The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 30, 2014

Readers' Forum 3-30 | Community deserves all the credit

JOHNSTOWN — The K-9 Community Fund was established to purchase two fully equipped K-9 units for the City of Johnstown.

This project is an extension of the recent efforts of Bill Polacek and the local business community that purchased an advanced license-plate reader, which has already had a positive impact on crime in our community.

In addition, two prominent business leaders, Sally Sargent and Dennis Stidinger, have purchased two K-9 dogs.

Based on the Johnstown Crime and Violence Commission report dated July 2013, Johnstown is no longer the peaceful setting of yesteryear.

During the past 10 years, population

has decreased, while the poverty rate and unemployment has increased and Johns-town’s police force has been reduced from 52 full-time officers to 31.

Our financially strapped city does not have the assets necessary to fight the crime associated with these staggering statistics nor do they have the financial means to purchase them.

In the months since, the fund has raised more than $56,000 of the $67,875 needed. Our efforts will continue, and I am very optimistic that we will exceed our goal.

At one time, Johnstown had the third-largest K-9 Corp in Pennsylvania. Maybe, through many of these “grassroots

efforts” we can, over time, create the assets needed to fight crime and restore our community to the All-American city it once was.

No one person can take credit for the success of this project. Everyone contributing is commended for their generosity.

Jack Babich

AmeriServ Financial and Cambria/Somerset Labor Management Committee

Toxic atmosphere

lies over Johnstown

The Johnstown mayor, city manager and City Council members are only out for themselves, and not for the citizens who elected them.

Their slovenly ways, sullen attitudes and disregard for its residents have created a toxic atmosphere in the city and communities of Johnstown.

It is all about them – whatever they decide is the law of the land without any consideration of its residents no matter the issue.

In order to function diplomatically – more open communication is needed between council and the people to have issues addressed one on one.

Giving the people an open forum to discuss and express their views on issues – not a one-sided approach by council.

Forcing people to surrender their approach against the sewage fiasco is dictatorship. Dictators in the past have fallen through their own tributes. What goes around comes around eventually.

The hole is getting bigger and bigger and they will all fall by the wayside. It’s time to shape up or ship out – a new leadership and council can be re-created overnight.

B.J. Mroczka


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