Laurels & lances: Volunteers, Right to Know and Old Glory
Laurel: To volunteer emergency responders.
You spent the weekend not with your families, but in the pouring rain helping your fellow community members. You sacrificed your personal time to pump basements, rescue people stranded in their cars and houses, cut down trees that were blocking roads, evacuate residents, and get updates out on social media while the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon hit the area.
The deluge of water has stopped but your work is not done as residents begin the process of cleaning up. Your selfless dedication is not overlooked. We thank you.
Lance: To Irwin Councilwoman Gail Macioce, who responded this week to Irwin deputy fire Chief Shawn Stitely’s repeated requests for borough budgets from previous years by telling him the fire department can have copies of the budgets when the department turns over a check for money it owes the borough.
Macioce did not say it was just a joke. Neither did any of the other council members nor Zachary Kansler, the borough’s solicitor, remind Macioce that municipal budgets are a matter of public record. The fire department, like citizens, are allowed to obtain copies of the budget without having to give the borough something in return — say a reimbursement.
The conversation came on the heels of meetings between borough officials and fire department representatives over the ambulance service’s extra fuel expenditures. Council became concerned a few months ago when the ambulance service started transferring patients between health care facilities, resulting in the borough paying higher fuel costs. Council says the fire department owes $2,200 for the extra fuel.
Maybe the fire department should give Macioce a copy of Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Act if they meet to discuss the budget Sept. 18.
Laurel: To Greensburg City Council members, who decided there should not be a limit on the size of your American flag.
On Monday, council adopted a banner ordinance that exempts American flags from size regulations. The move came after someone pointed out the large American flag flying at the new Gander Outdoors store off Mt. Pleasant Road, city administrator Kelsye Milliron said.
While the ordinance requires that banners be no more than 50 square feet in size, Mayor Robert Bell said the ordinance does not pertain to the American flag. Gander Outdoors flies a 40-by-80-foot American flag in front of the store.
The city did the right thing by protecting everyone’s right to show their patriotism. Large or small, long may she wave.