Over the last few weeks I have spoken with many people, shared in their personal experiences and learned many new things about our city. Almost all of them had one thing in common – a desire for change in our city. We need to steer a new course – one which will benefit all our citizens.
I can closely identify with these desires – the same ones which originally prompted me to run for mayor.
I want the citizens to know that my platform is one of us all working together as a city. The talent and interests of the members of our community can inspire the development of projects to embrace our family-like community spirit, with the potential to also develop and promote tourism.
I have not seen this issue properly addressed in the media nor at a council meeting. This is a very important issue to be brought forward as it affects our city and surrounding communities.
Nearly 11 months after they first approached the City about railroad crossing closures, Norfolk Southern Railroad Company were back in town approximately 2 weeks ago to once more pursue this agenda. At a meeting with Councilmen Bartello and Troup, they demanded agreement from the City to their plan to close most, if not all, crossings under the guise of cost cutting measures.
Their claim is that each railroad crossing closed will save them $250,000 in maintenance costs – against a current market valuation for this giant corporation of almost $22 billion, such figures pale into insignificance. If these closings were to be allowed, the scenario would allow them to run their trains through Sunbury at much higher speeds than the currently allowed 20 mph.
I was surprised by the response to my proposals from certain city fire officials. I did not presume to speak on their behalf. I stated my belief that the City must foster a closer association to support their (fire company) endeavors to keep abreast with modern technology, training, and fund-raising.
That is my core philosophy and one, which I intend to introduce to City Hall when interacting with all independent organizations and businesses within the City of Sunbury. I shall listen to their concerns, be proactive, and assist them in an effort to facilitate appropriate solutions to achieve their objectives.
(From the Daily Item Feb 7 2009)
What a reassurance to see other city residents feel our history should be chronicled and brought to life using our flood wall on Front Street.
Imagine the flood wall as a novel, each slab the picture of a book and the piers as the edge of a page.
The wall could be a frame-by-frame detailed motion picture of our city.
On June 23, in an e-mail to a friend, I said the city’s entire actual history should be portrayed this way from beginning to end. Indians, settlers, Fort Augusta, Bloody Spring, the railroad and the roundhouse, the Opera House (now Cole’s) all the fire companies, Thomas A. Edison’s marvel of lighting the Edison Hotel, established sections of town like Cake Town, the sheer fortune of our city being founded at the confluence of the North and West branches of the Susquehanna. Endless, priceless history!
Having a few fire fighters in the family, I am very much in tune with the men and women who offer their tireless heartfelt commitment, sacrifices, and bravery to insure the safety of us all in the community. I believe the City must foster a closer association to support their endeavors to keep abreast of modern technology, training, and fund-raising.
First agenda item after assuming office as your Mayor will be to arrange for myself and the safety officer to meet with emergency responders to hear first hand their issues and concerns, and to explore how best the City Council can assist them meet their objectives.
Today I issued the following statement to multiple local media outlets.
“Monday, April 22, 2013, I attended the Sunbury City Council Meeting and I am still reeling from shock due to the tone of the meeting. There was a fever pitch of anger so intense you could have cut it with a knife. It was utter chaos! Bullying at its best. The only thing that was accomplished was an exhibition of anger and the utterance of unkind remarks, certain to fragment our sense of community spirit.
“It is unclear to me, why Mr. Persing or any council member present of said meeting did not request that everyone in council chambers remain calm so that each person could voice their concern in a respectful and objective manner.
Sunbury Veterans’ Memorial Park was originally dedicated in 1976 to the memory of all those brave Sunburians who have fought, and in many cases died, in the various wars which have taken place since the City’s founding in 1772. The War of Independence, the Civil War, WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, are just some of the conflicts involved.
Recently, much of this park has been acquired by the “David L Persing Sports Complex”. It is just one example of a wider issue – the erosion and disappearance of historical areas and buildings, and the remodeling of streets and outdoor facilities, many of which were steeped in local traditions and culture.