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Sound Off-12/05

Posted 12/4/12

“I see the Borough Council is finding creative ways to give money to the slumlords to fix up their properties. Plus, their creativity abounds them. Hiding the money they already have – priceless. You people are as crooked as they come. You could …

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Sound Off-12/05


"Yes, I mean, all due respect to the Press And Journal . . ."

"Those trees downtown were beautiful. You people are nothing but bullies. We have seen that first hand with the way you made the police arrest that woman. They didn't want to do that. When the majority of you thugs are out of office, the rest of you will not be forgotten. You will have to answer for your actions. Ethics in government is always the right thing. Remember that.”


A captain always goes down with his ship. You people in middle management for the borough are throwing your crew overboard just to save yourself. And you’re also sacrificing your respectability and integrity. It’s embarrassing to watch. Plus, voting the way the borough tells you to vote on the Shade Tree Commission – shady.”


“I like that nickname, ‘King Little.’ ”


“If people like you are in the majority, then we are in big trouble. Grow up.”


“To the person who thinks the child luring is a ploy: I read your comment on Facebook. I think you are ridiculous. I don't know where you come up with this stuff, but if you have spread rumors like that in support of the borough, then this town is in big, big trouble. Those poor children having to deal with perpetrators, and you turn it into something political. You’re an adult – you should start acting like one. Step away and think about some of the things you are doing.”


“The highest paid union employee doesn’t even make the lowest wage you posted. You’re lying. I hope they don't pick up your leaves until last. Misinformation seems to come easy to the council cheerleaders.”


“I want that pompous, arrogant, borough official fired! Wait, there's more than one? Get rid of them all. Start with the communications director. Mr. Mayor, don't take any crap from those corrupt people – and don't believe them, either.”


“I have been following this financial saga with council and Mark Morgan of Susquehanna Group. I truly believe an investigation needs to take place by the Attorney General. 1. How does he get hired and paid over $100,000 to take a borough in good financial condition and make it look like a sinking ship just to fulfill council’s dreams? 2. When there still is a surplus in the electric fund of over $500,000, rather than hire back the electrical employees laid off he directs council to blow it. What experience does he have with managing a utility, let alone utility financing? He does not live in our beloved town nor does he care if our services like water, emergencies and electric are impacted. You can’t even get a written report, and now all he does is reuse the last finance director’s spreadsheets and reduce line items. Where is his impact statements on each reduction? I could have my 6-year-old lower numbers just as he did. And once again I ask, How Much Are WE Paying This Guy?”


I also recently had a tree approved by the Shade Tree Commission to be cut down that was lifting my sidewalk. I am glad that they didn’t reject my application, nor do I think they can. The only difference is I fixed my sidewalk right away and planted another tree, like they recommended. But why would our borough manager cut these trees down before they were ready to plant other trees or even fix the sidewalks? You can’t do neither in the winter. Council and the manager should have known better to shove this down the businesses’ throats, as they have with all their hidden agendas. This should have waited ‘til spring when this project started. My other concern is why would you cry poor and lay off your employees, but then blow money like this?


“A $500,000 surplus even before the financial benefits of all these cuts kick in. What happened to the $3 million deficit? We can’t even seem to get the truth out of our so-called financial expert, Mark Morgan.”


“I'd like to thank the Middletown Borough electric employees for coming to my house during Hurricane Sandy. We had a tree fall, which tore our wires away from the house, therefore disrupting electric service. They worked through the wind and rain to restore power to our house.”


“I saw a dove today and it reminded me that there is still peace in the world! How sad that the residents in Middletown continue to bash the people they elected. People are getting pink slips all over the country, why is Middletown an exception?”


“Visiting family during the Thanksgiving holiday and drove through the little park along the creek. What a beautiful place! Wish it had been dark so that we could've seen the lights. Merry Christmas, Middletown!”


“Is this forum only for negative comments? Wouldn't it be nice to hear or read something positive for a change? If you can't say something nice, don't say it at all.”


“Peace on earth, goodwill to all.”


“I remember growing up in this town when I was young. I wish people would be more kind and courteous to each other like in the old days.”


“One of the most beautiful things is the holiday lights hanging from the street when it snows. I just love to look out my window and see Main Street covered in a fresh mantle of snow. It looks just like a picture in a book.”


“The endless litany of complaints is quite banal.”


“Remember to treat others as you would want to be treated. Please show respect and dignity for yourself by being kind to each other and not bashing your adversary. Nobody is perfect – please remember that. I know bad news sells better than good news but please try to show some decorum.”


“You know this Middletown newsletter is getting a little old trying to say a business left because of electric rates. If the only part of the equation would be high electric rates that would be one thing, but with a mixture of tax rates and electric rates, they can't seem to connect the dots.”


“Any money they saved screwing the Press And Journal went to their lawyers.”


“Strange – in the Middletown Matters they accuse prior councils of high rates. So what do they do? Go out and spend bond money (which should go to the infrastructure of the borough) on non-borough buildings? The bond money will be gone – they won't be around when the tough things have to be done and all the money is gone.”


“You know, every time I turn on the TV I get a spin from DC. Now every time I read the borough newsletter I get a bunch of spin, too.”


“I just received the latest Middletown Matters magazine. Wow – can you say ‘propaganda?’ At the very least it was humorous.”


“If the tree falls on my car, it'll make a sound! If the bird in the tree poops on me, I'll make a sound. If the tree knocks out power, the residents will make a sound. If the Borough Council keeps doing what it’s doing, they'll get a tree, bird poop and residents on their car!”


“If Middletown Council refuses to want to use revenue from the sale of electricity to fund borough services, they might as well sell the electric department to PPL, Penelec or Met-Ed. That way, citizens would be able to shop for suppliers with the best rates as customers of major utilities can do in Pennsylvania. It would also help during a major outage because they could call crews from other areas to help. From what I am hearing from the remaining electric department and other employees, there are not enough linemen left to support a major outage in the borough. The same is true for the water and sewer departments. With routine maintenance no longer being performed due to the reductions, it’s not a matter of if a major outage will occur, but when.”


“All I can say is wow, people complaining because the Middletown Police Department is watching a bar in town on a Friday night. What if we didn't have the police department? Then if there was a trouble at that establishment, you would be waiting an hour for the state troopers to get there. I am glad Middletown has a police department – and if you have been in touch with what’s going on around you, that may not be so in a few months. Apparently members of the council are pretty out of touch with the community and the crime that is here and will only get much worse if there is no police department here. You guys are fools if you even consider disbanding the department, which, people, if you Google the department there is some talk of disbanding it. Not smart, council. Not smart.”


“ I just read the article in the Monday Patriot-News. As for McNamara saying the Journal needs to get on board: That is the problem. He thinks everyone must agree with him or he retaliates in some way.”


“This latest Middletown newsletter is nothing but a bunch of propaganda and untruths!”


“This council better get a big dose of reality real soon! The description of the revitalization of the borough sure belongs in a science fiction novel. If Harrisburg, Lancaster and York performing arts centers are struggling to fill their venues, what makes them think people will come to Middletown? Several three-story parking garages, are you kidding? They must all be out in La-La land.”


“McNamara made the statement in the paper that the Press And Journal should get ‘on board’ with them. That seems to be the statement he makes to a lot of people, including borough employees, then tells them if they are not with us, you are against us. He and council are the ones dividing this town.”


“I don't understand how this town's council and management can treat their employees so callously. They have no regards or respect for all the years of loyal and competent service, yet they hire and keep on an incompetent individual who cannot even do his job. Someone else has to do his work for him. Such a shame!”


“Rumor has it that at the Dec. 3 borough council meeting the council members plan on voting to disband the police department and/or reduce it down to one officer per shift. As a graduate of Middletown Area High School and long-time resident, it is with disappointment and disgust with our current council that this even be thought of as a smart, budget-savvy decision. As I reflect on all of the heartache that the current council has caused our beloved town, I hope that people will finally stand up for what we have left. Removing our police department or reducing it to the point where it becomes ineffective is unthinkable. Our families’ safety, our children’s safety and our neighbors’ safety is truly at jeopardy. Please tell me how purchasing three new vehicles, outfitting them, completely overhauling the communications center and paying for new equipment and training for the officers of a department that your are planning on getting rid of makes any sense. My heart hurts for these individuals who think that they have the authority to endanger the safety of our families. The council has forgotten that they rely on the services of the police department, too. At times I think they don't realize that one day they will become simple citizens again, just as you and I are, and will be forced to face the decisions that they have made that are destroying our beloved town.”


“Corbett can't privatize the liquor stores, but he seems bent on outsourcing the Lottery. Anyone who plays the Lottery and ALL seniors should demand answers. Why so secretive, Corbett? What do you have to hide?”


“The new trees in town look terrible. There is no reason the trees couldn’t be cut down in the spring.”


“These people are freaking NUTS, and so are their small group of followers.”


“If the founding fathers who started Middletown could see what's been happening to their beloved town, they'd be rolling over in their graves.”


“I just got around to reading Middletown Matters (what an ironic title). I am extremely appalled at the blatant attack on the Press And Journal, as well as GMEDC, particularly in the format of the town newsletter! The unprofessionalism that is allowed sickens me, especially since it is ongoing. If it is so much cheaper to advertise in the Patriot-News, as opposed to the Press And Journal, then why not provide the FACTS and FIGURES? Instead, they chose to include some snippets of comments that were used out of context. Again, unprofessional and misleading. Reminds me of the Romney campaign. They also didn't want to bother us with the facts. Anyone who thinks this town is ever going to need two parking garages is delusional. Donald Trump can build a mansion in the middle of the slums but it's still surrounded by a slum. I'm not saying Middletown is a slum, I'm trying to illustrate that the rest of Middletown is not cohesive to this vision. I'm sick and tired of feeling like I'm being pushed around by this council, and here are some words that come to mind to describe them: small-minded, uneducated, vindictive, colluding, controlling, lying, delusional, underhanded, uncaring, egotistical, lacking empathy and, most of all, narcissistic!”


“I read Mr. Burger's letter to the editor with some trepidation. Mr. Burger's mention of Dave Rhen got me to thinking: If I remember correctly, Dave Rhen, who was on council at the time, voted to break the electric contract with Met-Ed, thus eliminating the 1 cent per kilowatt the borough had been receiving to give it its financial stability.”


“Joe didn't try to stop his wife from being arrested because the Sukles are civilized people, not animals who defend each other from a lawful though ridiculous arrest with violence. All these conspiracy theories are hilarious and just stupid. Bottom line the Sukles are sick of the Middletown corrupt government and the destructive course it's on, to include every part of its local government. I think it was their way of standing up to the corruption that has gone unchecked for far too long. Nobody else in Middletown has had the courage to do that! Whoever pointed out that they don't even live in Middletown, well, they are standing up harder for Middletown than any resident, and with more courage! Most departments probably would have cut her chain, removed her, then issued a ticket or summons to her and ended it there, but who are the people in Middletown that are going to take charge someday? ‘The good people’ – where are you? Please step up and reclaim your town. Blah, blah, blah, with all this, just do something already!”


“Can the town get together and just make these clowns also known as the Borough Council members resign or step down? Can we just sign a big old petition or something?”


“A proud moment, hauling a tree hugger and local woman off to jail in cuffs. How cool to have that moment captured in a photograph and printed for all to see! Hardcore, guys!”


“Pretty obvious that the local government is getting personal and going after the Press And Journal – just being very slick about it. Watch out _ it's getting scary out there. Stay strong Press And Journal, keep fighting the good fight.”


“Remember those big walking trees from ‘Lord of the Rings?’ Where are they when you need them?”


“Pretty obvious who wrote the Sound Off about Lower Swatara commissioners and raising taxes, and how they should stop giving yearly raises to employees! I mean, God forbid you take care of your people, especially when you have top-notch people! Why on earth would you want to do anything to help them or make them happy? Just beat them down and take from them, that is how you roll! Karma is a powerful thing, and if you don't keep your balance with it, eventually you fall down. Seems like a conflict of interest if a commissioner or council member in any town or township lives in the town he serves and is against raising his own taxes – seems like his decision would be self-serving and biased beyond belief. They'd only be thinking what’s best for ‘themselves’ not the whole community. ‘Tighten our belts’ – how has that worked out for everybody?


“No matter how beautiful the package, it still doesn't change what is on the inside. Council is trying to put a pretty bow on town to camouflage their dismantling of this town.”


“Instead of laying off and eliminating jobs of competent employees who actually do work, why don't they eliminate an administration position or two? Those employees would never be missed, and would save money.”


“In reference to ‘The way the council president spoke to the nice reporter from the Press And Journal was an embarrassment to us all, except for the borough’s fan club in the front row. It now gives you an idea of how these people treat their employees. And when someone mentioned the Press And Journal, the borough secretary snickered, visibly. It was one of the most unprofessional displays I have ever witnessed. The one police officer was filming the meeting. Maybe he will give you a copy if you ask.’ If you had attended more meetings, you'd know that what you call ‘the fan club in the front row’ was probably a group of people who are tired of the way the Press And Journal reporter fails to report the council accurately! People that have lived here all their lives know all about that! It's a biased newspaper! Unfortunately, you either don't pay attention or you haven't lived here long enough to know! Way to go, McNamara! It's about time you stood up to the trashy tabloid that it is! It's not the same paper it was 40 years ago! Save even more trees by boycotting the Press And Journal!”


“Let's count the ways this council is destroying our town: 1) defund the library; 2) stop funding the Rec. Board; 3) lay off or eliminate more than a dozen employees; 4) looking into selling profit-making assets such as the electric department and water department; 5) get rid of police department.; 6) looking into making residents find their own trash disposal (can see it now – to save money, people would just let their trash pile up or try to use their neighbors disposal, another brilliant idea of this wacked council); 7) frivolous lawsuits. And the count could go on and on.”


“Is it true that it will cost at least $1,500 to equip the square with what's needed electric-wise to light all those trees?”


“The mayor needs to put his ego to rest! He spread a rumor that council was getting rid of the police force, which wasn't true! I've lost all respect for you, mayor! You need to go!”


“Middletown does have a codes enforcement office. Having seen some of the slum rentals from the inside, I never would have guessed.”


“If Middletown, Highspire, Lower Swatara, Royalton and Londonderry can save money with one police force, I'm all for it. The officers will be spread out, but at least more will be available at one time.”


“What a waste of money and time – call a special meeting to maybe merge. Come on, Fife, get a life.”


“Strange – council says crime is down. Hey, it might be, but remember it’s a secret now on how much crime there really is. Didn't we just have a murder and possible child abduction? Saga continues.”


“Does anyone know if council still gets paid, and are they gonna reduce to seven council people?”


“Funny, but sad for the folks who work for the borough: These people only have 12 months to go, so they’re gonna have all the meetings they can to flaunt their egos.”


“To Middletown Council: When we said this ‘shady’ business needs to stop, we did NOT mean cut down the trees!”


“Now we know why they weren't public about the crime in town.”


“Council says crime is down. Do we think from the past they are telling the truth, or what?”


“Why does the Middletown Borough's utility bill provide important information such as, (change of EMERGENCY phone numbers, leaf pick-up schedules, etc.) on the portion of the bill that needs to be returned with your payment? The borough should print this information on the portion of the bill that the customer keeps for their records.”


“Shopped at Target in High Point Commons on Thanksgiving evening. The store was packed and, of course, some customers were rude and ridiculous. However, I must say this was the most efficiently run checkout process. The extra staff standing like soldiers throughout the store to answer questions and direct customers to the items in the flyer were GREAT and much appreciated.”


“To the person who thought Louise Sukle does not have a right to express her opinion because she does not live in Middletown: I think you should look at how many Middletown business owners live within the borough. I, for one, find it rude that you would suggest she move into this town. Many of us who own businesses do not live in town. However, we do pay taxes and utilities to the borough. We support other local business and community clubs and schools. We give just as much, if not more, to this community than most of the residents. We pay more in taxes than must home owners and more than renters. Yet we do not have a voice in the community. Shame on council for not including all business in their decisions.”


“Why does the borough waste money to send out their newsletters to all residents? After reading it, in my opinion, most of it is lies, propaganda and bull to fit into council’s scheme of ruining this borough.”


“Lets get a RECALL election going for Borough Council.”


“My property taxes haven't gone up in Lower Swatara since I can't remember when. But my question is: When will the schools taxes stop going up every year? This is more concerning, considering that is what is hurting my pocket. I sure wish all the people complaining about township taxes would come to the school board meetings. That is the reason the taxes are so high here, people. Next thing, they are going to want to build a new high school. Only Steelton and Harrisburg top Middletown Area School District. What a joke. If that is the case, adios!”


“Mark Morgan, I would think you know better than advising council to sell their assets. You should be looking into more ways of generating revenue. Even Harrisburg isn't that ignorant! I bet you’re talking council into investing into Enron?”


“I wish the electric department would be allowed to install the missing Christmas decoration on the east side of the square in Middletown. The wire to hang it on came down at the end of last season and it wasn’t replaced. The square looks incomplete without it there.”


“Hey, McNamara and Courogen: A sharp tongue is not a reflection of a wise mind!”