Not The Item


Disabled Afro-American Woman Threatened at City Meeting

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 Russell needs to use a Walker to get to and from her vehicle.

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 Burning Issue

September 13th, 2013

September 12, 2013

Mayor David Persing
City of Sunbury, 225 Market St, Sunbury, PA 17801

Dear Mayor Persing:

After reading the article on September 10, 2013, in “The Daily Item” and viewing the video of the Sunbury City Council meeting, I have a few questions that need to be clarified.

You were asked if existing devices would be “Grandfathered” in.  There was no mention of your decision in the video recording nor was there any mention in The Daily Item article on what decision was reached on “Grandfathering”.  Will there be any “Grandfathering” of existing fire pits?  When the ordinance that outlawed the use of “burn barrels” was passed, there was no “grandfathering” for existing burn barrels.  What would be the point of trying to stop the use of these items if people could simply be grandfathered in?  Would the “grandfathering” ignore the homemade devices, the distance from structures, or other equally important items?

Inappropriate Behavior

July 10th, 2013

by Regina Russell

Regina Russell

Regina Russell

 I am dismayed by the constant inappropriate behavior demonstrated by the Mayor and Council members with their blatant disregard for the Board of Elections Code of Ethics, The PA 3rd Class City Codes and abuse of their authority as leaders who are elected as civil servants to serve and protect the rights of the citizens and residents of the City of Sunbury and not for their own personal interest.

 At the June 28th city council meeting, the Mayor shared with the public, there was an investigation regarding the grievance complaints filed by Inspector Rhodes and Swope, which, Councilman Bartello and the public were denied an answer when asked, to hear who did the investigation and the conclusion. A significant question.

Sunbury’s Burning Issue

July 10th, 2013

Outside Fires? Not Within City Limits!

Do you suffer from anti-social neighbors who insist on regularly lighting fires in their yards? Outdoor wood burning furnaces and home-made fire pits are becoming more popular these days, but for those obliged to breathe this smoke they are far from welcome.

This is the situation faced by Cheryl Snyder and Joe Metz of Susquehanna Avenue. Cheryl, a retired chemist, suffers from asthma. They were originally from Sunbury and returned to the city 7 years ago, happy to find that burn barrels had been consigned to history and that the air quality was very much improved.

Joe Metz & Cheryl Snyder

Joe Metz & Cheryl Snyder


Dysfunctionality at the Code Office

July 1st, 2013

The Case of the Bungled Inspection

Another example of an apparently bungled Code Office rental inspection, this time in N 6th St., has been brought to our attention. We will provide you, our readers, the facts as given to us. You can draw your own conclusions. Also, if you have had a recent rental inspection, be sure to check out the link to proper inspection procedures at the end of this article.

Sue Rubendall and her partner Dan L Martz have lived at #852 North 6th Street since 1st November 2012.

Sue Rubendall & Dan Martz

Sue Rubendall & Dan Martz

From the beginning they had issues. The porch floor seemed very unstable and there was a sizable hole in the living room floor under the rug – a hole that Sue actually tripped in and hurt her back. The handrail on the back steps was loose and there was no guttering on the roof above the steps, making them icy and dangerous throughout the cold months.

Nightmare on Spruce Street

June 23rd, 2013

City Violating Own Codes!

We have all heard about Mayor Persing’s plans to clean up our city and get rid of the “scourge” of blighted properties. On WKOK Friday, in front of an adoring audience of Mark Lawrence and Ben Reichley, he was waxing most eloquently about these plans. All well and good, but it seems that his plans only apply to some, and certainly not to the City of Sunbury and their very own portfolio of blighted properties.

Rear view of #239 Spruce Street

#239 Spruce – old vine-covered freezer and sagging balcony.

Not The Item spoke with Terry and Mary Marshall of Spruce Street, who occupy one half of a double. The other half, #239, has been owned by the City for 7 years, and would most certainly fall within the Mayor’s criteria to be considered an abandoned and blighted property.


June 12th, 2013

Furious Mother attacks City Code Officers

A Sunbury mother has contacted Not The Item, incensed by what she read in the Daily Item today about “resident after resident” lining up to sing the praises of city code officers (Wednesday June 12th), and has asked us to tell her very different story.

Her son, daughter and grandson share a rental property on the south side of the City, which was inspected earlier this year by code officers Swope and Rhodes. The inspection, which she described as cursory at best, lasted all of 10 minutes. They reported no defects, but were supplied by her daughter with a list of things which she thought were in need of attention. However, the following week when a plumber arrived to take care of some of these issues, a very different picture emerged.

Broken Water Heater Vent Pipe

Death Trap – Showing Broken Water Heater Vent Pipe.

Not The Item