The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 23, 2013

Readers' Forum 4-23 | Rothfus for all, not just wealthy


— Become involved in local government

Government isn’t a spectator sport. It’s a cliché, but it is true.

I have had the pleasure of serving the people of Geistown and easily the best part of my service has been interacting with people both inside and outside of our meetings. The desire and passion of these people make the effort worthwhile.

It’s important for each of us to take time to understand what our local governments are doing. Their decisions impact our lives, even more than decisions on the state and federal levels. With limited resources and even more limited funding, smart decisions have to be made.

We all must ask what fundamental issues have to be addressed. We all deserve a clean and safe community. Our public- safety agencies deserve the best we can offer because they will be the ones risking their lives when we need them most. We deserve to know that the interests of all our communities are being served.

I encourage anyone who reads this letter to attend your next local municipal meeting. Learn what is going on. Ask questions of your leaders. What is the one-year plan for your community? What is the five-year plan?

Provide your insight. Take one evening to make your voice heard. Making that small effort now will help create the community we all desire to live in. No personal agendas, no decisions made in dark rooms, and nothing except the best we can offer. Don’t be a spectator anymore.

Joseph Sernell


City official questioned, responds                                                                     Rose Howarth, a current member of Johnstown City Council and candidate for re-election, is also an employee of Johnstown Lease Housing Corp., and, I might add, the only full-time employee in an office that is located in the Johnstown Housing Authority building.

In recent articles in The Tribune-Democrat, she criticized legitimate landlords in her version of slumlords of Johnstown.

“They don’t do their due diligence,” Howarth said, but she failed to recognize that the two major problems in Johnstown are homicides and those associated with drugs in Johnstown Housing Authority properties and Section 8 housing.

Howarth was elected by the citizens of Johnstown to represent the people of Johnstown. Now what hat is she going to wear in the next month or so ... the hat as an employee of Johnstown Lease Housing or her city council hat, the one she was elected to wear and wants to continue to wear as a candidate for re-election?

Does she realize this is a critical situation with the Section 8 housing and the Johnstown Housing Authority homes with their drugs, violence and murders?

Steve Thompson


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