The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


May 7, 2013

Readers' Forum 5-7 | Punishment or gift of life?


— Johnstown council gets failing grade

It’s almost time to vote for mayor and city council. I’m glad we will be getting a new mayor.

Now let’s look at what this council has done over the past four years. Not long ago, our city manger talked about raising taxes in 2014 – and we had just started 2013. What did city council do? It gave City Manager Kristen Denne a 3 percent raise a month later. She gets a $200-a-month raise and all I got from Social Security, like a lot of people, was a $23-a-month raise. She can’t live on $80,000 a year?

During their watch, they have laid off  police officers and firefighters. These are the two most important groups of people needed in this city.

Let’s not forget the landlords council members went after. They showed no regard for landlords’ concerns when they adopted the landlord ordinance.

About a year or two ago, the leaders took $600,000 and paved the downtown streets, instead of some of the worse streets elsewhere in the city.

I give this council a D- for its work.

We’re still in Act 47 distresed status with no end in sight. It’s time to vote in a new city council and hope it will get us out this mess.

Homer Mattes


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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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