By David Hunt and Bob Stiles TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, August 27, 2006
At least six of Jeannette’s 32 bars and restaurants have been deemed clean enough to serve food and drinks this year — even though an inspector didn’t set foot in any of them.
The cash-strapped city lost its health inspector last September. City Clerk Ron Dinsmore said in July that he was forced to rubber-stamp the licenses for the six businesses so they could meet state liquor-license requirements and stay open.
"I’m concerned because there are some we’ve had problems with, but most we haven’t. Most of them are very good," he said. "I extended them only because of the fact that they needed them extended."
Six of 67 counties in Pennsylvania handle restaurant inspections through county health departments, but Westmoreland isn’t one of them. County officials say they aren’t interested in developing a program to monitor health conditions in the county’s more than 1,500 restaurants even if other programs aren’t working.
"We’re not looking to expand the mission of county government. We’ve got enough on our plate, enough financial challenges already," said Commissioner Chairman Tom Balya.