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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Despite dispute, equipment should have registrations

  • On our front page today is a story about Honesdale Volunteer Fire Department vehicles.
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  • On our front page today is a story about Honesdale Volunteer Fire Department vehicles.
    More specifically, there was a discussion on Monday night which revealed at least one fire truck had an expired vehicle registration.
    This is unbelievable.
    How could this happen?
    It appears there is a difference of opinion between officials with the borough and at least some fire department officials.
    At issue is who exactly owns the fire equipment — the departments or the borough.
    Borough council last year passed a motion that all fire funds be given to the fire departments and they, in turn, would be responsible for all expenses which apparently includes registering the vehicles.
    But Monday night, the assistant fire chief said he believes the council should have had discussions with the elected officers of the fire departments before making any decisions.
    Meanwhile, at least one fire truck has been operating illegally.
    That really appears to be a double standard because it seemed there was common knowledge among the elected officials this was the case.
    How can a borough operate a police force that can enforce registration violations all the while knowing one of its own vehicles is not registered? And possibly more.
    What seems more ludicrous is the fact because fire vehicles are considered municipal in Pennsylvania, there is no charge for registration. A simple 10 minute process on the internet can register the vehicle.
    Something doesn't smell right about this entire situation.
    What appears wrong is either a lack of communication or a desire not to properly communicate on the part of some people involved.
    Whatever the case, it needs to get fixed.
    Fire protection is one of the most important aspects of public safety.
    At the same meeting, officials moved a step closer to requiring commercial businesses to purchase a "knox box" which would give firefighters easier access in case of an emergency.
    Are they going to show up in an unregistered vehicle?
    Somewhere along the line, it seems the cart has been put before the horse.
    Before the council even thinks about handing down yet another unfunded mandate to businesses, they had better get their own business in proper order.
    Council president F.J. Monaghan said the matter "must" be "settled." That is the understatement of the year.
    Taxpayers have already endured an inadvertent tax increase from the council and now we have this situation.
    Members must always remember they are spending the money of the taxpayers and it is their obligation to make sure that is done properly.
    Page 2 of 2 - Getting the fire equipment properly registered could be done by a trained monkey. No matter the issues involved, this step should have been taken in spite of the disagreements.
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