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.