Saturday, December 31, 2011

Still no New Years WB


  • No First Night! 
  • Why not? 
  • Other cities such as Scranton, and Hazleton have a First Night 
  • Why not Wilkes Barre?

Our Mayor has stated for years it a cost cutting measure. Ok I'll bite, is this the only area we should be cutting, or just the area that benefits him?

I still wondered why? Why is it that other cities like Scranton, and Hazleton can afford such an extravagant Party to Ring in the New Year? AND then it hit me, they “Scranton, and Hazleton" DO NOT have city Credit Cards. They also pay for their own travel expenses. 
  • Say WHAT Bat Man????

In a December 6, 2007 Times Leader article 4 cities avoid ‘card’ games
  • Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta’s approach to the issue is to pay his own way at all times.
  • Pittston Mayor Joe Keating said his city doesn’t have a debit card or a credit card because it can’t afford to use them.
  • “Let me put it to you this way,” Keating said. “I went away to the Pennsylvania League of Cities conference and I paid my own way. We have such a tight budget that we can’t afford credit or debit cards.”

Not The WB: The Citizens Pay All the way!!!!
  • Leighton- Hotel / Conferences - $ 16,574.79
  • Mc Cormick Hotels/- City Employees-   $ 16,964.53    
  • City Council Hotels/Conference fees/  Ryan - $ 68,110.33
  • Murphy’s Hotels/ $ 11,239.69
Total- Hotels/ Conferences total  $112,943.39

So in the end its simple no First Night Wilkes Barre, Not until you Wake Up!!! So with that I will bid, and end to 2011 hearing the famous Tommy Van Scoy jingle in my head:

I’m a lucky Blogger,
hoo-ray, oh boy!
Where's my Diamond Drop,
It came from VanScoy,
My Mayor Stole it,
Took lots of Money too.
King Tommy’s the diamond thief,
Yes, he’s the mayor for you!

Have a Safe, and Happy New Year, and above all else please,

Wake Up Wilkes Barre! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gotham Yet?


In a Times Leader article (He wants to be part of solution in Wilkes-Barre) published back on June 20, 2006 the writer Mark Jones made reference to The City of Wilkes Barre, as resembling "Gotham City". Back then I was still new to the city, and of course I argued, but the truth was we weren’t there yet.

Yet: Now being the word of the day…. Well Wake Up Wilkes Barre “Its Beginning to Look A Lot like Gotham Everywhere you go!!!” Well you get the idea!


Not In Local News:
  • In the past week we have had rocks thrown through the windows of homes where reporters at The Citizens Voice live.
  • 12/26/11 Not 1 but 2 Chinese Food Delivery folks Robbed in broad daylight at Sherman Hills. "SAME DAY"
  • 12/27/11 another Chinese Food Delivery person Robbed @ Sherman Hills. 
  • 12/28/11 You guessed it  another Chinese Food Delivery person Robbed @ Sherman Hills. 
  • AND IN OTHER NEWS: Queen Nails was held up by Gunmen!!! Gunmen who not only robbed the salon but it's customers as well. Took cash, and cell phones!
WOW Gotham Yet???
Where were the Police while all Hell was breaking loose you may be asking? Well if I were them I would be running for my life! 

My recommendation for business owners in The New Gotham City (formerly known as The WB) "Stash the Cash and Save your A$$" should be the new Motto City Wide!!! As I don’t see the crime spree letting up anytime soon.

Stay safe, and as always please "Wake Up Wilkes Barre"




Thursday, December 22, 2011

Did LAG pay or not Part 3


The LAG payment scandal continues!

As you may know many citizens have been asking the question Did LAG uphold their end of the towing contract by making the annual payments of $50,050.00 as called for in "the contract" LAG has with The City of Wilkes Barre?

In an attempt to end the controversy surrounding this debate I asked for all bank records regarding to the alleged payments back on October 11, 2011 and to date The City has been unable, or unwilling to produce them.

Please click links below for more information:

The City Claims: PNC Bank has only sent them dribs, and drabs of the requested deposits, and that the "Pittsburgh Branch" is diligently working on my request. In any case the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records has issued a Final Determination in my favor.

So now The City has 30 days from 12/21/2011 to produce those records. As of 01/20/2012 we should be able to end this debate once and for all. 

Wake Up Wilkes Barre

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Twas the night before Christmas "Wilkes Barre"



The Wilkes Barre version!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through City Hall, Not a creature was scheming, not even the Mayor.


The bribes were offered by the cronies with care, 
In hopes that FED’s would soon not be there.

The citizens were nestled all snug in their beds, 

While visions of corruption danced in their heads. 
With This Blogger in ‘handcuffs, all fed up with my crap, 
Tommy just settled in for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lot there arose such a clatter, 

Council sprang from the Dead to see what’s the matter. 
Away to the window they flew like a flash, 
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow 

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below. 
When, what to thy wondering eyes should appear, 
But an FBI Agent, with orders to Clear.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, 

I knew in a moment Governor Corbett was pissed. 
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, 
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

Now Tommy! Now, Marie! Now, JJ! No Pleas!
To Jail with you all, for crimes against thee,
The crooks were all captured, City Hall was Crime Free!


Corbett sprang to his cruiser, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"


Wishing you and your Family a Very Merry Christmas!


Wake Up Wilkes Barre

Friday, December 16, 2011

City Hall passing up $100,000 a year???

 After many requests by residents all questing how many rental units are located in the City today via the City’s FaceBook Page (City FaceBook Answer) we have the answer, and per the City “There are 8,343 rental units in the city.”

Ok now per the City’s rental ordinance each unit is to have an inspection prior to a tenant moving in and 1 every 2 years thereafter. 

So let’s do the math shall we?
  • 8,343 units inspected once every other year for a fee of $35.00 each inspection.
  • 8,343 x $35 = $292,005 every 2 years. That is the amount of revenue that should be expected by that Department RIGHT?
  • In 2010 that depart only brought in $42,080
  • In 2011 the City only budgeted for $40,000, and to date we got $38,085
  • So 2010, and 2011 $42,080 + $40,000 = $82,080 looks like the City is giving up $209,925??????

These examples do not provide any provision for licensing fees, nor do they include the change of tenants inspection. This is simply based on the biannual inspection called for in the ordnance posted below, along with the City’s General Fund Ledger. 


If we know how many units are in the City then we should know who’s not getting inspected RIGHT?
  • Why the FREE pass?
  • Why only budget for $40,000 when our potential is over $100,000

I am left wondering who at City Hall would simply give up on over $200,000.00 in revenue every 2 years or $100,000.00 annually, and why?

Wake Up Wilkes Barre

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

City V.S. US CONSTITUTION


According to the Times Leader: Rental re-inspection fee considered City Council will be taking up the issue of rental inspections, and attempting to raise the fees assessed on ONLY the GOOD law abiding landlords. 

As we all know the city has NO idea how many rental properties are in The City, and it would seem they could care less.

The issue at hand MORE FEES….

Question:
  • Why doesn’t The City know how many rental units are in The City?
  • Is this yet another unlawful tax?
  • Does rental inspection violate the Fourth Amendment?

In the case of (Roy Dearmore et all V. City of Garland, Nov 2005) resulted in a U.S. District Court ruling that warrantless demands for entry into privately owned homes was unconstitutional.
  • The Fourth Amendment:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
  • Wake Up City Council:
Instead of attempting to put the squeeze on the good landlords, why doesn’t The City do something about the landlords who don’t ever follow the rules? 

Could it be that investigating how many rental properties are in The City would be too time consuming, or is it that we are just to laze? In either case Ignorance is Bliss. 

I know you could just ask Crime Watch they have a better idea of who’s doing what in Wilkes Barre then The City could ever hope to.

Wake Up Wilkes Barre

Friday, December 9, 2011

The King’s Revenge


Our fine City Hall renegades are at it again. In their latest attempt at retaliation or intimidation they are fining Betsy Summers the Libertarian Party candidate that ran against the KING in the November general election.
  • According to the city’s Department of Code Enforcement, Summers was fined $500 for operation of a rental unit without a license and $500 for not having a property manager. WOW, Really a property manager, when Betsy right lives across the street.

This from the same city that sees nothing wrong with living in Mountain Top, and holding a seat on City Council, but yet fine a good resident for not employing a property manager when she clearly doesn’t need one.

Lessons to be learned here if you tell the truth, or cross King Tommy you will be punished.

Wake Up Wilkes Barre, You could be NEXT!!!!!

Click link below for source information. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How ethical is the PA Ethics Commission?


It is clear that our Mayor did in-fact violate the The Pennsylvania State Code of Ethics namely the Conflict of Interest section:

  • "Conflict" or "conflict of interest." Use by a public official or public employee of the authority of his office or employment or any confidential information received through his holding public office or employment for the private pecuniary benefit of himself, a member of his immediate family or a business with which he or a member of his immediate family is associated. The term does not include an action having a de minimis economic impact or which affects to the same degree a class consisting of the general public or a subclass consisting of an industry, occupation or other group which includes the public official or public employee, a member of his immediate family or a business with which he or a member of his immediate family is associated.

So I have to wonder with the Mayor signing not 1 BUT 14 Executive Orders hiring his own children and that is 14 clear violations what in the WORLD is there to even investigate? Wake Up Ethics Commission!

Perhaps I am just a simpleminded county bumpkin here but I was also under the impression that if you violate a law you are then charged with a crime, but after living in The WB I am now beginning to realize "The Law" only applies to regular folks like you, and I, and certainly not to Corrupt Politicians with friends in HIGH places. “Apparently in Harrisburg”!!!

Wake Up Wilkes Barre

Click links below for source information

In the letters below I wonder what the state was really trying to say? 

Allow me to translate:
  • September 15 letter: We know King Tommy did wrong, and are working on his punishment!
  • September 30 letter: King Tommy called in a favor, and as his buddy I will do my best to squash this investigation.




Really WAKE UP WILKES BARRE!



Friday, December 2, 2011

Wrecking Ball on Sullivan Street?


After much controversy, “ok mostly by me” in the article (Calling on our DO NOTHING, City Hall, Yet again!) published 11/11/11. 

It would appear that the Rotten, Stinking, Dilapidated, Burned out mess that is once again a home for the godforsaken riffraff that troll our city in search of these abandominiums as they call them will be coming down.

The questions are:
  • What about the separation process?
  • Will I be involved in decisions that may possibly cause a problem for my home?
  • Will the contractor reface, weatherize, and seal my roof, and soon to be exterior wall once the attached property is removed?
  • What will happen next?
  • When will the wrecking begin?


Well based on the contract I would say NO based on the highlighted section,
  • NOT INCLUDED:

  1. WATERPROOFING
  2. SIDING
  3. ROOF REPAIRS

I can only assume they “Stell Enterprises, Inc.” are referring to my property in this section, as those things wouldn’t be needed on a demolished property.

It should be noted that I have been given assurances from Mike Simonson at City Hall that this will all be taken care of, and I sure hope so, as this has been a nightmare to say the least.

What I can say is that Mr. Simonson has been nothing but helpful in this whole ordeal, and he seems to be genuine. I do feel comfortable working with him at this point, and I only hope that doesn’t change as time goes on. 

I must admit that my dealings with City Hall in the past have not always been pleasant to say the lease, but like I said "Mike seems genuine", and well only time will tell.
  • What’s next for Sullivan Street? 
  • That remains to be seen, but whatever happens lets hope it’s in full compliance with our zoning and planning office.

 Wake Up Wilkes Barre: The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Not in My Back Yard!!!

video

As we all know crime is on the RISE in the City of Wilkes Barre, and now it’s hitting home for our illustrious Mayor, and the Barney Farm Elites.

The biggest crime spree to hit our city will hereafter be referred to as “Sewer Gate” Yes that’s right the theft of Sewer Grates is the lead story!

Let’s not worry about Drug Dealers, Vagrants, Home Invasions, or even the occasional Muggings that keep the good citizens of our city safely locked in their homes after dark.

As stated the City Police are Aggressively Investigating this massive injustice happing in the Barney Farm section.

Questions:
  • Who is doing this?
  • Why are they targeting the Barney Farms Section? Could it be that folks truly believe the streets down there are paved with GOLD?
  • Why would anyone choose a section of the city we all know is protected by taxpayer purchased home Security Systems, with Security Cameras?
  • Did the Cameras see anything?

The Mayor stated on the news that he believes this crime is related to drug users cashing in the Sewer Grates for cash to fuel their drug addiction. I wonder if the City allowed our Police Department to Aggressively work with our Crime Watch and/or Guardian Angels and actually targeted the drug problem like the leaders of those two Citizen Patrol Groups suggested would we now be Aggressively Investigating Sewer Gate?

Our Mayor: Never On TV about issues like
  • Home Invasions:
  • Muggings
  • Stabbings
  • Rapes
  • Drug Deals
  • Elderly Abuse
  • Child Abuse
  • Burglary

But let someone steel a Sewer Grate from Barney Farms, and we jump into action.

Thank you King Tommy I can sleep easy knowing this that our Police Department is Aggressively Investigating this Grave Injustice.

While our Mayor was on the Ten O’clock News bloviating about “Sewer Gate” Click here Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch  to see what was truly happening in our City. Thank you Crime Watch.


Wake Up Wilkes Barre

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fallout from Mayoral Fire Sale!!!


There has been so much controversy over the sale of the Parsons Number 9 Firehouse:
  • Let’s start with the MONEY: 
  • There is a major difference in the actual Sale Price of $42,000 from the Assessed Value of $140,000 a Difference of $98,000. 
  • Let me just play devil's advocate for Tommy on this one, and say that what I have personally learned as a Realtor is that there is always a difference from the sale price VS. Our County Assessment and I believe it is because our assessors were either DAFT, or drugged. It’s the only explanation that fits, but come on folks seriously we didn’t call it a fire sale for nothing. 



  • Can we please have our memorial to American veterans back?  
The mayor was quoted in the 05/15/10 edition of the Times Leader saying “Most likely the city will take control of the memorial,” Leighton said. “We will probably make it part of the park.”
  • Well Mr. Mayor it’s been well over a year, and no control of the Memorial, What Gives? 
  • The Memorial is now on private property. 
  • So it is on behalf of The Citizens of Wilkes Barre City, Parsons Section this blogger asks Richard Lombardo the above questions: Can we please have our memorial to American veterans back?”
  • Can anyone name any other City or Mayor who sold any memorial yet alone a Memorial to American Veterans, that was bought by the citizens of that city? 
Now onto The Little League, who lost the use of their storage building / concession stand, when Our Realtor-Mayor sold it! 
  • Tommy you really need to attend continuing education. Specifically Deed Reading 101: I recommend Pennsylvania Real Estate Academy


In the 03/31/11 edition of the Times Leader Mayor Tom Leighton on Wednesday said city officials did not know the building in question was utilized by the league when the property was sold in November to Rick Lombardo for $42,000.

  • Really you’re the mayor, and a Realtor: 
  • It was listed on the Deed! So how could you a Realtor not know? 
  • Or could it be that you simply didn’t CARE?
  • How much will the new building cost the taxpayers?


“Once it became aware, the city offered to provide material for the new clubhouse, which will be built with volunteer labor. The cost of the material, which was not immediately available, will be paid out of a special recreation fund, not the general fund, Leighton said.”
  • If you want to make it right Tommy have The C.A. Leighton Co. donate the building, and GET our M
    emorial to American veterans back!!!
























Wake Up Wilkes Barre

Click on links below for source information:


Friday, November 18, 2011

Did LAG pay or not Part 2

In a previous post (Did LAG Pay or Not?) I stated that it appeared that LAG had made payments in 2011, but new information with regard to the City General Fund Financial Statement has shed new light on the alleged 2011 payment. 


Please look at the attached  (General Fund Financial Statement) what you want to look at is Page 10 OTHER TAXES. The budgeted $50,050.00 VS. The year to date collected $0….. 


I have also highlighted this for you in the attached photo.
So you see my problem is if the City budgeted for an expected payment, and according to the answer I got in my RTK that I previously posted The City did in fact get the 2011 payment on:
  • 2011: City receipt #36511, 05/02/11 $50,000.00 check #2794369, appears to be deposited on 05/02/11 in a deposit of $50,000.00
  • 2011: City receipt #38082, 08/23/11 $150.00 check # UNKNOWN, appears to be deposited on 08/23/11 in a deposit of $150.00

New Questions:
  • How could the year to date payment field still be reading $0?
  • Did the city get the check, and not include it in the deposit? If so what was in the 05/02/11 or 08/23/11 deposits?
  • Did someone at the City deposit it, and not notify anyone in finance that they got the payment?
  • Who is doing what at City Hall?
  • Do they even know?

More answers to come when I receive the Original Bank Deposits form PNC. Hopefully then we will finally get the answers we are looking for.

Wake Up Wilkes Barre 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2 Leighton’s Appointed Teachers?????


As we all know this is a Pay to Play City, and it would seem the Wilkes Barre Area School Board although as the Times Leader puts it "a separate entity then that of the city" Yet the school board still seems to be operating by the same nepotism Playbook as the City.

The BIG news was the fact the Young Tommy was hired as a Fulltime Teacher, but what nobody seems concerned about is the fact that Christopher Gray was also hired as a teacher.

Who is Christopher Gray, and why should we care you may be asking yourself. Well let me spell it out for you. 

Christopher Gray is the Son of Carol “Leighton” Gray! Yup you guessed it BIG Tommy’s cousin! They also reside in the elite Barney Farms.

My only questions are:

  • How many other good teachers were passed over for these to silver spoon types?
  • How many other Leighton’s do we as taxpayers need to support? 
Click to read Times Leader "Mayor’s son now full-time teacher"
New Teacher Thomas Leighton

Wake Up Wilkes Barre:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Did LAG Pay or Not?


It has been argued by many in the past that the LAG Towing Contract has not been fully upheld, and that’s putting it mildly. Many have questioned whether or not LAG has made all the required payments to the City as required by the contract
.
So I went looking, and this is what I found so far.

  • Contact Inception: 2005
  • 2005: City receipt #4156, 5/3/05 $50,050.00 check #68624 dated 04/07/05 appears to be deposited on 5/4/05 in a deposit of $57,375.53
  • 2006: ?????
  • 2007: City receipt #16298, 05/14/07 $50,000.00 check #2480 dated 05/11/07 appears to be deposited on 05/15/07 in a deposit of $86,215.03
  • 2008: City receipt #17953, 05/1/08 $50,050.00 check # UNKNOWN, appears to be deposited on 05/05/08 in a deposit of $127,231.58
  • 2009: City receipt #26300, 05/05/09 $50,050.00 check #2688278 appears to be deposited on 05/06/09 in a deposit of $216,291.57
  • 2010: City receipt #30581, 05/03/10 $50,000.00 check # UNKNOWN, appears to be deposited on 05/04/10 in a deposit of $132,974.86
  • 2011: City receipt #36511, 05/02/11 $50,000.00 check #2794369, appears to be deposited on 05/02/11 in a deposit of $50,000.00
  • 2011: City receipt #38082, 08/23/11 $150.00 check # UNKNOWN, appears to be deposited on 08/23/11 in a deposit of $150.00


Ok so based on the above which is fully supported by the documents provided in my RTK request. 

  • I ask did LAG uphold the contract? 

2006 appears not to have been paid, and per the city the contract was executed in 2005 with payment on 05/03/05 consummating the contract. Now moving forward LAG gets to pay the year fallowing the contract billing period. 

So that means is they “LAG” gets to pay a year late without penalty or interest. NICE but legal!!!!! So I wonder if we need a year deferment on our taxes will they "The City" be so nice, and grant it without penalty or interest? NO probably not!

I would say LAG did on 3 separate occasions violated the contract by not paying in full, but hey it was only $50 bucks a year, and we all know that if we need to shave $50 of our taxes the city would let us RIGHT? Don't worry they "LAG" made it up to us "The Taxpayers" in 2011 without penalty or interest. 

Also I am wondering where the checks are for 2008, 2010, and the makeup check of $150.00 in 2011.

Not to worry folks Part 2 will be coming: On 10/11/11 I had filed a RTK for,
An official bank copy of the deposits with all offsets and/or, all items included in the deposits. Front & Back of all items are requested. For the transaction dates and amounts listed below. 

PNC bank account # **-****-3458.
05/04/2005      57,375.53
05/15/2007      86,215.03
05/05/2008      127,231.58
05/06/2009      216,291.57
05/04/2010      132,974.86
05/02/2011      50,000.00
08/23/2011      150.00

We will find out if those missing checks are in-fact inside the alleged deposits, and you know I will keep you posted.

Wake Up Wilkes Barre

Friday, November 11, 2011

Calling on our DO NOTHING, City Hall, Yet again!

Monday May 30, 2011 a fire destroys a vacant home that had been an ongoing hangout for vagrants, and drug users, for years. According to the Times Leader: “It is the second fire at a vacant building on Sullivan Street since 2007.
I along with my neighbors on Sullivan St had repeatedly called on city hall for action to this ongoing problem, but like many others our pleas fell on deaf ears. Now that 7 families were displaced, and the abandoned house burned to the ground, life on Sullivan St has only gotten worse.

Speaking as the only responsible homeowner involved in the fire, I once again call on City Hall to act. I know FAT chance, right? I, together with my insurance carrier Nationwide have re-invested over $100,000.00 to rebuild my home on Sullivan St. I could have done what others had chosen to do, and that is grab the insurance check, and flee, but instead I did what I should do, and that is hired a contractor to rebuild my house.

Now my tenants are sitting next to a Rotten, Stinking, Dilapidated, Burned out mess that is once again a home for the godforsaken riffraff that troll our city in search of these abandominiums as they call them.

Once again I only ask for our City to do what it should, and that is protect is residents. News flash for the folks at City Hall: "Government’s first job is Protection of its Citizens."

  • Wake Up City Hall!!

  • You failed to protect us from the dump that caused this fire.
  • You slashed the fire department so much so that on the morning of May 30, 2011 the department was so overworked, and understaffed that those poor guys couldn’t stop the fire from spreading to 3 other buildings, mine included. It wasn’t that they didn’t try I was there that night, but watching them nearly pass out, running out of O2, and then the Fire Chief telling them “I hate to do this to you but I have to send you back in.” MY GOD!! I cannot thank these firemen enough for their efforts, and they did all they could, but with limited resources.
  • NOW once again you are failing to protect the residents of Sullivan St again by allowing this mess to remain.
  • GET the lead out!!!! Enforce the LAW, or for the love of god RIP that MESS DOWN!!!


Wake Up Wilkes Barre…. You could be NEXT!!!!!

Links:

Wake Up Wilkes Barre TV