The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 18, 2014

Readers' Forum 4-18 | Revitalize city by electing new blood

JOHNSTOWN — The signs as you come into the city read, “Johnstown: friendly, safe and clean.” It seems as if it is just the opposite.

City council fights among itself all the time over everything. Council couldn’t even agree on a person to fill a vacant seat.

Residents and council are fighting over pressure testing sewers. There have been three fatal shootings in four months. How can we feel safe? An overwhelming amount of drug activity in this area is jeopardizing everyone’s safety.

Council needs to concentrate on this problem. There needs to be more police coverage and better training of police and residents on how to combat this very serious problem. It is time to clean up the city in more ways than one.

Take notice of the litter and dirty streets along with the dilapidated buildings badly in need of demolition.

Now, let’s talk school district. Note what real estate agents say about the Greater Johnstown School District. The rating is below standard.

Johnstown school board is so proud of not raising taxes for more than 15 years. What does that tell us? No more income means cutting programs, which means poor education of our students.

Voters, wake up. Remove the council and school board. Get some young, educated people in government positions. These old ducks have had their day and are now destroying the city.

Only the voters can change things, and city government and the school board don’t think they will.

City residents should encourage new people to run for these offices. This city can be revitalized if the right people govern it.

Robert Miller


Cats help control pests from properties

I was told by the city’s animal control officer not to feed the stray animals as they supposedly eliminate in people’s yards. I don’t believe in letting animals starve or freeze to death. If people didn’t see the cats, would they complain about them?

Last year, animal control took 23 cats that were considered feral and euthanized them. About six little kittens left behind were fed throughout the winter. In return, they brought us rats that they caught on an abandoned property filled with garbage.

It’s a shame that these strays are considered feral.

What about pit bulls? In January, a kitten was mauled to death by a pit bull that wasn’t on leash or was a stray. The injury was so severe, you couldn’t make out the animal. Yet this pit bull isn’t considered a feral dog that should be put down?

We’re trying to get the strays fixed to prevent overpopulation. If they’re taken away, these same people would complain about rats. I believe these cats aren’t a nuisance and control overpopulation of pests.

We’ve had drug problems in this area and possible squatters going into these abandoned houses, which aren’t boarded up. City Hall has been contacted, but nothing has been done about it.

A similar situation occurred when a house was condemned and neighbors were allegedly told by one authority to shoot the strays. Loving homes were found for four of these so-called feral cats.

To kill is wrong. What’s an animal lover to do?

Judy Snyder


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