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Look For Our BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL SPECIAL In The August 4th Issue Of The County Transcript

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Issue Home July 20, 2004 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Reality Check 2004

There is a very interesting comparison of the present Susquehanna County Commissioners vs. the previous three. During 2003, Citizens for Smaller Government were largely responsible for the sweeping defeat. People felt that it was time for some Conservative values to make the county a better and more affordable place to live.

Next, in the US Senate primary a Conservative Republican was narrowly defeated, even though he didn’t have national, state, or county backing. In Silver Lake Twp., he won 81 to 48!

Recently I listened to Gov. Rendell say he wants all State Union Contracts negotiated to require employee contribution for health insurance. He also initiated a study of all state agencies to insure that only needed employees are on the payroll.( Maybe a trend is taking place elsewhere than in Susquehanna County.)

Changes in the county during 2004 included firing the outstanding Economic Director, adding another high salary position in the assessment office, and hiring a Personnel Director. They said our taxes went up because the previous commissioners submitted an inadequate budget. In fact $50K was added to replace the County Office Building roof. (Computers had to be covered and buckets used to catch the water that has been leaking for years.) To date no known repairs have been made. (Reminds me of the home owner I knew who couldn’t fix the roof in the rain and it didn’t leak when it was sunny.) Then $200K was gained by refinancing county loans. This savings was immediately slotted for installing a elevator to the court room. It’s not known if a rail chair similar to what one would use in a home was explored. I have not talked to anyone who could tell me how many times a handicapped person has had a need to be in the court room. Of course the court room should be handicap accessible, but do we need to spend $240K plus of taxpayer dollars? If this is mandated, how about a grant to do the job? Now a commissioner wants to install time clocks for county employees. These were eliminated, as a cost saving in most industries 30 plus years ago. I believe production improved by not having clocks.

While campaigning for commissioner, there were many financial and management experts, or so they said. One even had a very high level job in industry, so I couldn’t understand why someone who was probably making in excess of $100K would want a $40K county job!

To date, I haven’t seen any steps toward smaller government. As a first step many clerical and secretarial jobs could be filled by temps, such as we see in industry and business. It would be nice to see the county head count down to around 150, as it was a few years ago. We also need to see if certain tasks could be subcontracted at lower cost.

Without a dedicated effort to reduce government size, we face continued tax increases. So how does the comparison net out; smaller government, or three additional individuals seeking lifetime health insurance. Conservative values require individuals to make tough decisions that may not always be popular, except with taxpayers.


Tom Jurista

Brackney, PA


We Were Bustling!

Our boro was bustling in the month of June. We were busy planning and working to make Community Day a success, to benefit the park. The response was wonderful from all the people who wanted to be a part of this day! A big thank you goes to all our friends and neighbors that had yard sales, vendor stands, gave contributions, people who scheduled time to help, the youth that made our signs, did balloons, passed out maps and helped throughout the day, the businesses that posted our signs and to the County Transcript for announcing this event for us. We appreciate all of you helping to make this a success. This is now on the agenda as an annual event! The Lord even blessed us with a beautiful day!

We need to do many repairs and improvements to our park. In addition to Community Day, we’ve done bake sales and are selling candles and tee-shirts as fund-raisers. Many projects are underway and we will be doing more fund-raisers in the coming months to help us meet our goals.

It was nice to see so many smiling faces, neighbors meeting neighbors and everyone wanting to help us succeed. It was truly heartwarming!

Thanks, again for your support.


Kathleen Crawford, Sec.

Oakland Boro Par & Rec.

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