The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 17, 2013

City poised for progress

We laud manager for success so far

— Things are going to get better for Johnstown.

That’s what City Council effectively said last week when it extended City Manager Kristen Denne’s contract for two more years with an option for a third.

Denne had a difficult job in front of her when she first came to Johnstown from Ambridge in 2010.

Not that it’s easy now for the financially distressed city, not by any stretch of the imagination. But it is getting better, according to Denne.

“The first three years, we were really in boot camp here,” Denne said. “We were trying to get the train back on the tracks.

“Now, we’re in a position where the department heads are online, the administration’s online, council’s online. We can really start getting into some real progress now. We’ve identified problems, started the process of trying to fix structural problems we’ve had for many years, so now we can really get to the nitty-gritty of realizing some of the issues and making a true impact on Johnstown.”

City Council obviously has faith in her, as all five of the members who were present voted to extend her contract.

“I think Kristen’s doing a good job,” council member Pete Vizza said.

We agree, although the next two years really will tell the tale. By Denne’s own admission, she has everything set up to move the city forward.

We wish her well. After all, it’s not just her future at stake, but the city’s as well.

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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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