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Not much changed


February 1, 2014 Letters to the Editor

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Slippery Rock councilman Ron Steele got it right when he stated, “We (council) messed up big time. It (bulk trash pickup) should have never been changed from May to March. Furthermore, he said council should foot the bill for additional expense since it wasn’t the citizens’ fault the date was changed.

Former council member Jerry Heller is the one who proposed that bulk pickup be moved to March. Councilman Itzi Meztli argued against the move, saying it would cause too many problems. His plea fell on deaf ears, for the remaining council members sided with Heller’s proposal.

When an individual asked Heller why he took such an action, he responded, “We can do anything we want.” How arrogant.

A few months ago, Heller admitted the council didn’t do a good job informing the public, but still he offered no explanation for the date change. After months of wrangling and the appointment of a committee to study the issue, we still have no rational answer why.

At the Jan. 6 council meeting, I asked council President Dave Miller what was going on with the bulk trash pickup date. His exact response, without further clarification, was, “The bulk trash has been changed to May 16, 2014.” He made it sound like a done deal. I was pleased to be told that they’d finally decided, only to be let down again two weeks later.

At the Jan. 21 meeting, Councilman Itzi Meztli, who had missed the previous meeting, questioned Miller as to who decided and when it was decided; and why wasn’t a vote taken in public during the Jan. 6 meeting. Meztli also questioned why no agenda items or motions appeared about the May 16 date or how the extra $1.50 per-customer, per-month charge by trash contractor Tri-County Industries would be paid.

Miller’s response to Meztli was this: “The comment was — since you were not there — the plan was to move it back to X date. It’s not a done deal.”

Neither a plan nor a not-done deal was mentioned at the Jan. 6 meeting, only a declaration that the bulk trash pickup had been changed to May 16. How are citizens able to believe anything council tells them?

For 15 years I’ve been attending council meetings with Frank Monteleone. I can honestly say nothing much has changed in the way council does business or treats citizens. There have been displays of ignoring, indifference and arrogance. And, at times, they ignored a citizen’s problem by turning into the citizen being the problem.

This has to change.

Frank Monteleone loved his hometown of Slippery Rock and wanted to see it become an even better place to live. Frank may be gone, but his vision and ideals of how to make a better tomorrow will live on through me.

I plan on being involved in community affairs and making my presence known at council meetings.

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