Greensburg Laurels & Lances
On the “Watch List”:
• Cuts to Jeannette's on-call firefighters. The suggestion from Mayor Richard Jacobelli to slash nearly half the city's on-call firefighters, whose services totaled $55,000 in 2012, rightfully should draw attention for its public safety implications. On the other hand, it's one of the few suggestions in recent years that address the city's abysmal fiscal condition. And a fix has to begin somewhere.
• Future Latrobe-Unity recreation fee hikes. That's one scenario next year since Unity has opted not to renew its participation in the Latrobe-Unity Parks and Recreation Commission as of 2015. Before Unity cuts its ties to what's supposed to a “cooperative” initiative, it should take one more stab at a deal that's agreeable to all.
• The Pittsburgh Healthworx bust. The charges are serious: A chiropractor and two doctors at the Rostraver clinic are accused of illegally peddling pain prescriptions to addicts while collecting more than $2.3 million from Highmark. Even more disturbing is the question of whether other licensed “clinics” are dealing dope and contributing to the area's rapidly rising prescription drug overdoses and deaths.
An observation: It's one thing for Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held to suggest “backup” assistance to Jeannette police. It's quite another to first ensure that his department has clear “police power” to do so — which is in question — and to broach the idea with Jeannette officials before going public.