Greensburg Laurels & Lances
Lance: To Act II of Jeannette's fiscal follies. After passing a $4.6 million budget by a 3-2 vote in February and assuring all with raised eyebrows in the cash-strapped city that everything was jim-dandy, city fathers now say they're looking at a potential $440,000 shortfall by year's end. Hence, the layoffs of nine city workers this week. But given Jeannette's pattern of fiscal disregard, dipping into bond money to pay regular expenses, city leaders were in well over their heads before 2010, at which point a course for correction should have been expedited.
Lance: To West Point's fatuous fire-siren debate. For more than two years Hempfield officials and volunteer firefighters have failed to resolve a dispute over an obnoxiously loud siren that rattles residents' windows and nerves. Supposedly a fix now is in the works. Residents' quality of life• No, all along this has been about money and turf -- much to the chagrin of residents who have endured this childish nonsense for two years too long.
On the "Watch List": Anthony J. Valore. The ex-president of the defunct Loyalhanna Township Volunteer Fire Department joins the ignoble list of community firefighters accused of pocketing scarce company resources -- in this case, more than $13,000. Allegedly he took the money to pay department bills but spent it on his own expenses. More injurious than the pilfered sum is the stigma this leaves on the noble tradition of volunteer firefighting.
Laurel (with a caveat): To Westmoreland commissioners. The county's leaders finally have adopted some much-needed revisions to Westmoreland's loosey-goosey 20-year-old vehicle policy, which now put the kibosh on commissioners having county cars. But what took so long• Two years ago the policy came into question when ex-commish Tom Ceraso, en route home from a weekend party, bagged a deer with a county vehicle. And an audit by Controller Carmen Pedicone last year revealed inadequate oversight of the county's vehicle fleet. This "tuneup" is overdue.
Laurel: To Carol Triano and her fellow volunteers. Who hasn't noticed the beautiful Greengate Community Garden at the Intersection of Route 30 and Greengate Road in Hempfield• The garden overseen by Ms. Triano is one of 61 honored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society with its Community Gardening Award. Two green thumbs up for all the volunteers and contributors who grow and maintain this site.