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Sound Off - 12/17/14

Submissions to Sound Off appear as written. The Press And Journal edits only for clarity and punctuation.

• “As I drive into town on North Union Street, my heart just soars when I see the Christmas decorations and lights hanging across the road. Thank you to everyone who makes this tradition happen for our community. The square looks wonderful.”

• “Last Wednesday night I was driving downtown and I thought I saw someone who looked like a borough official going through a garbage can near the place that is abandoned. Times must really be tough for the borough employees. Should we start a Borough Aid event to help?”

• “There should be no debate or question for council as to which option to choose. Eliminate the high-paying position of communications director. That position can be eliminated without losing any services to the community. They eliminated close to three-quarters of the working work force, so this should be a no-brainer!”

• “HACC student: Paying sales taxes makes consumers pay money that they could otherwise save or spend on other things. Consumers are a big part of the economy; they represent nearly three-quarters of the GDP. They pay taxes from their limited income already, so if they save tax money they may spend it to help business to grow. Consumers can use that money on other necessary things for their family, or save it for their children’s college. They can make their life better and more satisfying by having more disposable income. Consumers could also invest some of that money they were spending on taxes. Paying taxes on any single purchase, or on a daily basis, like food and drink, hurts the poor or middle class. According to a 2010 IRS survey, 50 percent of Americans make less than $33,000 per year. If we cut sales taxes, we can have more money to help small businesses and their employees; small business creates over 60 percent of new jobs in America. We can replace the tax receipt with a higher investment tax. Raise taxes on the wealthy who are not working for their salaries. Taking more taxes from the wealthy is a good solution because they have a lot of money, so the tax cut can be bigger for a middle-income employee. This way, government can collect much more from rich people and can make the middle-class people save their little extra money to help them live a little better or have a business that also can help the economy grow. Everyone can be happy.”

• “I own a house on Ann Street in Middletown, Pa. One of the neighboring houses is owned by a slumlord who rents to anyone who moves in to the building. The tenants often have no pride and throw garbage out the back door leaving it to blow into the yards. Sofas and other furniture is dumped outside in the alleyway, and it sits for weeks at a time. A green couch is there now. These same people often will stand outside in big groups, smoke cigarettes, drink beer, and sometimes drug use. It’s been reported to the landlord, to the police and to the Middletown powers-that-be and yet this landlord goes on. Add to it: There are two houses within a half-mile that were burnt from fire and yet not destroyed or repaired. What is Middletown’s problem? Why can’t it be more prideful?”

• “They’re always saying the economy is improving and more people are finding jobs, and that the job market is improving. But they never say how many of those jobs are part-time. They’re deceiving the people again.”

• “Does anyone remember that sub shop in the Village of Pineford called Zeek’s Hoagie Hut? I haven’t found any sub place that can compete to theirs. I had a sub the other day and I was thinking of Zeek’s hoagies. Does anyone know if they have a sub shop around the area?”

• “I am so sick of hearing that Middletown is broke. We need to fire Morgan and vote council out. We have 20-plus fewer employees. The fire department gets much less money. We have the electric trust and now the money for the sewer lease deal. They are still saying the borough is broke. Why is that? We have many fewer services, no Christmas in the park, the Christmas lights are not even on yet over the streets. No more Woody Waste pickup. What are we getting for our money? McNamara is building a fire museum? You people are pathetic. If we rolled back the calendar to 1776, McNamara would be tarred and feathered. Where is the money, you idiots?”

• “We can all thank McNamara when our main roads don’t get plowed. If he didn’t eliminate all those worker positions there would be enough employees to take care of our town. Now he is trying to blame the leasing of the water treatment plant when we were short of employees before that. What doesn’t make sense is that our plows will have to drive on routes 230 and 441 to plow borough streets anyway! I thought leasing the water treatment plant was the answer to all our troubles. Guess not. Just another way to get rid of more employees.”

• “Instead of spending $54,000 a year on a controversial ‘newsletter,’ hire one or two public works employees. That would be a bigger benefit to this town!”

• “I find it appalling that Chris McNamara and Borough Council do not consider the lives of Middletown residents worth $7,300 to keep the streets safe during a snowstorm. The legal ramifications will be much, much worse than this amount. Imagine if people sue Middletown because they can’t get to work because the streets are impassable, emergency equipment can’t get to a call or are involved in an accident due to road conditions or, heaven forbid, a loaded school bus slides down the hill backwards at Union and Main if they have to stop at the top of the hill. There will be many accidents at the edge of town when people come from a road that is cleared into Middletown and hit a sheet of ice. If this is one of the ‘benefits’ of leasing the water and sewer systems, why did you do it?”

• “Here’s an idea: Eliminate the communications director position, save $50,000, and there’d be no problem to afford snow removal!”

• “I don’t condone hit-and-run accidents, but maybe you should keep your boat and all of your other various boats, tractor trucks, trailers, and hacked-off back end of a pickup truck that you park there from time to time in front of your own house and be more considerate of your neighbors. The road is too narrow, and you’re the only one who parks there.”

• “If McNamara and Courogen want to cut all the plow jobs, then they can get out and shovel the roads by hand. We can get two plow drivers for the cost of Courogen’s salary. This council is so stupid.”

• “Last winter I saw Londonderry Twp.’s supervisors out plowing as a way to save the township some money. So when can I expect Courogen, McNamara or Konek to get out there?”

• “Isn’t it great that we let the people who don’t even live in the borough make the decision to not clear the roads?”

• “Dear Santa: Please help us! Middletown needs a Christmas miracle. Middletown Borough Council has lost their way. Even more than before it seems that the powers-that-be can’t seem to understand the difference between want and need. They want all these outlandish things with money we do not have and we need electric, water and safe roads to survive, make it to work and school so we can pay our taxes. One councilor even went as far as to say the  road to the high school is Lower Swatara Twp.’s problem. Hello, councilor! You do realize that many students from Middletown Borough also travel on Union Street? I see in the latest (newsletter) that council have even changed to emergency routes in the borough, and North Union Street emergency route stops at Park Circle. This is getting scarier by the day! Santa, we need you now more than ever. Please help us!”