The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


May 1, 2014

Readers' Forum 5-1 | Forget fiefdoms and push consolidation

JOHNSTOWN — I am a lifelong resident of the Johnstown area and love our communities and neighborhoods, the people, our varied backgrounds and shared spirit of survival. But I believe that the only way we as a municipality are going to reach our full potential is through consolidation.

I applaud Mayor Frank Janakovic for having the internal fortitude to come out so early in his tenure and introduce this topic as a consideration.

Unfortunately, we have too many little kingdoms around Johnstown where everyone is a mayor, council member or supervisor and is so entrenched in their own ego and little power struggles that they are not willing to look at the bigger picture. If the 14-plus municipalities around Johnstown were to consolidate, we would be the third largest city in the commonwealth.

In 2013, I worked in Hazelton, Luzerne County. Like Johnstown, Hazelton is designated a distressed city under the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Act 47.

As an out-of-city employee, I had to pay a local earned income tax of 1.85 percent of my gross, with the stipulation as approved by the DCED, that Hazelton would keep the .85 percent and my 1 percent would be paid to my home township of Richland, which met my local tax obligation.

If I work in Johnstown but live in Richland Township, I pay a 1.1 percent payroll tax. Who gets what? And if I live in Johns-town and work in town, I would pay 1.3 percent.

What is wrong with this picture? Why do city residents pay more?

David K. Camblin


Be mindful of those who can’t walk

I recently went to a local grocery store with my husband. Due to having Parkinson’s disease, I must use a wheelchair. I am able to walk very short distances, but I use the electric wheelchair so that my husband can use a cart.

As I entered the store, I saw the wheelchair near the door and walked slowly toward it. Just then, a man exited the store and proceeded to leave his cart in front of the wheelchair. He was only 10 yards from where the carts were kept. I know he saw me, but he made no attempt to move his cart.

Thankfully, a store employee saw what happened and helped me move the cart and get the chair for me.

I am asking that those who are able to walk to please be considerate of those who cannot.

Kathy Margetan


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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