Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mitchell And Kanjorski Enjoy Heads In The Sand

In a feeble attempt to recover from headlines regarding Kanjorski requesting campaign contributions from those he regulates Ed Mitchell and Paul Kanjorski tried to deflect the criticism with attacks on Lou Barletta as Mayor of Hazleton in today's Times Leader.

What has obviously become their game plan for the fall Mitchell pointed to the financial problems Hazleton is facing at the moment. Is Hazleton facing financial problems now? Yes. Has Hazleton faced financial problems in the past? Yes. Is it likely Hazleton will face problems in the future? Maybe.

What Mitchell and Kanjorski have their heads stuck in the sand about is the fact that all over his district municipality after municipality are facing fire financial straits. Here are some of the recent tough decisions that elected officials had to make in just a few municipalities and counties in the 11th Congressional District.


Scrantonians would not face a tax increase under a 2010 budget released Friday, but holding that line would be balanced against city job cuts and increased parking meter rates.

"Obviously, we're in the midst of a recession," Mayor Chris Doherty said. "We don't want to increase taxes if we don't have to."

Overall, spending would decrease from $78.6 million in 2009 to $77.8 million under the new plan, so the pain avoided by property owners must be spread elsewhere.

Twenty-seven jobs would be eliminated under the budget, Business Administrator Stu Renda said, including five Department of Public Works jobs, eight vacant Fire Department positions and six positions related to the Single Tax Office.

Parking meter rates, meanwhile, would be increased from 25 cents per half hour to 50 cents, and the initial parking meter fine would increase from $10 to $20..
- Scranton Times, Nov. 14, 2009


Over the past four and a half years, my administration has made staffing cuts in every department, reduced spending and prioritized our goals to fit within the constraints of the budget. We have decreased the number of employees in administrative positions, while increasing the number of police officers on our streets. We have tightened our belts and done more with less.- Mayor Tom Leighton's 2009 Budget Address

It was Paul Kanjorski's PAC, Citizens For Action, that gave Mayor Tom Leighton $20,000.00 in campaign contributions for his race against Rep. John Yudichak. Donations are signs you support a candidate and his actions. Evidently Kanjorski has no problem with Leighton's layoffs but wants to take a hypocritical position with respect to Barletta.


For months, Dunmore borough officials warned layoffs could be looming as a necessary cost-savings measure in the cash-strapped borough.

Those warnings became reality as council laid off both full- and part-time employees and consolidated positions, and combined some duties, which they said should save the borough about $146,000.

"One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was lay off people," council President Timothy Burke said, addressing the layoffs at a special council meeting Monday.

The Department of Public Works lost five employees - two full-time and three part-time, said Paul Nardozzi, DPW liaison and council vice president.
- Scranton Times, Jan. 13, 2010


Borough council members blamed rising costs and plummeting revenues for the 3.5-mill property tax increase in the proposed 2010 Stroudsburg budget on Wednesday night.
The municipal tax rate will increase from the 2009 level of 35.5 mills to 39 mills next year if the borough council votes to adopt the budget at the next scheduled meeting on Dec. 17
- "Stroudsburg proposes 2010 budget with increased taxes," Pocono Record, Dec. 3, 2009

Luzerne County has raised taxes.

The common denominator is that Paul Kanjorski represents all of these communities. Maybe it is federal actions or inactions that have helped to burden these municipalities.

Shawn Kelly, Communications Coordinator of the Barletta For Congress campaign makes the following assessment:

"Is Kanjorski is out of touch, or he is again stretching the facts to win an election?

"Maybe Kanjorski should take a lesson from Mayor Barletta and other elected officials in his district – unlike Congress, they don't spend money they don't have. When they have to lay off employees, they do so reluctantly; they don't hire more government workers the way Washington does.

"It's time for Kanjorski to stop attacking and start helping the municipalities and citizens of Northeastern Pennsylvania."

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