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Westmoreland Laurels & Lances

| Friday, Jan. 12, 2007

Lance: To Westmoreland County commissioners. Their response to a stinging audit questioning how the county tracks millions of dollars worth of computer equipment had little to do with the equipment, per se, and everything to do with protecting their turf while firing a loud shot across the bow of anyone who would challenge them. Now we're informed the missing equipment, for the most part, has been accounted for. Imagine that. Gee, can you tell it's an election year?

Meanwhile Controller Carmen Pedicone says asset lists and inventories "still don't jibe." Commissioners who insist on delivering only glad tidings, while chastising anyone who does otherwise, would do better working for Hallmark.

Laurel: To Carmen Pedicone. Not in recent memory have we seen a county controller -- who, incidentally, is independently elected -- so aggressively pursue the public's business. It's no easy task, especially in a courthouse culture where "problems" are nonexistent and fault is always fungible. It takes more than a modicum of guts to stand up time and again to the status quo and challenge what passes as conventional. It's good to see a public servant uphold that mandate.

Lance: To gun-toting revelers. The ill-advised tradition of shooting off firearms on New Year's Eve nearly cost a Fayette County resident her life. As it is, an errant bullet amounted to almost $1,000 in home damages when it shot through the woman's roof and ricocheted around her bathroom. There are other noisemakers revelers can use. Shooting off guns haphazardly -- and after drinking, no less -- is sheer recklessness.

Laurel: To PT Parents. The informal group of Penn-Trafford School District parents has no bylaws, dues or formal membership. It's simply a group of concerned residents who meet regularly to discuss matters of import to parents. Indeed, the more public input on schools, the better. Such concern, and parental involvement, can only benefit the district.

On the "Watch List": Harrisburg transparency. With all the talk about "reform" lately, one newbie lawmaker, Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Uniontown, is proposing more openness from the Legislature, which exempts itself from the state's open-records law. Of course, full disclosure of lawmakers' expenses would be simply grand. But old habits die hard, especially among the Legislature's worst bloodsuckers who want no part of sunshine, lest they crumble into dust.

Laurel: To Christmas tree recyclers. It's encouraging to see that more people are recycling their trees this year. That's far superior to lazy lunkheads who simply dump their dead trees along roadsides, tinsel and all.

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