You surely know the well-worn quote from Albert Einstein about insanity – it’s doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
While it might not precisely rise to the level of insanity, East Washington submitting yet another inquiry to South Strabane Township about taking over its police services does seem to be a fairly pointless endeavor.
Just four months ago – you know, those long-gone, musty days when the Pirates battled the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series – East Washington made a similar proposal to its neighbor, and South Strabane’s supervisors said thanks, but no thanks. That they would change their minds a mere 16 weeks later seems unlikely.
Meanwhile, the city of Washington made an eminently sensible offer to handle police services for the borough for $118,433 this year, saving borough taxpayers close to $100,000 from the $208,650 they are forking out for police protection in 2014. Nonetheless, many of the borough’s 2,500 residents and some members of council opposed it.
Now that, for sure, is a definition of insanity.
We have long advocated that municipalities in this area, and throughout the state, combine services and, perhaps, merge. It would create greater efficiency and, in the end, save taxpayer money. In the 21st century, there’s no need for the county to have more than 60 municipalities, from cities like Washington down to dot-on-the-map boroughs like Twilight.
And there’s certainly no need for a borough the size of East Washington to maintain a police department with one full-time chief and 16 part-time officers.