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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Petrilla statement

Near as I can tell, this one is a Times Leader exclusive:

The link: Updated: 12:25 PM--Petrilla releases statement about tax break problem

The excerpt: Following is Petrilla's statement:

I want the taxpayers of the county to know I hear their frustration and anger at the recent mix-up concerning the Homestead Tax Exemption. There was a mistake made here. We’re all human. I told the people attending the commissioners’ meeting last week who protested that we would correct this. And we have.

I can’t dial back the play clock on this one item. We will make sure things like this don’t occur again.

I also hope that all I have tried to do to improve county government at this crucial time in our history will not be judged by this one incident. I’ve finally put an end to the wasteful practice of seemingly endless county borrowing. We had to raise taxes, but we made many cuts in this year’s spending to try to minimize the pain. We now have a fairer tax system with everyone paying their fair share instead of some receiving a better deal over others. This preferential treatment went on for decades beyond when other counties reassessed. Additionally:

• I singlehandedly worked with the principals of PA Child Care to end their lease that cost $58 million.
• Discovered the practice of contract piecemealing, stopped and exposed it, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
• Completely put an end to nepotism and cronyism by hiring professional and experienced directors to fill jobs.
• Developed a cooperative working relationship with the courts to streamline their budget and save taxpayer’s two million dollars a year.

There has been much to cleanup since I became chairwoman of the commissioners. I’ve worked hard to begin the cleanup. I hope people won’t rush to judgment on my overall record before some time passes and it can be judged in it’s entirety.

These have been tough times in Luzerne County for a variety of reasons. We’re doing our best in these trying days. I hope people will look at the big picture. Thank you to the taxpayers for any patience they can afford us. We will continue to try and do better.

Fine! The Homestead mix up was exactly that--a mix up. A mistake. An oversight. Whatever.

The problem is...

*Based on what Walter Griffith has unearthed in less than two months as county controller, Maryanne Petrilla was obviously a do-nothing, see-nothing controller.

*We never seem to forget how many tens of thousands of dollars retiring, fired or disabled (?) county employees are owed in accrued sick says, vacations days and the like, but when it comes to the minuscule $50 the taxpayers might be owed...oops!

*The PA Child Care lease? Are we supposed to believe that the two now indicted principals in that deal were going to push their fast-fading luck with the Feds breathing down both of their backs, while the third was trying to disassociate himself from them and the entire legal morass?

*The courts? Does she mean the judges who were still standing when the fallout cloud settled? The few who were not criminals, or closely associated with criminals?

Y'all can do what you need to do. But I maintain that she and her fellow commissioners need to be put out to the political pasture when next we vote.

Enough. No more.


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