April 16, 2014 —
HONESDALE, PA — At its April 14 meeting, the Honesdale Borough Council appointed John “Jack” Bishop to serve as mayor of Honesdale for the remainder of Ed Langendoerfer’s unexpired term; Langendoerfer resigned on April 1, citing long frustration with police department concerns, a fractious council and lack of progress on key issues.
At the same meeting, absent Councilperson Tiffany Kominski tendered her resignation from the council by a letter dated April 14. Elected in November 2013, Kominski cited “good-old-boy” council politics as a barrier to resolving longstanding key issues. Council President James Brennan immediately refuted Kominski’s claim, saying that he had personally treated her with nothing but the utmost respect during her three-month tenure.
The four mayoral candidates, Bishop, Sandra DeGroat, Michael A. Jones Jr., and Tina Pineiro, each addressed the council, providing some personal background, stating their reasons for seeking office and mentioning what they hoped to accomplish while in office. Three of the candidates are lifelong Honesdale area residents, Pineiro being the exception. Stating that she had lived in one location for all of her life before moving to Honesdale 10 years ago, Pineiro said she chose to live in Honesdale because of its exceptional character and quality of life. Noting that she has since observed a marked decline in that quality of life, she stated that she believes all of Honesdale’s challenges can be remedied.
Bishop’s remarks summarized his view of the pressing issues currently threatening the borough’s welfare: the ascendancy of Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, high unemployment, a preponderance of low-wage jobs, rising crime, high cost of living, an increasingly high proportion of retirees and those dependent on public support—a collective portrait of the challenges currently faced by the nation as a whole—and failure of the council to reach consensus on reaction to those challenges. The other candidates echoed Bishop’s sentiments, all noting that Honesdale has known better times, and reiterating his wish for revitalization of Main Street.
Bishop retired in 2013 from 12 years of service with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, his second career. Prior to that, he spent 31 years teaching special education in the Wayne Highlands School District, also serving as principal of the Lourdesmont School for Children. He accepted the council’s appointment with a gracious nod to the other three candidates, stating that any one of them would have been an equally worthy choice for mayor, and he urged them all to support Honesdale through service on one of the borough’s many committees.
The council then disposed of two administrative tasks by passing resolutions to advertise for candidates to fill the council vacancy created by Kominski’s resignation and to bring the borough into compliance with state law regarding unclaimed property policy. State law stipulates that found property will be held in police or borough custody for 90 days. If unclaimed within that period, it will be turned over to the finder.
Meeting minutes and full text of resolutions can be found at honesdaleborough.com.