May 1st, 2015
Persing Unconcerned while Criminals Run Amok
Going by what has been written in the Daily Item, Mayor David Persing is now totally delusional over the city’s camera surveillance system. Having presided over the squandering of around $300,000 in tax dollars in a futile attempt to install an ill conceived and non-operational system, he now has the audacity to claim that the cameras are a “boon”.
This in the wake of a daring daylight robbery carried out on the 100 block of Market Street, a busy downtown area with no camera coverage, and a crime which seems to be no closer to resolution. “The city has no buildings in that block on which to hang a camera”, was his lame excuse. Has anyone been asked? What about Purdy Insurance, whose client was the victim in this crime, and who also happen to be the City’s insurers? What about Weis Markets? What about PP&L? Would they have any objections to hanging cameras from their poles? If the worst came to the worst, then the City could install its own pole. Now there is a revolutionary idea!
The obvious lack of security on this block can hardly be doing Purdy’s business much good. How many people now feel safe taking sums of money to this office in the light of what happened? Friend of the Mayor or not, Bill Purdy should be asking some very pointed questions as to what the City intend to do to safeguard his and neighboring establishments from similar threats in the future, and to restore an environment in which citizens can feel confident to go about their daily business without fear of assault or worse.
Since that event there have been further robberies around Market Street – one of a sports store at #228 where the front window was smashed to gain access, and one of an apartment in the 300 block, where the intruder gained access via a window overlooking the fire escape. Obviously these establishments were also outside the area or surveillance, as the police seem to have very little evidence to go on.
November 11th, 2014
Police Contract Debacle Threatens to Engulf Persing
Last year, faced with a strong opponent in his race for re-election, a desperate Mayor Persing sold out the city, giving in to every pension demand made by his police department. He certainly wanted their contract off the table in the worst possible way, to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2005, when dissatisfied local officers played a significant role in helping secure Jesse Woodring’s primary victory.
Persing was terrified at the consequences of losing again, this time to Joe Bartello. Having built up his lucrative softball business over the years, and making a small fortune from the questionable use of taxpayer-funded city property and other assets, he had to do whatever it took to retain control. For him, the alternative was unthinkable. (see A Tale of Two Cities)
May 3rd, 2014
City Cops Charged for Supply of Murder Feeds
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.
April 10th, 2014
Terry & Mary Marshall
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.
March 15th, 2014
“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.
November 22nd, 2013
Lack of Training threatens Safety
Photographs taken on the morning of Wednesday 20th November by a concerned citizen show a serious and potentially life-threatening situation involving the City Department of Public Works – director Councilman Kevin Troup.
Danger – Men at Work
Workers can be clearly seen, in flagrant violation of OSHA safety regulations, standing in a front loader bucket hanging garlands from lampposts. Why is this so dangerous? If the machine’s engine stalled, or simply ran out of fuel, the hydraulic pressure would fail instantly, and the heavy bucket would fall like a stone, throwing anyone within out onto the road. It could also do some serious damage to any vehicles parked underneath where they were working.
September 1st, 2013
$54,000 in 4 years and Nobody seems to Care!
An interesting article appeared in the Daily Item on Sunday August 4th 2013. In it were comments from Mayor Persing and Councilman Eister regarding losses of “a few dollars” at the Swimming Pool Snack Bar.
However, our research indicates that the losses were much, much more than a few dollars. According to the City’s own published figures for revenues and expenditures, the Snack Bar lost $10,523.80 in 2010, $12,980.58 in 2011 and $15,321.20 in 2012.
From the article, it appears that the Daily Item were given figures for Snack Bar wages differing significantly from those in City accounts – figures which they appear to have accepted at face value without any attempt at verification. According to the Daily Item, wages were $17,090 in 2011 and $13,488 in 2012.