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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Apology brings criticism

  • TEXAS TOWNSHIP — Discussions about certificate of occupancies (CO) continued Monday night at the Texas Township Supervisors' meeting.
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  • TEXAS TOWNSHIP — Discussions about certificate of occupancies (CO) continued Monday night at the Texas Township Supervisors' meeting.
    At the previous meeting, Dec. 3, zoning officer Steve Ostrander said he pulled Rusty Palmer's temporary CO at his recreational vehicle dealership and restaurant on Route 6 in Texas Township. This came as a surprise to the supervisors as they thought Palmer still had the temporary CO.
    "I apologize for not knowing that Rusty Palmer didn't have a temporary CO," chairman Don Doney said Monday. "I was unaware and should have been. I take full responsibility."
    During the first public comment period resident John Bartron criticized Doney for his apology.
    "Your lie has come in full circle now," Bartron stated. "You are tied in so tight with him that you volunteered to lie about it. It's your responsibility to be aware. What the hell do you guys do besides sign checks twice a month? You aren't separating yourselves and we're on the hook for it."
    Supervisor Rick Southerton spoke up.
    "If Don's guilty, then I'm just as much responsible," he said. "We all thought he had one. The supervisors can't overrule anything within the labor industry codes, including COs."
    Ostrander gave his report, which also included some updated information regarding Palmer and a CO.
    "I went down with Bob Bates on the 12th and did an inspection," he said. "Bob went back on the 13th, then on the 14th we did a final inspection."
    He said that as of Monday morning he was able to issue Palmer with a CO.
    "The violations are being worked on and all of the items that were missing are there," Ostrander stated. "The part of the building that is complete doesn't have any safety violations. There is a small section of the building that isn't completed. The CO covers approximately 97 percent of the building and is strategically written so I know what is covered, room by room. The CO will be further completed after that portion is done."
    "You're always talking about Rusty's concerns," said Bartron during the second public comment period. "What are his concerns? Those people who spoke about the ordinance wouldn't have said anything if they weren't being lied to. Don't you think maybe Rusty lied to you about the sign ordinances? Rusty told you we [former planning commission] limited him when we gave him 365 feet."
    "You won't let this go and we're getting really tired of hearing about it," stated Southerton. "Nobody asked you to change a thing in your ordinance. All you had to do was meet with business owners and you didn't."
    "The root of this goes right back to the commissioners," Bartron said. "You have players playing two sides of the game. What the hell are you guys covering up? Do your homework and see what's going on."
    Page 2 of 2 - Before the situation could get worse, Doney used the gavel and the discussion was over.
    Other business
    Before the meeting began, there was a moment of silence for the victims of the Newton, Conn. shooting that took place Friday.
    The supervisors will be adopting the budget on Dec. 27 at 7 p.m.

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