Not The Item


Softball? – Not as we Know It!

March 20th, 2013

Sunbury PA, 20th March 2013

Sunbury Mayor, Dave Persing

Dave Persing

Mayor Persing is fanatical in his devotion to the sport of softball, but when it comes to personal ambition, the ball he uses is of a considerably harder variety.

Not The Item was alerted to the situation in Race and Vine Streets, close by the brand new Degenstein-financed $400,000 extension to the mayor’s state-of-the-art softball training complex. We uncovered a trail of ripped-off property owners who could well have received better deals at the hands of Tony Soprano than the ones being offered by our illustrious leader.

“They Almost Destroyed My Home!” – Linda

Linda Metzger, 67, lives with her disabled husband at #327 Race St. Persing’s contractors have caused severe structural damage to her home, some of which is still to be resolved, and now she relies on Xanax to soothe her shattered nerves.

Linda Metzger's house at #327 Race St., Sunbury

Linda’s House

Linda’s property was built around 1850 – part of the historic fabric of our city. Linda was brought up there and has lived there on and off for the last 62 years. She has fond memories of her late father, a plasterer, who did much to renovate and improve the building’s interior.

Linda Metzger stands next to her damaged wall

Linda and her wall

#327 abutted to #325, both houses sharing a common dividing wall which was sealed by them from the elements. Having acquired #325 the mayor brought in a company to demolish it. They caused so much damage to this wall that it fell down by itself, leaving all the internal walls of Linda’s house exposed during a period of intense rainfall. Large cracks appeared in her living room wall and water ran into her basement.

Meantime, the adjacent excavated area for a new sidewalk had begun to fill with rainwater. One night, with a terrible roaring sound, the pressure from the water succeeded in breaching her basement wall, causing further damage and severe basement flooding.

In both cases neither the ASA nor their contractors were of much help, and left a 67 year old, recovering from a recent heart attack, largely to her own devices. In order to plug the hole in her foundations she was obliged to somehow carry countless heavy bucket loads of fill up from her basement and dump them outside her house.

Damaged wall at #327 Race St

Showing the wall as it was left by the contractors.

Close up of damaged wall

Close up of damaged wall

$10,000 – Derisory Offer!

Mayor Persing offered her $10,000 for her property – $10,000 for a house which she had just bought the previous year for $50,000 – and despite the fact that he had paid his friends, the Shipmans, $76,000 for their property – the one which had been demolished!

Complaints to the City received little sympathy. Linda, they said, should have been better prepared – she had, after all, been given a whole year to get ready – get ready for what, her house being destroyed?

Rebuilt basement wall

Rebuilt basement wall

Code officers Swope and Rhoads appeared on the scene during the reconstruction of the wall. The contractor told them, in no uncertain terms, that Linda had suffered more than enough at the hands of their employer, and that any building fees due should be paid by the mayor out of his own pocket. They left and did not return.

Linda has to date paid out $4100 to fix her house – to repair damage caused by others and which should have been repaired by them too – this has cost her the inheritance she received from her mother, which she was keeping for a rainy day – no pun intended. Her basement still floods every time that it rains. We believe she has a very strong legal case for compensation.

Noise Problem

Not only that. The Center is in daily use from 6 am until 10 pm, and the inadequacy of its sound insulation means that Linda has to put up with constant noise – the boom, boom, boom of balls bouncing from walls and floors – so loud that it even disturbs her neighbor in #329, who happens to be nursing a young infant. She is dreading the coming of summer with the necessity of keeping windows open to cool her house. The mayor would appear to enjoy immunity from enforcement of the city noise ordinance.

Persings softball center extension.

Softball Center dwarfs neighboring buildings.

Is this really the way in which we want our city to be run – where those who stand in the way of the mayor’s ambition are so ruthlessly swept to one side. Surely our city council should be standing up for the little person, the poor, the old, the infirm and the needy, rather than taking such wanton advantage of their unfortunate circumstances.

We fear we have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg with this investigation. The mayor already has a list of at least 25 “blighted” properties scheduled for demolition, and is looking at extending it to many more. He alluded to this fact during his recent State of the City address where he mentioned the possibility of replacing entire neighborhoods, and in the process destroying even more of the unique fabric which makes up our community.

To be continued.

Give Us Your Story

Our investigation is on-going. If you know of anyone who has suffered similar experiences at the hands of Mayor Persing, or indeed have yourself been a victim, then please use the Contact Us form to pass on your information. We will need a contact name and phone number or email address to get back to you but rest assured that such information will remain totally confidential and will not be shared with anyone else.



  • britbart says on: March 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm


    I would like to see the statistics of how many kids involved in the ASA are from Sunbury, since we are taking them off of the streets and all.

  • admin says on: March 23, 2013 at 11:56 am


    In reply to a comment which is either uninformed or misinformed, we would like to point out to everyone that Julie Brosius has no connection whatever with Not The Item. We support her campaign 100% to become the next mayor of Sunbury. It is time for change. The City needs a fresh start and an end to the corruption, cronyism and nepotism which currently plagues City Hall. Julie is the person who will clean out the stables, and quickly. Give her your vote in May!

  • britbart says on: March 23, 2013 at 9:33 am


    I find it very sad that so many people are ignoring what this story is really about. This woman’s house was destroyed because she didn’t want to give up her house for $10,000. She was given a year to make the decision and had a heart attack. Then after she went through that her house was destroyed and she was left to her own devices to fix it with her own money. How is that fair? And look at the picture of her house and the new addition of the ASA. It is a tin, non insulated warehouse 2 feet away from her house. I don’t see how it could NOT be a noisy place to live next to. PLEASE someone tell me how this place gets kids off of the streets?????? I just don’t get it! If 70% of the children in school are living in poverty how can they afford the huge cost of one of these teams? And WHO CARES ABOUT SOFTBALL!!!??? Sure “tax payer money is not being spent at the ASA” but that is not the real issue here. Persing is using his power as mayor to slowly steal people’s houses from them USING the city (eminent domain) for his own personal gain. This is not the only person this has happened to and i’m sure we’ll be hearing more soon. I am happy to see a newpaper that is really reporting the facts and not stuck up the Mayor’s ass so far that they can’t see reality.

    And side note: The riverfront project is the most shameful project of all. They wasted the money on a half-assed multimillion dollar project that was suppposed to seat 10,000 people and have parking with easy access. Instead we got a project that took 2 years longer than expected and there is no easy way to get across the street to it from anywhere. I would be surprised if it sat more than 50 people AND there is no parking! How is this supposed to attract large bands/events that will actually make the city money? IT WONT! What a waste of the grant money we got. People should be up in arms about the shit that is happening in this town and this newspaper is the only paper that is reporting the news. The Daily Item is a rag paper for Mayor Persing. Debate me on the issue–I dare you

    • sharisnyder says on: March 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm


      Thank you, BritBart! You brought to light the real issue here. If the shoe was on the other foot, These ‘Peeps’ would be singing a completely different tune!

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