The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

November 30, 2012

Readers' Forum 11-30 | School pact doesn’t shut out nonunion bid

— I am responding to the Nov. 17 Readers’ Forum letter by Len Facciani Jr., “School-bidding plan shuts out local business.” The letter was in regard to a project stabilization agreement between the Conemaugh Valley School District and the Johnstown Building and Construction Trades Council.

First and foremost, the school district did not enter into an agreement that has taken away the opportunity for nonunion contractors to participate in the bidding process. The school district signed a document that provides a criteria that ensures the contractors bidding their elementary school project employ highly skilled and well-trained craftsmen and women.

The stabilization agreement has criteria that can be met by union and nonunion contractors. The language in the agreement is written in a manner that will provide the school district with responsible contractors that will put people to work from the local area.

This is not the first project stabilization agreement that the Johnstown Building Trades has entered into with a client. Projects such as the Cambria County Prison, Greater Johnstown High School and  Johnstown’s Point Stadium renovation, to name a few, were completed under a stabilization agreement.

The Johnstown Building and Construction Trades are affiliated with 16 craft unions covering all aspects of the construction industry and serving Cambria, Somerset and Indiana counties.

Our local crafts take great pride of taking on the responsibility to the owners and the contractors to complete the project on schedule and under budget.

Donald M. Arena

President, Johnstown Building and Construction Trades Council 

Dam workers’ actions above the call of duty

Our most recent storm, Hurricane Sandy, had the potential to do extensive damage to the Greater Johnstown area.

Due in part to the men and women who maintain and manage the dams of the Greater Johnstown Water Authority, that damage was kept at a minimum.

Thanks are in order for the employees of the authority’s manager, RDM-Johns-town LLC, and consulting engineer, Gibson-Thomas Engineering Co. Inc.

Special thanks to five men who lowered the water levels of our dams beginning on Oct. 27 and who monitored those levels on the evening of Oct. 29 and the early-morning hours of Oct. 30.

They are dam tenders Vince Akers and Louis Duman; RDM’s resident manager, Michael Kukura; operations manager, Jeffrey Smith; and production manager, D.J. Baumgardner.

Their efforts went far beyond just doing their job. It was selfless dedication in adversity, coupled with many years of specialized training and experience that cannot be measured.

We take our hats off to each of these valuable employees.

Edward J. Cernic Sr.

Chairman, Greater Johnstown Water Authority Board

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