June 25th, 2015 8:13 am

First Posted: 2/20/2013

Third-party candidates would help our country

A friend wrote me an email:

Our Representatives DON'T REPRESENT US.

They have their OWN AGENDAS.

They are aloof from reality.

We are a lost society !!!!!!

I wrote back: That's why I maintain that to change this group we have to vote in different people.

I say get the third-party people in as one or the other of the big two, (Democrat/ Republican).

When enough sanity returns to our governments, (federal/state/local), sanity will return to the entire country.

Buyer beware of things that seem to be free

I received a gift certificate in the mail for $25 to be used at a local car dealer. I needed an oil change so I called the service department and made an appointment with the service manager. Sometimes the dealer runs an ad in local newspapers for auto and service deals and oil changes for $24.95.

I assumed I would get an oil change for nothing with the use of the certificate, but when I got the bill the service man worked the numbers up to $50.36, and then subtracted the $25 certificate, bringing the total cost to $25.36. So beware when you do business.

Candidate for Rice Twp. presents his platform

As the active campaign season starts, I'm announcing my candidacy for Rice Township Supervisor on the Republican ticket.

At the outset, I want to make a promise to the voters that will guide my actions during the campaign and beyond should I gain the nomination in May and win the election in November.

I am running a relentlessly positive campaign with a focus on what needs to be done in the future. Energy spent on past history or personal recriminations is wasted energy. I will not be playing those games. I am running for an office, not against anyone.

If I am lucky enough to be entrusted with a leadership position in Rice Township, I will use my 35 years of experience as a former CPA and CMA to begin a strategic planning process that identifies the necessary reserves that need to be set aside annually to make sure our roads and equipment will be maintained for the long term. Currently, there are no set-asides at all for future needs that can be foreseen. Instead, there is a balance in current accounts of about $300,000 with no indication of how it is to be used or how adequate or inadequate it may be.

I will propose changes to how our meetings are run. Since all township personnel are funded by the taxpayers, I do not believe the current system of public comment is equitable to the citizens who pay the bills.

I believe public comments are appropriate throughout the public meetings, governed by Robert's Rules of Order and the sparing use of a chairman's gavel.

I believe our work will be enhanced and our decisions strengthened by public participation.

I will propose that our elected auditors review the financial transactions of the township on a monthly basis. We get monthly reports from the police and road master. I think our residents would appreciate getting a brief monthly report from the auditors noting that they have examined our finances for propriety. With an average of over $70,000 moving into and out of accounts monthly, our residents need to know their funds are being protected. And spent wisely. The auditors are an important part of a well-run township.

Rice Township is in an enviable financial position currently in comparison with its neighbors. Should I get the opportunity to become a supervisor, making sure that remains true for the long term will be my primary mission.

Proposed speed cameras part of a flawed system

Missing from the state transportation budget discussion is the proposed legalization of speed cameras in HB14. The bill is very vague and is an omnibus-style bill. You are mailed a ticket for an alleged violation. There is no mention of mandating realistic speed limits, a speed cushion, or warning signs before and during the zone.

This is similar to the red-light cameras, which may also be expanded statewide. These typically are used with low speed limits, short yellow duration traffic lights, and tickets are issued for technicalities.

If you have a real problem it needs to be corrected with proper engineering, not predatory enforcement gimmicks. Consequently, having poor engineering and cameras will probably lead to more crashes and safe drivers getting tickets. Also, camera tickets can have mistakes and you won't recall the incident since it will be a month or so later.

The state should enact a law requiring speed limits be set to the 85th percentile free-flowing traffic speed and yellow lights be set to the actual approach speed. This would increase safety immensely.

Please contact your state representative, state senator, and the governor and tell them you want a ban on all automated traffic enforcement.

Also, tell them you frown upon them not having an unbiased and open discussion with the public about safety issues and legislation. I heard of no state official or media outlet reporting the camera proposals. You can also check out the National Motorists Association for more information on driving issues.

Drones are established tactical tool despite risks

The use of drones saves a multitude of American troops lives. They are precise and limit, not eradicate completely, collateral damage. Drones and special ops will probably be over there indefinitely. Strikes on country's we are not at war with such as Pakistan is a tough one to defend and God forbid if the mad men in power over there ever develop the technology for drones or the bomb.

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Andy Wydra Mountain Top Matthew Martinelli Hughestown Rich Evans Rice Township James Sikorski Jr. Wapwallopen John Mihalchik Sr. Ashley