Adding some facts on commissioners’ drama

I wish to address the inaccuracies of William Straesser’s recent letter about the ongoing drama surrounding the county board of commissioners.

Voters of Blair County (not just Republicans) chose Amy Webster as one of their commissioners because they are furious with the reassessment debacle on many levels. Bruce Erb was spared their wrath only because it was believed his sympathies were in the taxpayers’ corner, but perhaps that belief was not reflective of reality.

Politicians relentlessly and predictably hide behind the excuses of government rules and mandates for continuously screwing taxpayers. We get this at the local, state and even the national levels of government.

We should be appreciative of some regulatory relief provided by President Donald Trump in the past three years. When will we get relief from Harrisburg mandates that are bankrupting our commonwealth?

When Terry Tomassetti was first elected commissioner, I practically begged him to work with the Pennsylvania Commissioners Association (power in numbers) to work to change state rules so we could address our own issues more fairly without Harrisburg’s pass-the-buck system of governance.

How is that working out for us? Tomassetti didn’t even try to fix state reassessment rules at the state level until after he had already voted to burden taxpayers with his reassessment.

Erb was able to dodge blame for the reassessment decision because he was elected after the fact. However, some of the biggest issues with reassessment were with the way it was implemented and executed (as are most government “solutions”).

For that, he does bear responsibility, as do Ted Beam and Tomassetti.

We must stop accepting excuses from politicians that it “was becoming a public safety issue” (Tomassetti’s words at a Blair Chamber breakfast) or other fear-mongering, as a tactic to get us to accept further pillaging of taxpayers’ paychecks.

As to Straesser’s allegation that Webster’s election was a result of money raised from outside the county, Straesser has no way of knowing where the money came from, because is it not public information. In other words, he made it up.

Finally, Erb coordinating with Laura Burke to shut commissioner Webster out of board leadership was shocking and a slap in the face to his constituents.

Lois Kaneshiki


(The writer is the former chairman of the Blair County Republican Party).


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