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.
With the on-going revelations about the conduct of Sunbury police officers being featured almost on a daily basis in the pages of our local newspaper, we have to ask the question – what is the City’s agenda?
Right now Sunbury is in the midst of an unprecedented crime wave – gang activities, burglaries, home invasions, shootings, serious drug problems – as our local politicians continue to squabble behind the scenes over the appointment of a new police chief – an appointment only made necessary by their stupidity and propensity to put politics and self interest before citizen safety.
The criminals are well aware of this. They are flocking into our town to take advantage of the situation. Everyone should take extra precautions – secure their vehicles, windows and doors at all times, and stay alert for any suspicious activity.
The Daily Item is also aware of this situation, but refuses to alert our citizens to the dangers they face. Dark forces, we are told, have hamstrung their ability to fully report the news. Little more than the propaganda wing of this hapless city administration, they have been shown up once again as part of the problem in Sunbury rather than being part of its solution.
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 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.
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.
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.
“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.
Two simple words calculated to strike fear and trepidation in the hearts of corrupt politicians throughout the fair city of Sunbury, as we continue to expose to the full glare of publicity the events surrounding City Hall. We are certainly not in the business of civic spin doctoring – the editor and his staff at the Daily Item are more than capable of pulling the wool over the eyes of the local populace without any assistance from us.
The new Persing Administration wasted no time in signaling its intent to emulate its predecessor, with scant regard for what could be considered to be the best interests of our community and, in doing so, displaying exactly the same penchant for incompetence, stupidity and corruption. It began on election night with Persing’s notorious “taking out the garbage” victory speech during which, sounding more like North Korean leader Kim Jong-un than the Mayor of Sunbury, he crudely threatened the very foundations of local democracy by stating his intent to remove any and all opposition to his evil regime.