The Sunbury Scamera Debacle continues. Following the expenditure of the best part of $300,000 on camera provision, installation and associated work, and the continuing failure of Aaron Nigro of Global Security Tactics to deliver an operational system (if he was ever given a formal contract to do so), the City are now being charged by the hour for something this system is supposed to provide them with automatically, 24/7.
Not The Item is in possession of an invoice dated 12/18/2013 from Nigro to the City detailing a charge of $300 for 4 hours work for the supply of video feeds “from several locations along a designated area” requested by Sunbury PD, covering the times immediately before and after the Troy LaFerrara murder.
A stormy city meeting on Monday 14th April centered on the threat to our safety posed by the replacement lower flood wall, a stolen election and the possible illegal sale of city property in the form of topsoil. In other words, business as usual for the Persing Administration.
Persing’s considered response to all of this? – “I don’t care”!
On 23rd June 2013, Not The Item published an article about the plight of the Marshall family entitled “Nightmare on Spruce Street”. At that time Terry Marshall had been trying for almost 7 years to get the City to clean up his adjoining property – a property they had condemned back in 2006 and then taken from the previous owner in 2007, and which they then simply left to rot and decay.
Mayor Persing claimed lack of ownership was preventing his administration from doing anything with the property, as they had been unable to contact the legal owners.
The Persing Administration continued to move forward towards the abyss at the City Meeting of 3/24/14, as the unraveling camera debacle threatened to destroy what little credibility they had left. Once again former city resident Drake Saxton probed the murky depths of the bid process with a whole series of questions about both the bidding itself and also the subsequent purchase and installation.
All pet owners have been in a situation like this, it’s 10pm and “Sophie” came in from outside and is limping around the house. What do you do? Do you call the vet? Are you overreacting? The answer is that it is never wrong to call and ask one of our qualified technicians to determine if your pet needs to be seen right away, or if they can wait to be seen as a routine appointment.
How do you lose $200,000 in federal grant money? Quite simple really. Give it to Captain Persing and the rest of the jolly crew at the good ship Sunbury to fund a controversial new security camera system. Yes, the money has been flushed away. The City is now the proud owner of 52 cameras which can’t see in the dark, and for which they would seem to have neither the IP addresses nor the combinations to the locks on the networking boxes, and the guy who does have this information, and on whom nobody bothered to carry out a background check, is facing a double felony 3 count at Westmoreland County Court.
It is hardly surprising, given the above, that Persing does not want to talk about it. Former Sunbury resident Drake Saxton informed the City Meeting of March 10th 2014 that he had submitted multiple right to know requests in an effort to establish both the present status of the project and also receive confirmation that full consideration had been given to the interests both of local citizens and also those of the federal taxpayers, whose money had been used to provide the $200,000 grant back in 2009. The fact that he had not received satisfactory replies to his inquiries he found disconcerting, and a clear reflection of the way in which our city is currently being managed.
In a nutshell, he was trying to discover who, if anyone, was in charge of this project, how efficiently the camera installations had been managed with regards both to best use of resources and also proper placement, whether there had been any checks carried out to insure that the cameras finally installed were in fact the same ones purchased initially by the simple device of checking serial numbers, and also whether there were any unused cameras or other materials, and if so, where they were presently being stored.
Some of us were lucky enough to attend the Democracy School, held February 21/22 at Apfelbaum Hall, the Business and Communications Center for Susquehanna University, and sponsored by our friends at Shale Justice. Presented by Chad Nicholson and Ben Price of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) the course began on a Friday evening and then ran for 7 hours on Saturday, including a break for a delicious lunch.
Apfelbaum Hall, Susquehanna University
Over 20 people came along and they certainly comprised an eclectic bunch, ranging from college professors to senior citizens and from farmers to journalists to environmentalists. All were eager to learn about the democratic background and history of our country.
“We’ll take away your parking space and have you arrested!” – Reichner
Sunbury PA senior citizen Ms. Regina Russell, despite her disabilities, is a regular attendee at meetings of the city council. She is actively concerned about public safety issues and has volunteered to be the voice of people in her local community – people who are themselves afraid to speak up, attend meetings and file lawful complaints because of the ever present threat of retaliation.
Regina with her Car and Walker
Issues raised by Regina are regularly stonewalled by an administration who regard city code enforcement as discretionary and not mandatory – that they can pick and choose which regulations to enforce, and when, depending on whom the complaint is made against and their influence and standing within the community.
The world’s media are laying siege to Sunbury. For the past few days they have been engaged in a feeding frenzy stirred up by a local reporter, and the claimed revelations of his exclusive Friday night interview with “Craig’s List Killer”, Miranda Barbour, in Northumberland County Jail.
Everyone from Dr. Phil to Fox News wants a piece of the action and to find a different news angle on the lurid details. They want to speak to the reporter, to the prison warden and to police chief, Steve Mazzeo. Above all they want to learn more about the young accused and her grizzly list of alleged murder victims – “I stopped counting when I got to 22!”
Recent news that the mayor of Poughkeepsie NY, along with many others, has resigned from the Michael Bloomberg group, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” (MAIG), raises once again the issue of the continuing membership and support for this group by our own Mayor Persing.
Michael Bloomberg with Mini Me Persing
Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik, in a recent statement, blew the whistle about the group’s true intentions – total disarmament of all law-abiding gun owners.
“Under the guise of helping mayors facing a crime and drug epidemic, MAIG intended to promote confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens,” Tkazyik said, confirming what many already suspected about the group.