The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 25, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-25 | Turnpike CEO: Changing business as usual

JOHNSTOWN — As CEO of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, I can assure your readers that our agency is addressing the recent actions taken by the Office of Attorney General that could, as you pointed out, tar the reputation of our agency (“Turnpike tarred by allegations,” March 17).

It should be said that the conduct alleged does not reflect the dedication of the hard-working men and women at the turnpike who keep our road open and safe for customers.

In the past two years, the turnpike has instituted a more rigorous, transparent process for awarding professional-services contracts to ensure that only the most-qualified firms are considered and awarded. In addition, we created an office of compliance and provided sufficient resources to ensure that employee actions remain above reproach at every level. We formed a diversity and inclusion department to attract a more diverse pool of potential business partners to bid on our projects.

Finally, I have directed our compliance office to conduct a review of all professional-services contracts awarded during the time frame in question. Also, we are assembling an advisory group to review and critique current turnpike policies and procedures relating to contracting. This panel also will be charged with identifying best practices from agencies around the nation.

We have launched an aggressive effort to change the way we do business. That effort will continue. Our customers, our employees and our business partners deserve no less.

Mark P. Compton

CEO, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Cowardly killer targeting cats

This letter goes out to the person or persons who are poisoning cats in the West End section of Johnstown: You are breaking the law.

If I or my neighbors find you – and we are watching – we will contact the state police and let them deal with you.

A cat is a feeling, caring, thinking animal capable of making decisions. If owners or nonowners would spay or neuter their pets, this sort of inhumane treatment would not be necessary.

Would you rather see a cat or a lot of rats running across your porch? Wait until the sewers are worked on, you definitely will see rats. I hope they visit your house.

We have to deal with the horror of your terrible actions. You are a killer and a coward.

Anita Pesarchic


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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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