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Sad State Of Affairs
I would like to publicly thank Commissioner MaryAnn Warren for her dedication and assistance with the recent Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament. For the last several years, MaryAnn has been an integral part of the Chamber Golf Tournament. This year, when I took over as Chairman, my first act was to ask Mrs. Warren to volunteer her time to once again assist the Chamber and serve on the golf tournament committee. Her knowledge and organizational skills were a necessary part of the planning of the tournament.
Although I had not intended to have to publicly thank Mrs. Warren, it seems that some members of our county take it upon themselves to judge the actions of others. I feel that the citizens of our county need to be aware of the facts. Mrs. Warren missed her first commissioners’ meeting because she was volunteering to raise money for the Chamber of Commerce fireworks – something that benefits the county citizens. The golf tournament is traditionally held the second Wednesday of July and the time was not set to purposely keep Mrs. Warren from the commissioners’ meeting. It is a sad state of affairs, when a public official is chided for an act of volunteerism.
Jeff Tyler, Chair
Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament
Please Report It As Prominently
In the July 6 issue of the Susquehanna Transcript you chose to report that I had been cited for disorderly conduct by the Susquehanna Borough Police Department, causing me significant embarrassment and unwarranted attention. As I was fully exonerated this morning on the charges you reported, I am respectfully requesting that you report this outcome as prominently as you reported the police version.
This latest incident serves to validate my assertion that the Susquehanna Borough Police Department is methodically and systematically harassing myself and my family in a vindictive, unethical, and unprofessional manner.
Amy D. Plutino
Never Again, P. Jay
Again I must protest Mr. P. Jay Amadio’s distortions and assumptions. And once again he should do a little investigation. Referring to the excitement brewing over the work done on the Soldier’s Monument, he states, “seems to be motivated by an ambitious wannabe politician who is shooting from the hip in an insipient attempt at focusing attention on himself. I am of course referring to Fred B. Baker, II…”
A little over twenty years ago, I was in a battle of words and letters with Senator Specter over farmers’ rights, specifically the CCC fund from which over $3 million was not accounted for and while on WBRE-TV’s camera he stumbled because he seemed to know less about the monies in his own committee than I did. I was an ambitious wannabe politician then? During the 1980s through most of the 1990s I was one of the more vocal in the county for farmers’ rights and parity toward milk prices. I was an ambitious wannabe politician then? A while back I started a letter writing campaign to all the US Senators and every Congressman associated with veteran affairs to help a former WW II Prisoner of War get benefits being denied him due to a loss of his records. I was an ambitious wannabe politician then? For many years I have been involved with several charities such as school scholarships, Special Olympics and the Child Identification Program. I was an ambitious wannabe politician then? I spoke at several organizations and lobbied hard for donations on behalf of the monument and yes, I did sell a lot of tickets for a musket raffle benefiting the monument. I was an ambitious wannabe politician then? I hold a Distinguished Flying Cross for saving three lives under heavy fire. I am a life member of twenty-five years with the American Legion, a life member over thirty years with the VFW, a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and a life member of the Veterans of the Vietnam War. I was an ambitious wannabe politician then? My friends and I have donated numerous and often-quite valuable items to the Historical Society for display and for their several fund raising auctions. I was an ambitious wannabe politician then? You really have it backwards. I became upset because a relative of my wife was treated unfairly and against the Sunshine Law. That was my motivation to run for Commissioner in 2003. I understand that because I ran for Commissioner, I don’t have to shout as loudly to be heard, but I have always supported what I believe benefits society. If I decide to run for office again, it will not be for ambition, it will be to make the county better for all who live here.
It is time for a little history lesson. Over a month ago, a friend and neighbor was talking to Betty Smith a member(?) of the Restoration Committee who, he says, literally cried to him on the phone and threatened to resign because they couldn’t get the monument taken care of properly. He called me, knowing that veteran causes are especially dear to my heart, and asked me to get involved. C & D Waterproofing refused to correspond with me in any way so I decided to put on pressure, which I did. They in turn contacted Commissioner Loomis and asked to take two tablets to their shop to repair them in a controlled environment. A simple look at the monument would convince anyone that fixing two tablets alone would not be enough to correct all the problems, but now something was finally getting done. On July 19, 2005, Commissioner Loomis sent me a letter which said in part, “Rather than you taking on C&D as a lone wolf, I would suggest that you form a select committee of VFW & American Legion Veterans to review C & D's work and then inform the Commissioners (me in particular) of the outcome of your assessment as to the quality of the restoration. I will not sign their last check until I am satisfied they have completed the restoration properly. The recommendation of a Committee of Veterans will carry much more weight with my letters to the State Representatives & State Congressmen than that of just your recommendation alone that the work is shoddy and poorly done.” That, Mr. Amadio, is who gave me the authority, if I needed it. Just this last week the friend, on whose shoulder Betty Smith supposedly cried, said she called him and told him that I shouldn’t be putting all this in the papers and that the Veterans have no right getting involved. In my opinion no one has more right to involvement in a memorial to dead veterans than the veterans of this county.
Finally, there were originally six members of the Restoration Committee. According to Commissioner Loomis it would appear that Ellen O’Malley and perhaps Betty Smith are the only members left. You consider this a viable committee? The Restoration Committee and the contractor were to be finished for the dedication on May 31, 2004. That was 14 months ago. If they continue as they have, how much longer do you think it will take? Vietnam veterans (of which I am one) use four words regularly. “Welcome home” to all veterans because we know how important it is. “Never again” to those who would show any disrespect to veterans because we understand the feeling.
As a veteran, you too should take a good look at the monument and then write to C & D Waterproofing expressing your concern instead of trying to turn a good cause into a political witch-hunt. You too should say, “Never again.”
Fred B. Baker, II
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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