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Mailbag: Letters From Readers


May 19. 2013 4:46PM
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School directors explain platform


As primary election day approaches, we believe it is important to present the state of the district.


Crestwood, like school districts throughout the state, struggles to balance budgets as costs increase and revenue sources diminish. The key to maintaining a successful district during difficult economic times is to find a balance. A balance which acknowledges that educating our children is paramount and doing so in a fiscally responsible manner is equally important.


We along with the rest of the present board members, in conjunction with the administration, have had to make the sometimes difficult decisions required to sustain overall excellence. These decisions are not taken lightly and they are certainly not easy, but they have to be made. We are proud that our academic excellence has been maintained. We are proud of our record of maintaining this excellence while having a zero tax increase last year.


We were, and are, aware that only increasing taxes does not solve anything; that spending was equally important in achieving a balanced budget.


We did raise the tax rate in 2011, not an easy or popular decision based on the feedback we received from many Crestwood taxpayers. Likewise, the administration was, and is asked to provide areas from which spending reductions may be made.


This board continues to look at ways to sustain this balance, negotiating fair contracts with our professional and support personnel, hiring an insurance broker to look for savings while maintaining (where possible) the benefits our staff have come to rely on, authorizing utility supply contracts with reduced costs, and streamlining operations by not filling vacant positions.


One definition of sustainability is “using a resource so that the resource is not depleting or permanently damaged.” We pledge to do what’s best for the students and taxpayers of the district. On May 21 we ask that you sustain leadership, sustain experience, and sustain quality education in the Crestwood School District.


Vote for Eric Aigeldinger and Norb Dotzel, school directors.


Eric Aigeldinger and Norb Dotzel

Mountain Top

Where mayor failed; an option to do better


The gall of Mayor Carl Kuren to take over scheduling of the Wilkes-Barre Township police department. That’s the chief of police’s job. We have an excellent police department in Wilkes-Barre Township except for two or three cronies for Mayor Kuren.


Where’s the police chief? Stand up to Mayor Kuren. Defend your officers or step aside.


Mayor Carl Kuren, how about setting up meetings with Laurel Run, Ashley, Hanover Township and Wilkes-Barre? Form a partnership and dialogue and communication. Have a sit-down to make Wilkes-Barre Township and the area better. Form a neighborhood crime watch committee.


Many people can do a lot better job than you can. An excellent choice would be administrator Mike Revitt. He’s educated, knows the ins and outs and has the name recognition.


Joseph Naperkowski

Wilkes-Barre Township

Controller hopeful seeks voter support


I am a Democratic candidate for Luzerne County Controller and I am writing to ask for your vote on May 21.


Under our new Luzerne County home rule charter, the County Controller serves as an independent watchdog over county fiscal and management activities.


The Controller has the authority to conduct fiscal, performance, management and other related audits of county divisions and departments.


My background and experience as a Luzerne County Commissioner for 12 years and my current service on Luzerne County Council makes me uniquely qualified to serve as an independent watchdog over county fiscal and management activities. I know county government and how it operates.


During my 24 years of military service as an enlisted person and an officer, I managed and led teams, three companies and a large organization with over three hundred people with a $216 million dollar annual budget.


I understand government finance and was responsible for budget preparation, payroll, maintaining internal controls and managing the resources of the organizations I commanded.


The military service taught me an important lesson about freedom. We must stand up for the oppressed and act appropriately when the need arises.As a former Luzerne County Commissioner, I was not beholden to special interests. I acted ethically, exposed corruption in our courthouse and voted to take away pension benefits from corrupt county officials.


I will serve as your fiscal watchdog.


I will present a quarterly financial review of the fiscal status of our county to the county council and the public. Three weeks ago we were informed that our county manager spend 2.3 million dollars more in fiscal year 2012, than county council authorized.


We need a controller with the appropriate skills to closely monitor county finances and to stop excess spending before it takes place, not report about millions of dollars in excess spending after the money is gone.


I humbly ask for your vote.


Stephen A. Urban Wilkes-Barre




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