Dear Editor:

Well, once again Coaldale hit the front page of the TIMES NEWS with more drama in the March 14 edition. The article shows there is still no progress in solving the differences between town leaders, and the residents. One might ask "WHY are the crowds getting larger and louder at each monthly meeting?" My guess is because the voices of the residents are falling on DEAF EARS! It's obvious Borough Council, and Mayor are dug in and refuse to budge with their ideas and attitudes as we get no real answers, and where often, they sit there like "deer in the headlights" when asked questions, and sometimes have to be asked more than once to get a response which usually is nothing more than double-talk. We ask where the finances are going, and we get blank stares most of the time. The only answer we get when we ask about restoring the police to its previous strength, for the safely of the town is NO, followed by the statement that they don't have the money. If nobody knows where the finances are going, we need to bring in an OUTSIDE state auditor to answer that question! An audit should be asked for anyway to protect the new council people that are elected in the upcoming Primary Elections. So they have a new starting point, and now have to rely on the old answer of "IT'S THE FAULT OF PREVIOUS COUNCILS!"

Another situation was brought to our attention during the last meeting when a resident brought up matters of confidentially involving the town's personnel records of some employees that should have been kept as PRIVATE INFORMATION. That's why when it comes time to discuss employee personnel matters during regularly scheduled council meetings, the matters are discussed in EXECUTIVE SESSION, and NOT in public! There was another confidential matter mentioned that I don't feel would serve any purpose in repeating here, but people attending the meeting know what it was, and it was certainly out of line!

I want to know how this "PRIVATE CITIZEN" not serving in any official capacity in the borough OBTAINED THIS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION, and where he felt it was necessary to make this personal information PUBLIC, which potentially violated people's civil rights! Other than for the sake of grandstanding and sensationalism what purpose did this action ultimately serve? Most of what was brought out was credibly countered and explained away by persons involved with the decision making on the points emphasized. My understanding is that if more than one person was involved in divulging this private, CONFIDENTIAL information, it can be considered a CONSPIRACY which potentially elevates the grading of any criminal offense "IF" deemed necessary for possible prosecution, brought on by the exposure of this PRIVATE INFORMATION! It also possibly opens the town up to further CIVIL law suits; only time will tell.

If a large city was run the way this small town is, with lack of transparency, I believe the Pennsylvania Attorney General, or at least the county DA would have been brought in long ago to investigate, but since Coaldale is a "Mom & Pop" town, it appears to be of less importance and put on the back burner. None-the-less, it is of importance to US, we the people that live here.

My final question is, IF a council person is potentially seated ILLEGALLY, does that person's COUNCIL VOTES on ANY MATTERS since being seated legally count? If not, why is the person still sitting there and refusing to resign?

The Primary Elections can't come soon enough to start Coaldale in a new direction! Keep this in mind when you go into the voting booth next election. KNOW WHO YOU ARE VOTING FOR! The upcoming Primary Election might be the most important and defining election experienced in Coaldale over the last 20 years. My fear is wondering just how much more damage can be done with their decisions between election day and the time any NEWLY ELECTED council members and Mayor can be seated! Coaldale's residents deserve BETTER! THANK YOU!

Sincerely,

Sandy Richards

Coaldale