Thursday, October 11, 2007

Office shopping

Hazleton has been in the news the last few days. Mayor Lou Barletta was at Notre Dame that got a nice write up in the TL. I found it interesting that the reporter who wrote the story, Steve Mocarsky, seemed to suggest he covered the event by watching the webcast on the ND website. That's a good thing, go internet.

This appearance, along with many others, continues the speculation that Mayor Lou will seek higher office. He has ruled out a bid for State Treasurer saying "The office doesn't excite me," and considers himself better suited for offices involving policy and legislation rather than audits and account balances. That sounds like he's ruled out an Auditor General run also.

"My name has been thrown around for a few statewide offices," Barletta said. "There are some who are encouraging me to run for governor in 2010 and others would like to see me in Washington working on immigration."I'm giving it consideration, as to what my future may be," he said.

I think it should be pointed out that according to the FEC Barletta still has a $150,000 debt left over from his last run for Congress.

Some of the other recent news from Hazleton is not so flattering to Barletta. Hazleton's finances are in the red and he doesn't see any improvement in the near future. He shocked me by blaming the problem on an influx of illegal immigrants. The CV has this devastating headline:

Report paints Hazleton as full of racism

A Zogby International report issued Wednesday paints a harrowing picture of Hazleton as a city where racism is rampant and people live in constant fear of racial profiling and losing their homes and/or jobs if taken for being in the country illegally..."Now fear reigns supreme, and the biggest fear is that this great tradition can be hijacked, especially by national demagogues trying to accent the worst," it reads. "The current atmosphere threatens to set Hazleton back to the pre-CAN DO days."

The TL has the reaction from the people who don't like what they are hearing about the Mountain City and their management of it.

And in a welcome example of good judgement an ordinance making it a summary offense for minors to possess or use tobacco products in the city proposed by council president Joe Yannuzzi failed to garner a second motion for consideration and was not voted upon.

Councilwoman Evelyn Graham said it should be the responsibility of parents to prevent their children from smoking, not overburdened city police officers. Unlike the nonsense that is going on in West Pittston.

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