In the same meeting: The city council approved the second and final reading of an ordinance that raised property taxes by 19.7 mills to balance the mayor’s $47.1 million general fund budget for this year. The increase raised the millage rate to 141.33 mills.
Mayor Phony Gorge who NEVER attends council meetings, and said at the beginning of his term that he wouldn’t, found it necessary to attend this one to ensure Guard got what they wanted!
Gorge, who made a rare appearance at the meeting, said he supported the $50 million project “2,000 percent” on account of the 400 to 500 new jobs it would create and he wanted to keep the company owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett in the city. Other states are also pursuing the company, George said, adding, “I’m not going to lose it.”
Why? Why is this so important? What’s the connection?
Well, let’s see:
Guard Insurance was founded by Kingston residents Judd and Susan Shoval. YES the same Judd Shoval of CityVest. You may recall CityVest as the group that took some 6 Million Dollars of taxpayer moneys to restore the Hotel Sterling, they did such a great job it was later knocked down by the taxpayers at a cost of $600,000.00
City Council Chairwoman Beth Gilbert is an employee of Guard Insurance, now before you go jumping to conclusions; The Citizens Voice reported “Council Chairwoman Beth Gilbert said the proposal took her by surprise, even though she works for Berkshire Hathaway Guard.”
The Mayors daughter Amy works there!
You may recall the city’s former spokes joke Liza Prokop, she also found a home at Guard Insurance following her illustrious career spinning half-truths for the city.
Now certainly I’m not saying all these coincidences are anything more than just coincidences, after all the company was founded by CityVest’s Judd Shoval, and currently owned by billionaire Warren Buffett, so I ask you, does this deal pass the smell test?
City resident Bob Kadluboski didn't seem to think so when he said at the council meeting “Why is it every time these big deals want something, they come to me to pay for it,” Kadluboski asked, and added “I just think this is a slap in the face to the taxpayers,”
- Kadluboski is RIGHT it is a slap in the face for ANY council-member to approve giving a billionaires company a Million Dollars and seconds later demand an already struggling city population pay even more in taxes, while the mayor's buddies get pay raises.
Wake Up Wilkes Barre
- Wilkes-Barre residents rail against seeking $1 million grant for Guard expansion
- W-B City Council approves grant application for GUARD expansion
- Hotel Sterling site eyed for Guard Insurance expansion
- Officials: Guard Insurance considering Sterling property purchase
- GUARD’s growth prompted consideration of Sterling site