Bethel needs to use scalpel approachPublished Feb 5, 2013 at 12:01 am (Updated Feb 4, 2013 at 9:23 am)
Bethel Park Council has decided to favorably act on an ordinance at its Feb. 11 meeting to place a question on the ballot to amend the Home Rule Charter (HRC) to provide a dedicated tax for the Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Company (BPVFC.)
I opposed this action and called it wrong headed. I have a long history (40 years as a councilman) of supporting our excellent, efficient volunteer fire company. However, the HRC is the constitution of Bethel Park. It is not a document to address routine business of the Council. Simply stated, the BPVFC proposal is to fund the eminent need for replacement of the a deteriorating Brightwood Road main fire station and continuing operating costs. There is no plan to have paid fire personnel. The fire company will continue to be operated by volunteers.
The method to accomplish this mission is through a bond issue. This bond issue method has been used to fund the expansion of the municipal building and the building the community center. It is used to fund the Municipal Authority that has responsibility for the sanitary sewer plant and municipal sewer lines. A new bond issue has been requested by the Municipal Authority and will be acted on very soon by council by a motion at a monthly business meeting. All of these bond issues where handled by action at the council business meetings. There is no logical reason to handle the BPVFC proposal any differently. The money will be available to the BPVFC much sooner so work on their project can be initiated.
A fellow councilman that I served with many years ago had a saying that is applicable to this situation: Don’t use an axe when a scalpel will do the job. This is a plea for council to exercise a little logic and use the scalpel approach.