A counterproductive lawsuit

Two current Honesdale Borough Council members and a former one have filed suit against the borough’s recent decision to appoint a new council member. I’m offended by this action and hereby send a large, sarcastic “thanks” to council members Brennan and Jennings for wasting public funds in defense of the lawsuit they’ve filed against the governing body of which they are members.

There was a recent vacancy on council, and candidates volunteered. Pisano (the former council member with an apparent affinity for requiring tax payers to front legal defense bills) received a split vote. Travis Rivera (an engaged community member who eventually got right to work helping address the borough’s financial challenges) received a 4-2 vote in his favor.

Pretty cut and dried. If you’ve got multiple candidates, it seems appropriate to appoint the one who gets the most votes. What’s clear and democratic to me is apparently murky to a minority of our elected council members and unfair to an aspiring member whose previous bona fides include sparing the borough grant-writing costs.

Perhaps Juanita Pisano is all about balance and would like to re-tip the financial scales by washing away some of the savings she previously afforded the borough as grant writer. Who knows? But at least Pisano is being selfish. It’s tougher to know where Brennan and Jennings are coming from.

These guys certainly aren’t acting collaboratively, which should be the expectation of membership in our representative democracy. Being party to a lawsuit over something like this feels like uncalled-for competition. It’s not building things up for the public good. It’s tearing things down for a personal vision and it degrades the public trust. That behavior needs to be called out for the pettiness it represents.

I’d have to fabricate a comparable example of absurdity—say a liquor-serving restaurant owner showed up as the lone dissenting voice at a public meeting well-attended by people in favor of a liquor license transfer to a new restaurant. That’d be equally self-serving and unnecessarily competitive.

All Honesdale residents, business managers, property owners, and passers-through who appreciate [our] town should take note of these actions by James Brennan Jr., Robert Jennings and Juanita Pisano. Whatever nonsense this activity is motivated by, it takes us back. I, for one, would like to move forward.

Online petition to end lawsuit: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/quit-it-with-the-lawsuit.

[Derek Williams is a resident of Honesdale, PA.]


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