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A report in today's Gettysburg Times highlights the ongoing horse carriage debacle.
Evidently, one company is running without a permit.
"Horse carriage operator complains to council"
BY SCOTT PITZER
Times Staff Writer
A horse carriage operator in downtown Gettysburg — Windmill Carriage Company proprietor Harold Patterson — isn’t happy with the antics of his primary competitor.
Patterson contends that Gettysburg Carriage Company, led by Jeff Young, has been operating recently without valid licenses or permits.
“It’s very unfair,” Patterson told Gettysburg Borough Council during its monthly session Monday night.
Council promised to help Patterson.
“Next weekend, we’ll try to have (authorities) out there to enforce the ordinance,” board president Theodore H. Streeter told Patterson. “I apologize. You shouldn’t be the one that suffers.”
Young couldn’t be reached for immediate comment Monday evening.
“I keep getting pushed around,” continued Patterson. “It seems like no one wants to do anything about this.”
Town leaders on Monday were sympathetic.
“I echo the sentiments of the gentleman who spoke,” said councilman William P. Monahan. “He’s always followed the rules. But every year, it seems like it’s his fault.”
Council recently updated its horse carriage ordinance. Municipal code requires that all borough businesses operate via a permit.
“Evidently,” Patterson deemed, “those changes didn’t work, because (Young) is still doing it.”
He questioned whether the borough’s horse carriage regulations are enforceable.
“I’ve been told that the carriage ordinance can’t touch (Young),” Patterson said. “I don’t know what else to do about this.”
Borough police chief Joe Dougherty indicated that his staff is limited in enforcing the horse carriage bylaw.
“I’ve reviewed it, and there’s only one section where we can get involved,” Dougherty explained to town officials Monday. “It’s in the standards of operation sub-section, where carriages are pulling over...loading and unloading. It’s the only sub-section in the entire ordinance that says police can enforce it.”
A handful of borough officials were puzzled following Dougherty’s remarks.
“Do we have an ordinance that we can’t enforce?” asked councilwoman Holly Giles.
Answered borough solicitor Harold Eastman: “The ordinance is enforceable. I would suggest that we cite the individual.”
Dougherty pledged to do his part.
“We’ll continue to watch,” he said.
Horse carriage debates are a yearly fixture within Borough Hall. Last year, Patterson claimed that Young’s company was illegally offering free tours. Subsequently, Young argued that his operation shouldn’t have to apply for a borough permit if it offered complimentary rides. The issue was settled quietly by high-ranking borough leaders.