The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 22, 2013

School, council, supervisors races draw voters

— Area voters took to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots, with many saying school board and council or supervisors races were the driving force that brought them out.

Jay Poad, a Westmont resident, is happy to see that taxes are not going to be raised in the borough and said electing the right people to the school board was a priority of his.

“That’s always been a problem here, so to have them hold the line this year is great,” he said after voting at the Westmont Grove.

But he also wants to see those elected to council work to better the community, more specifically addressing the increased Section 8 housing that is moving in.

“I want to see council do something about this because it’s going to be the ghetto here in three or four years if they don’t do something,” Poad said. “They need to take care of the problem people and run these cockroaches out of here.”

As for the state’s voter identification law asking voters to show an acceptable form of ID – but not requiring it – to vote, Poad said he has no issue with the request.

“You have to show your ID in a state store to buy a bottle or in a bar, so I have no problem with it,” he said.

Frank Cassat said he wants to see the area in the West End where he lives  cleaned up by getting the drug dealers out and blighted properties torn down.

He hopes members of Johnstown City Council will step up and finally do something about it.

“It’s terrible down here, you better believe it,” he said after voting at the Christ the Saviour Educational Center.

He said he tried for many years to sell property he owned, but had a hard time because of a burned-out house across the street that keeps potential buyers away.

“That burned-out house was there for six years,” Cassat said. “You’d get every excuse when you’d call for help. Jack Williams was the only one who did something about it, so I voted for him.”

Bob and Judy Wingard of Richland Township agreed that the school board and township supervisor races were most important to them.

“We know the people who are running and want to vote for them,” Judy Wingard said after casting her vote at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church. “These are the people that most affect your life.”

Windber resident C.W. Beckley said he never misses an election and believes everyone should get out there and vote.

“You need to vote and have your say,” he said at the Windber Community Building.

Beckley, who serves as the recreation director for the Windber Municipal Authority, said he wants to see the best for district students, so electing qualified school board members was his priority.

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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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