It’s one thing to try and skirt the law as an elected official. It’s an entirely different thing when you make such an admission.


But that’s exactly what happened last Friday morning at a special meeting of the Honesdale Borough. It was a really unexpected moment, and one the board members probably didn’t expect to happen.


It’s one thing to try and skirt the law as an elected official. It’s an entirely different thing when you make such an admission.

But that’s exactly what happened last Friday morning at a special meeting of the Honesdale Borough. It was a really unexpected moment, and one the board members probably didn’t expect to happen.

It came during a discussion about parking meters. At issue was why some parking meters hadn’t been installed in certain parts of town. It was also about how those parking meters had been in storage since last year when they were ordered by the borough.

But it seems the meters were not installed and simply sat in cold storage in spite of the fact the taxpayers aaare on the hook for some $33,000 for the equipment.

A question was raised during the discussion as to why the meters were not installed and further, why workers began installing them last week.

Councilman Dave Borthwick said there was a discussion at the last meeting. That drew some gasps from the audience, where some people said they didn’t remember any such discussion.

Councilman Bob Jennings then reminded the board there was indeed a decision made to install the meters during the last meeting. Unfortunately for the people of the borough, that decision was made in executive session, Jennings pointed out.

The rest of the board members sat silent when that tidbit of information was made public.
They were likely stunned — and rightfully so.

For a long time, people have suspected executive sessions by the borough council were about more than personnel. It’s probably safe to say that has been in the case for many issues.

But now, we know for a fact — by their own admission — the board conducted illegal business at its last regular meeting. That is a violation of the law.

Here’s the real rub: Every member of that council and especially Borough Solicitor Richard Henry has the duty to stop any discussions which are not appropriate for an executive session. They must speak up and tell the other members to stop the discussion.

That obviously didn’t happen and they moved forward with illegal discussions and possibly actions. Which raises another issue. Did they formally make a motion and vote or was it informal? Either way, it was wrong. In fact, the board should reverse course, say it made a mistake and redo their action.

This is not acceptable behavior and cannot be tolerated. The people of the borough cannot put up with this type of behavior. The council members should be ashamed of themselves and, at the very least, owe the people an apology. Resignations might also be considered.