Mayor Persing has discovered that there is more to life than softball, certainly when it comes to paying for damage to private property caused by his contractor during the recent $400,000 extension to his palatial Hall of Fame.
A house in Race St. belonging to Linda Metzger, and which she shares with her disabled husband, sustained severe damage during demolition of an adjoining property. Despite clear evidence of negligence including a video, Persing refused to accept liability, and arrogantly dismissed all claims for compensation.
For many residents, increasingly concerned by the circus at City Hall, the events at the meeting of Monday 12th May were the final straw. Following the leaked announcement on WKOK the previous Friday of Chief Mazzeo’s demotion, there had been a widespread feeling of despair and confusion. This mood however, turned very quickly to one of anger when it became apparent that the decision on his demotion was arbitrary and capricious, was not supported by any evidence of wrong-doing, and was not part of any rational plan from the city administration to enhance the performance of our police department.
Once again Persing has betrayed our city and his oath of office. It has become painfully obvious that the defense and protection of our citizens and the safeguarding of their constitutional rights is something which is not deemed worthy of his consideration.
Calls for his recall are today reverberating around Sunbury.
The Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) is a 6,500+ acre (over 10 sq. mile) park which is under development primarily on coal scarred county owned land, in Northumberland county, PA. The reported plans include camping, hiking, biking, and horseback riding facilities plus motorcycle, ATV and full size off-road trails at the park.
Excessive Police Presence
Phase one is near completion and partial operations are to commence on their official opening day scheduled for May 17th 2014. Surprisingly as of May 11th there is not yet any signage in place to mark the entrance, and the entrance road itself was barricaded, complete with dire threats of action against would-be trespassers, aimed no doubt at unwitting county taxpayers whose money made this whole extravaganza possible in the first place.
Vinnie Welcomes You
This is a somewhat different scene from the one witnessed last weekend, when those arriving to stage a peaceful protest over access rights to the property were met by the intimidating presence of excessive numbers of heavily armed state police in full riot gear.
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.