The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 22, 2013

Readers' Forum 11-22 | City wasted money instead of buying plows

JOHNSTOWN — Cleaning streets in Johnstown may take longer this winter due to two plow trucks being out of commission according to the city manager in an article in the Nov. 15 edition of The Tribune-Democrat.

No excuses from the taxpayers of the city – the city manager and council had all summer to put bids out on two used plow trucks instead of whining about it now.

The lives of the city’s residents and taxpayers are more important than other issues granted by the city for funding, and wasting finances, such as:

-- We don’t need these water bills – water, monitoring/treatment fees and sewage.

-- We’re still dealing with potholes from last winter. One on I Street has been reported four times, but nothing has been done.

-- Hiring out-of-town companies to inspect sewer lines, etc.

Bernard Mroczka


Construction workers treated unfairly

Two construction workers each earn $20,000 a year. The first has a job with a bridge crew and earns the money evenly in three out of four quarters. The second is on a paving crew and earns more than 50.5 percent of his wages in the July-September quarter.

Under the current state law, only the first worker qualifies for unemployment even though both earned the same amount. The law was changed to prevent seasonal workers from collecting unemployment by not allowing anyone earning more than 50.5 percent of his wages in a single quarter to collect.

Some construction work is subject to weather restrictions. This change to unemployment compensation makes it impossible for some seasonal workers to survive. Construction workers work long hours in harsh conditions, dangerous traffic and, at times, at far away locations that require driving or paying for rooms out of their own pocket.

Who is going to hire you for five months or less knowing that you need to go back to a higher paying job?

There is another effect of this law change. The construction industry will be losing qualified, skilled workers because they will not be able to survive without unemployment. These workers can perform the work safely and provide a better final product than unskilled, new hires.

The knowledge and skill that stands to be lost from this short-sighted change will affect the construction industry for years, and yet again it beats down the working person.

Our representatives have made this an impossible situation for many Pennsylvania construction workers.

Cecilia Partsch


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