letters to the editor

June 24th, 2015 7:33 pm

First Posted: 6/27/2013

Hiring outsiders a healthy choice

Jennifer Learn-Andes’ page-one story on the debate concerning local vs. out-of-town hiring packs much meat.

I think our resistance to “out-of towners” comes from several sources:

1) Longstanding distrust: One part human nature/one part regional history (We’ve been bullied by outsiders in the past, beginning with the British Army in the late 18th century.)

2) Pervasive low self esteem: Our immediate ancestors were, by turns, “dumb immigrants,” wanted only for manual labor in the anthracite industry.

3) Insidious social fatigue: We’ve been ravished by Old King Coal and have learned to avoid smooth-talking strangers or, conversely, welcome them with extreme naivete and unrealistic hope, rarely getting the mix precisely right.

I was delighted to read most of the comments made by County Council members. They help me realize that this new government of ours has brought us more true democracy than the region has known in the past 150 years.

I wish I could believe more of us feel as I do, and more voters will begin to take part in the democratic process, as election turnout remains dangerously low. If this continues, our democracy may vanish, and our government may once again be dominated by those who wish to use it primarily for their own ends.

This is the final, and perhaps greatest reason out-of-towners are often met with ambivalence today — they’re harder to control. If they can’t be controlled, and they can’t be driven out, they might (shudder) stay and help us improve our lot.

“Perish the thought!” some say, but not I.

In conclusion, though I know little of the selection process, I wonder if a point system for rating job candidates couldn’t be developed. One that would give some weight to regional awareness and experience but not make it the be-all, end-all issue it is in danger of becoming.

Again, good job Jennifer Learn-Andes and Times Leader!

Rob Burnside