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Op-Ed: Playing Politics with Safety is Disheartening

Last updated on May 7, 2021

By Jeff Woehrle
 
The recent discovery that Mount Pocono’s elected officials (and one appointed official) have attempted to use the downtown speeding problem for political gain is disheartening, but we must not lose sight of the goal of making our borough safer.
 
Many solutions have been discussed. However, for all the blinking signs, Picasso-inspired crosswalks or low-flying drones, NOTHING slows traffic quite like seeing a cop.
 
Some Pocono residents will doubtless recall what things were once like in nearby Barrett Township. Barrett had a police force that was…shall we say…aggressive in traffic enforcement. As a result, you tiptoed through Barrett. Never speed. Always a full stop. Always.
 
Unless and until Mount Pocono Borough has a police presence that is commensurate with the traffic on state and borough roads, there will be speeding and disregard for safety in this borough.
 
I was a member of the previous incarnation of Mount Pocono Borough Council, ending in December of 2017. We saw much discussion about policing in Mount Pocono. Options included adding Pennsylvania State Police to the mix, also to save the borough money. (Expenditures to Pocono Mountain Regional Police comprise roughly half of the borough budget.)
 
Sadly, then Council Member (now Council President) Claudette Williams famously said that she wasn’t willing to consider anything that put safety in the borough at risk. This was odd considering that the proposals being discussed would have INCREASED the number of cops in Mount Pocono.
 
Solving Mount Pocono’s speeding problem shouldn’t be wrangled for cheap political gain in the next election. Particularly when people are being mangled and killed as a result of this inexcusable inaction.
 
Jeff Woehrle is a long-time Mount Pocono resident. He owns and operates Woehrle’s Bait Shop Route 940 & Park Avenue in Mt Pocono. Jeff was a member of Mount Pocono Borough Council until December 2017, when he retired. While on Council, he served as Vice-President, chair of the Streets & Building Committees, and on the Borough Finance Committee. Jeff was also a member of the Mount Pocono Planning Commission.
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