JOHNSTOWN — Editor’s note: The following was submitted by the board of directors of Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce Inc.
Our area’s resilience and ability to deal with adversity has long been a trait touted by area business, community and political leadership and admired by those who have visited, worked and invested in our region.
Thousands of visitors attending Thunder in the Valley, the AAABA Tournament, Showcase for Commerce and the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival comment on the area’s natural beauty, affordability, the many cultural and recreational things to do, and the friendliness of our residents.
Add to this the collaborative efforts and many projects associated with Lift Johnstown.
The recent opening of several businesses in the city such as Rocco’s, The Vault, RJ’s Café & Lounge, The Press Bistro and Franklin Street Grill have demonstrated the opportunity for investment.
The city’s willingness to make tough decisions in producing the first budget surplus since 2000 shows that leadership is committed to doing its very best to move our region forward.
While there is a lot of good news to celebrate, lately our region has experienced escalating serious and violent crimes. This trend is and should be a cause for concern for all citizens of the city and region as it impacts not only the victims, their families and friends but also the way those outside the region view the area, as pointed out in a recent article in The Tribune-Democrat.
What is encouraging is the tremendous leadership by Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Johnstown, and others in forming the Johnstown Crime and Violence Commission to address the problem and identify solutions. The willingness with which the city administration and council have cooperated with and welcomed this effort is also very positive and should be applauded and supported by everyone.
The chamber’s board of directors commends the city’s administration and council as well as the dedicated community residents of the crime commission for their leadership.
We encourage our membership and all area organizations to join this effort to protect our quality of life and be part of the team that is moving our region forward.