Yesterday, I saw a very rare creature.
Evidently, much like the Katydid (scientific name Tettigoniidae, which only comes out every few years), these only come out every 4 years. The Wilkes-Barre street sweeper! Oddly enough the 4 year cycle co-insides with the primary election, and can serve as a reminder to vote.
On a serious note, who does Leighton think he is fooling? I've lived here 6 years and have seen the street sweeper 4 times. And not only has our Dictator sent the street sweepers out, he had DPW guys out with brooms and shovels! He neglects everywhere but downtown for 8 years and we are supposed to forget that because he has our streets cleaned.
Leighton lists achievements at town hall
STEFFEN LIZZA Times Leader Correspondent
WILKES-BARRE – Mayor Tom Leighton met with the residents of the city’s East End, Heights and Mayflower sections Tuesday night to break down his administration’s accomplishments since 2004 and to answer questions from residents.
The meeting took place at the Coal Street Ice Rink, a venue built as the centerpiece of the Coal Street Park Project.
The mayor responded to the criticism that he essentially built the facility for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with public money noting that the Penguins use only about 4 percent of available rink time, which they pay for. The facility has brought in more than 300,000 patrons since it opened in 2009. Combine them with those of the R/C Wilkes-Barre 14 movie theater, which has brought in nearly 500,000 customers since 2006, to get more than 800,000 patrons who would not have normally come to the city, the mayor noted.
“These are people who are spending money in our restaurants, staying in our hotels and putting that money back into the city,” Leighton said.
Concerning neighborhood infrastructure, Leighton said that from January 2004 until March 2011, the city spent more than $47 million on improvements that include paving 162 streets or 39 miles of road, repairs to five bridges and three new parks.
Regarding public safety, the city hired 29 new police officers, placed 250 new surveillance cameras around the city, and reinstated the K-9 and SWAT units, Leighton said. Also, police received protective vests and 18 new vehicles. The city launched its crime line website ( www.wbcrimeline.com) that allows residents to report suspicious activity directly online.
A city with virtually no online presence before 2004 now also has a website with officials’ e-mail addresses and a Facebook page, the mayor said.
The Wilkes-Barre fire department received $3 million in upgrades for a new ladder truck, three new fire engines, and three ambulances.
All this Leighton said, with the city still technically in bankruptcy.
I wasn't there, but I've heard that Leighton turned a Town meeting into an election rally.
Real quick, lets look at these claims.
1. Coal Street Ice Rink has been up and running for a few years. How much revenue is it generating for the city?
2. “These are people who are spending money in our restaurants, staying in our hotels and putting that money back into the city,” Leighton said. But he also said 'the city still technically in bankruptcy.'
3. The Wilkes-Barre fire department received $3 million in upgrades for a new ladder truck, three new fire engines, and three ambulances. He makes it sound like the city paid for these! They were paid for with federal grants, and they replaced old, worn out equipment.
4. "the city hired 29 new police officers", Yes they did. They replaced retiring officers. Leighton tries to make it sound like these are extra officers. They are NOT.
If the city is 'technically in bankruptcy', maybe the 2.5 million from the casino would have helped. Instead it went into Leightons 'pet projects' like:
$1 million to city of Wilkes-Barre for the Northampton and Main Street mixed-use facility
$500,000 to city of Wilkes-Barre for the successful innovation center/small business incubator
$1 million to city of Wilkes-Barre for a wireless surveillance camera system. (The system cost a LOT more than this. This is just where the casino money went.)
We've got corruption, backroom deals, Constitutional rights violations, bullying, a camera system with no records, craters in our streets, our safety ignored, Community Development Block Grant Week annual allocation has been cut by 16.2 percent, or $342,610 (Hey if the old river road bakery is sold FOR WHAT ITS WORTH, it would make up more than the difference!) but don't worry, WE HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE NOW!!
Man, you need hip waders for this load of $hit.
Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote