The letter to the editor is also an open letter to the fine residents to Coaldale.
Since February of 2012, Coaldale has been torn apart by the ongoing controversy due to the cutbacks of our local police department. Our Mayor BRAGS about how the cutting of three full time police officers was voted on a 7-0 margin, however, that was then, and this is now. Mistakes can be corrected!
The Mayor and Borough Council claimed that no money was available to maintain the police force with two laid off borough maintenance workers. It was stated that Councilman Yelito recently blamed previous councils for overspending the budget, however, when he took office there was a budget SURPLUS. I remind him that five of the seven council members he is blaming, still hold office except for one council member who recently resigned to take another position but was part of the decision making at the time.
It's been almost a year now since the fire borough employees were laid off, and Mayor Corkery and Council claim that no full timers would be restored to their previous positions; so my question is: WHERE is the inflow of new tax money going? We now have only one full time police officer, and that is the Chief. It was reported in the newspaper that Mayor Corkery stated that out of 144 work shifts, 88 of those shifts were covered by the State Police. The Pennsylvania State Police do a fine job, but they can't be everywhere since they cover all of Schuylkill County. Recent serious incidents proved that it sometimes takes them hours to respond. People must understand that good and immediate local police protection is NOT FREE, and must be paid for. If your home is broken into, or someone in your family is being assaulted, an IMMEDIATE response is PRICELESS!
At the January Coaldale Borough Council meeting, State Police Trooper Edward Sanchez was invited to speak to Borough Council members, and he immediately make it clear that he was NOT speaking for PSP, but was only expressing a personal opinion from years of police experience. Other than apparently making the mistake of mentioning another town's name as an example, I and I believe everyone else that heard him speak thought he was SPOT ON with his assessment of the hazards of towns lacking FULL and LOCAL police protection, and what it could lead to.
The crowd's reaction spoke for itself. If Coaldale residents want to keep things the way they are now, fine, but as the trooper stated, once you loose your town to a crime element, it's very difficult to get your town back and if we continue to sit back and accept the status quo of today, we deserve what we get for us and our families.
If on the other hand, we insist on keeping our nice town as safe as possible, it's apparent that changes are needed, and it's time to change the faces of Coaldale's leaders