To the editor: Thursday night when ACT 47 officials came to Shamokin to give their update on the city in the program, there were only 12 residents in attendance. A year ago in the same auditorium, I had five times that number attend my town hall when I was running for mayor. The lack of attendance tells me a lot.

This meeting was advertised to be a financial state-of-the-city under the ACT 47 plan and it turned into something else — a “Home Rule” discussion. It was a discussion that turned into a heated debate between myself and the “big shot” panel.

All we heard on Home Rule was “raising taxes” and “tax, tax, tax.” After listening to their “dog and pony show” for an hour and a half, I had had enough of the misinformation presented.

This group had no explanation on why they freely spent $92,000 of taxpayer money on a contract negotiation. They had given incorrect information about the taxes being collected in the city of Shamokin, and in the end made it sound like the only way we would survive is by going to a Home Rule form of government and, if not, we must cut our police department. That is a scare tactic to the taxpayers and voters. It is incorrect and inappropriate to claim. In a city that has heroin on every corner, pedophiles, child molesters, rapists and murderers, hopefully, the people see that cutting our police force will never happen. It would be political suicide to support it.

Lastly, for a council that is fully of the Republican Party, this method goes against the core values of the party, which tells me that the ones on council who do support it are nothing more than liberals with the letter “R” next to their name. Fake Republicans.

Joe Leschinskie Jr.

Northumberland County

Shamokin Fifth Ward

Republican Committeeman

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