To the editor: I was disappointed to learn that county Commissioners Rick Shoch and Sam Scicchitano are closing yet another senior action center. After closing the center in Trevorton a few months ago, next they will be shutting the one in Elysburg.

The commissioners are spending tens of millions of dollars for a new prison in which criminals will have color TVs, gym facilities and other state-of-the-art amenities, yet they cannot find a few dollars for our senior citizens.

On another matter, if you recall, Mr. Bridy and I cut the commissioners salary when we held office. After their election in 2015, Shoch and Scicchitano sued Northumberland County government to raise the commissioner salary from $37,000 back up to $61,000 a year. The average worker is happy if they receive a 2 or 3 percent pay increase, but Shoch and Scicchitano wanted an 80-percent raise back to the original rate. I fought against their attempt to dig further into the taxpayers’ pockets and stopped that lawsuit.

Beware that Shoch and Scicchitano could act this year to vote to increase their salaries by $24,000 back up to $61,000. Since they are majority commissioners, they can do so, but they would have to do it before the end of 2018 because they cannot raise salaries during an election year.

It would be up to the citizens to voice their opposition.

I feel that Shoch and Scicchitano take enough from the taxpayers. In addition to the salary and benefits offered by the county, Scicchitano receives a teacher’s pension and Shoch also earns money from Point Township taxpayers as their solicitor. How much of the taxpayers’ money is enough for them?

County Commissioners Shoch and Scicchitano can find money in the county budget to make life easier for convicts and they wanted to increase their own salaries. Why can’t they find the money to fund the senior action centers?

Vinny Clausi

Coal Township

(1) comment

Schreff

In my opinion, Mr. Clausi is right with reservations. Yes, seniors do need and depend on their moments of fun at their senior center. Some seniors will be hurt by the Commissioners actions. Thus, there are options of which Vinny stated one. It is all a matter of the Commissioners priorities or lack thereof. Perhaps the AAA could use some of their office personal to staff the centers, perhaps they could open the centers a few days a week, perhaps the Commissioners could start a process to make County government more efficient so that the centers could be afforded? If it ain't broke don't fix it but the County is broke in many ways. Now, is the time to examine Northumberland County Home Rule as over the years the old archaic form of government just didn't work and isn't working now. It is the time for the Commonwealth to examine consolidation of not only counties but cities, boroughs and townships. And more importantly, now is the time for the constantly growing local governments to stop growing through over taxation because the result is Swamp Syndrome. Folks, the DC Swamp isn't the only Swamp we have Swamps all over our great Nation which need to be drained. Let's start by examining County government and draining it.

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