The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 27, 2014

Readers' Forum 2-27 | Nothing changes from election to election


Submitted by Readers

JOHNSTOWN — When we had the last elections, I was hopeful. A friend sent me a photo of the outgoing City Council, and I was surprised to see now that it was just a switching of seats, but with the same attitudes and baggage. Council members couldn’t agree before and still can’t. They want their friends in vacant seats, those they feel will vote their views.

WJAC-TV told it right, the sides can’t agree. When council steps into its chamber, all pettiness and agendas should be put aside. Council members are representing the people who voted them to that position, not themselves or their agendas.

The people spoke: We want change. But, it appears our votes mean nothing. We have the sewer crisis to focus on and how it affects us. Council imposed a fine on residents for noncompliance, and anyone selling property they own must make repairs when they sell.

Blight and public safety is a real concern. The little guys pay their taxes and do the right thing, but not the owners of abandoned properties who owe thousands. Where is fair taxation?

We have a lot more pressing issues, not who is going to sit on a council seat and act like a second-grader. I’m disappointed and ashamed.

Lindy Yutzy

Johnstown



Shining examples tarnished by fiasco

On Feb. 18, city council held a workshop session, which, for viewers at home and anyone present in council chambers, appeared to be a sewage huddle.

Members of council, along with representatives from EADS, gathered around the tables, most with their backs to the public and the camera, with no consideration in making their conversations able to be heard. Manners and decorum were clearly lacking to those residents most affected by the ongoing city sewer fiasco.

When the regular meeting was called to order, among other issues, Mayor Frank Janakovic made comments regarding possible loans for sewer repairs for property owners ranging from $1,500 to $15,000 at interest rates of 2 percent.

What these members of council fail to realize is that the many retirees who have worked many years and maintained their homes, paid taxes and other city-imposed fees religiously are not interested in assuming new and additional debt resulting from council’s misguided pressure testing.

Whether such repair costs range between $1,500 and $15,000, none of these costs will increase the value of the homes should a person seek to sell such property. It remains to be seen how many property owners will say “enough is enough” and walk away rather than be saddled with a debt that might run beyond the remaining years of some residents’ life expectancy.

Some have pointed out remarks made by John Poister, of the Department of Environmental Protection, of Johnstown’s sewer project being a shining example for the rest of the state. Poister should be reminded that any shining example, if it ever existed, has quickly been tarnished by the same city sewer

fiasco.

Jack Williams

Johnstown



Democrats remember charity begins at home

In response to Richard Holsinger’s letter on Feb. 24, “Washington gridlock product of GOP,” I felt compelled to respond. I have to laugh out loud at his claims that the Republican Party is to blame for the failure of the Democrats to do the work of the people.

Newt Gingrich may be responsible for the three-week shutdown of the government in 1995-96, but he had unbelievable support of the voters with his Contract with America.

I am sure Holsinger thinks the Republicans planted the young intern in the Clinton White House, too.

Holsinger should not forget the lengths to which the Democrats on the county board of elections went to in Florida to decide if the “hanging chad” was a vote for presidential candidate Al Gore. The Democrats fought to say that if a voting card had a dimple on the card then it was a vote for Gore.

The reality is that the people were too stupid to figure out how to vote using a method that had been around for years. All that the Republicans did was ask the Supreme Court to validate the votes the way they were counted.

If the Democrats wanted to really do the work of the people, they would be listening to the majority of the people and not listening to a socialist president and the fat cats who line their pockets.

If the Democrats want income equality, they should remember that charity starts at home.

I am looking forward to Holsinger’s letter on how the Republicans caused global warming and how they are responsible for the failed Obamacare rollout.

David Novak

Johnstown