This is in reply to the Letter to the Editor written by Robert Melloy that appeared in the January 26th edition of the Times News.
Yes, I certainly do agree with Mr. Melloy that there are certainly many fine residents in Coaldale. However, the town of Coaldale, as well as the many other communities that are struggling financially, must re-order their priorities, and that is just what the Coaldale Council did. When the Council voted 7-0 to terminate the full time positions of three police officers and the two borough workers it showed just how serious the financial conditions are in Coaldale. Please know that the three police officers affected were immediately rehired as part time employees. Throughout the last 7 months of Police scheduling, the State Police worked 9.5 percent of the time and the Coaldale Police Dept. covered 90.5 percent of the shifts. I tried my best to explain this to Mr. Melloy at last month's Council Meeting. Obviously, he just did not understand my explanation.
It is important for the citizens to know that Coaldale is landlocked by the Coal Company. There is no industry in Coaldale, and there never will be. This raises the question: "Where do the funds come from to run the Borough?" With the exception of a few Mom and Pop stores, the home-owning taxpayers carry practically the entire cost. Even the Roman Catholic Church packed up their vestments and sacred vessels and walked out of town several years ago. Mr. Melloy, you stated that we have a "Personal Agenda." Please do clarify that statement. You further indicated that the town needs full and local police protection. Are you saying that the police officers who do not live in Coaldale are not qualified? Please know that the oath that each police officer takes when being sworn in is the same for full time, permanent part time and part time officers regardless of where they live.
My primary concern and strong commitment since having been elected to Council has been the infrastructure of the Borough-e.g. streets, buildings, ( most importantly the former Coaldale High School now known as the Coaldale Complex Building,) vehicles, other equipment, etc. These are just a few of the main things that we as Council members are working together, as a team, to make this town a proud town to live in.
A huge concern of the Mayor and members of Council is the Financial Stability of our Borough. Should we fail in this regard and the Borough is allowed to slip into bankruptcy, the Administration of the town will transfer to the Commonwealth which will among other things, provide limited State Police protection and will dictate to the residents the taxes we will have to pay.
Please understand, Mr. Melloy, that the Mayor, myself; and all the current members of Council are very definitely PRO-POLICE. To imply otherwise is a disservice to our elected Officials.
David J. Yelito
Chairman Police Committee