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?
Once again our beloved Mayor has been caught fiddling while Sunbury burns. At a city meeting on Monday 8th December his proposals, to lay off two police officers from an already under-staffed department, were being discussed at the exact time an armed robbery was taking place not more than half a mile away, at the Turkey Hill gas station on Front Street.
Can anyone else see something very wrong here?
Turkey Hill – Armed Robbery while City Discusses Police Cuts
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)
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.
“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.
The controversy surrounding Sunbury’s troubled security camera system continues to rumble on this week. There are still far more questions than answers.
Big Brother – but is he even Looking?
At last week’s meeting of the City Council (January 13th 2014), Mayor Persing, closely questioned by audience member Mr. Drake Saxton, gave a master class in the art of obfuscation. Representing Not The Item, Mr. Saxton attempted repeatedly to disentangle fact from fiction, in a situation which is rapidly descending into the realms of farce.
There are thousands, if not millions of people in America, who are happy the election is over so they can finally stop hearing about “the candidates,” “the issues,” and just “politics” in general. I too was one of those people. That is, up until 4 years ago when my dad was elected to the Sunbury City Council. At that moment I had a reason to care about politics, although I never understood it and I never really paid attention.
When he was elected, he had many ideas on how to improve the city. Whether it was concepts for businesses in the city, ways to improve efficiency of our city employees, or hopes of helping citizens in the city who are less fortunate and need financial or physical assistance improving their homes.
I followed his journey through the ups and downs of being a public official in Sunbury while I was in college but didn’t have a lot of extra time to help. When I finished my last semester of classes in graduate school, I finally had some free time to spend helping video record the City Council meetings on Monday nights.