Girard decisions were made appropriately
There is a movement afoot in the present City of Girard's administration to portray the new justice center and the purchase of two lakes as a boondoggle and a waste of taxpayers' money. The present administration is blaming their money woes and giving their reasons for employee layoffs on the past administrations where the projects originated. The need for these projects, like all undertakings of the city, is a matter of opinion.
I served as the AFSCME Union president, representing the city's service employees to mayors Kenneth Woodford, Joseph Christopher and Sonny Schuyler. All three mayors recognized the abilities of Ralph Ruggiero to run the daily operations of Girard and to prepare its public services and infrastructure for the 21st century. That man has been deemed as very "unprofessional" by the present administration.
If one entered the old administration building for business at any city office, the chances were very good that they would pass a police officer escorting a handcuffed prisoner to or from a preliminary hearing in the municipal courtroom that also was used as council chambers. You also would have seen these prisoners passing children playing in the hallway while they waited with their parents to see the city nurse. Some of these prisoners were charged with murder, rape, armed robbery and child molesting.
The safety-service director and the Municipal Court judge lobbied city council to remove this threat to public safety. The result was the construction of the justice center. Credit should be given to all who were involved in bringing this project forward because they did it before there was a disaster, not after.
The decision to buy the lakes and surrounding property for the purpose of supplying our own drinking water and for the sale of water outside the city for a profit was motivated by the fact that wholesale water purchased by the city is approaching $1 million per year and that the rates are set by separate political entities that we have no control over. Once the city supplies utilities to the lakes property, it becomes a valuable city- owned asset that can be sold to the private sector for development. The water pollution control facility was built to accept future expansion of the city and is only utilizing 40 percent of its capacity now
Supplying water and wastewater treatment are infrastructure and enterprise development tools that are granted to incorporated cities such as Girard under the State statutes. Hopefully, the City can elect representatives with the foresight and courage to bring projects like these forward and see them completed. This is how America grows.
A prominent area business woman, once told me that Girard is not a city where new ground is likely to be broken and that the people were too immersed in the old ways. I hope that she was wrong.
Bankrupt firms provide for CEOs, not workers
During these hard economic times, I have read several articles in The Vindicator pertaining to the Phar-Mor, Enron and now the Polaroid bankruptcy.
What possessed me to write is how the U.S. bankruptcy court allows the executives of these firms to take lucrative pay and double their salaries in bonuses.
The latest Vindicator article features Polaroid CEO Gary DiCamillo taking his salary of $850,000 plus double that amount, $1.7 million in bonuses. In comparison, a picture in the article shows a 45 year old former Polaroid employee on disability being told his medical benefits are being terminated this week.
The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.
These are the same executives who probably caused the company's bankruptcy in the first place. Yet as in the Phar-Mor article several weeks ago, the court said these executives are irreplaceable. They are needed to see the company back to profitability.
No one is irreplaceable. Give me a break.
As a common stock shareholder in Phar-Mor, I guess, to put it mildly, I can get the stock certificate, hang it on the wall and throw darts at it, while the executives are living high off the land.
My mind tells me what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Is this justice? You tell me.