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OPINION: Let There Be Holiday Lights in New Hope

New Hope Free PressBy Herb Millman

In past years, holiday lights and decorations have always been hung in New Hope on the Monday following Thanksgiving.

Having been in business in New Hope for over 20 years, and as a former president and current board member of the New Hope Chamber of Commerce,  I not only know the routine, but also the players. On the next day, Tuesday, I called our public works department to find out about the holiday decorations.

I was informed that PECO is no longer is permitting anything to hang from their poles, and that all of the hardware had been removed from all of the poles in New Hope. I was also told that Public Works takes their marching orders from Borough Council, and does not question their instructions.

With that being said, the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce owns all of the snowflakes and decorations. I thought that it is too late to try to put together a decorating plan using the lights for this year, as the holidays are only a couple of weeks away.

This past Sunday, I received an email from our borough manager announcing an emergency meeting to discuss the holiday lights that was scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 5. In attendance was Borough Council President Bill Scandone, the borough manager, the director of public works, and members of various New Hope organizations. Scandone explained the situation regarding the PECO letter not allowing anything to be hung on their poles as they are the property of PECO.

Many suggestions were tossed around the table, and we were able to come up with several ideas for this holiday season. It was decided that three tall Christmas trees will be purchased, and they will be decorated and strategically placed throughout the town. We will attempt to use the illuminated snowflakes to decorate waterfront property such as Ferry Street Park, as well as the promenade connecting the Bucks County Playhouse and future Playhouse Inn.

Also, the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce is trying to put together a holiday decorating contest.

My suggestion is that all of the downtown merchants and residents decorate their properties to the max, so that New Hope can have a merry and bright Holiday Season.

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Free Press.)


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  • Hmmm I’d love to see how this plays on the CBS Morning News…”NO HOLIDAYS WREATH LIGHTS ANYMORE ON NEW HOPE POLES”, SAYS PECO AFTER 40 YEARS. “A spokesperson for PECO…a Mister Grinch!…told this reporter that, “We can no longer afford to cover the cost of all that electricity and that it’s all Obama’s fault” (fake news report-FYI)

  • I’d like to see that letter from PECO. I’m curious to know what prompted PECO to make their decision and did New Hope know that they were doing something illegal all along.

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