Last updated: February 20. 2013 3:48AM - 308 Views

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Congress is in a very sad state

Dear Mr Barletta: This letter is addressed to you because you are my representative but it applies to all members of Congress in both parties.

The cover of Business Week said it perfectly. You're like spoiled babies who always want your way. You folks were elected to govern, not fight.

By the way, how does it feel to be part of an extremely dysfunctional body that TIME magazine points out in its Jan. 21 issue is less popular at 11 percent approval than cockroaches, colonoscopies and communism?.

What an embarrassment to our people and our country you all have become. Stop running for re-election and do the job you were all sent to Washington to do.

It's a shame that one of the biggest jokes in our country is our Congress.

Use pocketbook to be heard on guns

We can only hope that members of Congress have the guts and integrity to act on the president's proposals to curb gun violence in this country. But, hear this. We do not have to wait for them. We can vote anytime we want -- with our pocketbooks.

I am firing my general practitioner doctor because he is a member of the NRA. Anyone who agrees with the association's line of thinking is not going to get any of my business. Also, there have been reports that Walmart has been petitioned to stop selling assault weapon firearms. That might or might not be effective -- signing a petition. I will tell you what is effective: Vote with your pocketbook. Don't shop at a store, be it Walmart, Dick's, Cabela's, anyone -- who continues to sell assault weapons.

We do have other choices. Better choices.

Best networking is said in person

Social networking started out as a revolutionary invention. It changed the way we were able to communicate with others.

Due to social networking we are able to communicate with friends all over the nation. It has also helped people with job opportunities.

However, I feel that social networking is doing more harm than good lately. Online social networking sites have replaced traditional ways of communicating. People are beginning to lack the ability to talk to other people face to face or over the phone. They would rather write on their friend's Facebook wall or post a tweet instead of calling them or getting together to talk. They share important conversation and events with others over the Internet instead of telling them in person.

I don't think that we need social networks to stay in touch with others. We need to communicate with our friends and families in person.

Home rule has earned our praise

It has been both disappointing and discouraging to read some of the disparaging comments regarding Luzerne County's new home rule form of government.

Certain critics seemingly already have forgotten the terrible condition the county was in under the old form of government just one year ago. Corruption was so widespread that many officials ended up in jail. Patronage jobs were the norm, and insider contracts followed the business as usual model. Rampant cronyism permitted no-show jobs and chronic lateness.

The county government created a series of bond initiatives year after year simply to cover operating expenses.

In one short year, the county council, along with the new nanager, have put an end to most, if not all of these poisonous practices. Anyone interested in providing an objective analysis of Luzerne County government now, as opposed to the past, would have to conclude we have made great strides in ending corruption, providing new levels of transparency and running the day-to-day operation in a far more professional manner.

I don't think there is any doubt that the residents of Luzerne County voted to change the form of government to do those very things, and I believe every member of this new council can take pride in those accomplishments.

The criticisms generally center on missing deadlines by a few days, failing to revise parts of various codes, or hiring a highly qualified individual from outside the area. (I'm not sure the last one qualifies as much of a criticism). True, in all cases. But we can and will achieve greater efficiencies as the new government fully hits its stride.

The critics suffer from a profound failure to recognize how many positives have come from this new form of government and acknowledge how far we have come in one short year.

Instead, they rail against the small failings and try to convince the public that the sky is falling in Luzerne County. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

Corruption, nepotism, patronage and cronyism no longer have a home within the friendly confines of the Luzerne County Courthouse.

The Council is attempting to make the Charter a living, breathing document to help lead the county in a new direction, and the public has been more engaged than ever before in the process.

Together we will lay the foundation for better county government, not only for ourselves but for future generations.

Pete Klein Dallas James Kearney Exeter Allie Kachel Mountain Top Elaine Maddon Curry Luzerne County Council Drums

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