's meeting was an example of that as some of the same issues once again were discussed.
From zoning matters to the one-way streets, some of these issues aren't going away for a long time and that has to be recognized.
There are various ways to set up two meetings a month.
One which makes the most sense is to have the second meeting focus on business and budget matters. It makes sense because the members could reviews the expenditures and anticipated expenditures for the month and then vote on those at the regular meeting at the beginning of the next month.
This would give members time to closely review the spending, something which is critical for a borough which had to borrow $400,000 last year just to pay the bills.
It's obvious money needs to be watched closely and budget time is fast approaching. Focusing on finances at a meeting seems to make a lot of sense.
It would also give the public a chance to listen to the council discuss finances. With the current format, it's hard for members of the public to sit through a meeting that runs close to three hours. In fact, it's hard for anyone to sit through a meeting which is that long.
Page 2 of 2 - When eyes and brains get tired, people tend to gloss over things or not comprehend everything the way they should if they were fresh.
We recognize it's not an easy task being on a borough council. In fact, it's a difficult task.
However, we must also keep in mind those who are on the council chose to do so through their own free will. They signed the paperwork and campaigned for office.
That means they must take the responsibility seriously, which they seem to do, and then operate in a professional manner which is helpful for themselves and the public.
Lengthy meetings do not serve that purpose.
We urge the borough to at least consider going back to meeting twice a month because of the many issues facing members of the council. We believe it would be healthy for everyone involved, most importantly the taxpayers.