Governing means making some tough choices

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John P. Lage Jr.

With reference to the capital sales tax, Lancaster County Council is having trouble on what to do with this money. Well, let me help. I can’t understand why this issue is so puzzling. Put the money where it is needed most. Lancaster County has a serious problem with skilled workers. An example for instance is the need for welders.

I mentioned in a recent letter about how our high schools could help with this problem. Now, you have this option. We have employers in the county who can’t find the workers they need. York Tech in Rock Hill has failed to produce the welders we need. Let’s produce our own, If we don’t deal with this we could lose them to other counties or states. Why can’t you take this money and build a state-of-the-art job training facility? If you build such a place businesses will come here knowing the workers they so desperately need – welders, HVAC techs, machine operators –are being produced right in the town.

In today’s world, libraries are like dinosaurs. Almost every house today has one or more computers. Back in the 1970s when I was a teen if I needed to do research you had to go to the library. But today that info is right there on your desktop or laptop computer. College-bound students are not in dire need of assistance like the remaining students who have no job skills. Building such a facility will give back to the county. College grads do not remain in the county. They move on to the big cities where the professional jobs are. We are a manufacturing community, hence, the need for a technical facility.

On the sheriff’s request for better communications, this is a no-brainier. Police and fire should be a top priority. Without them all the rest is in chaos. We have a crime problem. I’m sure taxpayers won’t have a problem spending tax dollars on their safety. How can we hold the sheriff accountable if we don’t provide him with the tools he needs to keep up with this ever-changing world.

There are enough funds with this tax to provide more patrols and to build sub-stations in high crime areas. Why is it that the council needs a request for money for police needs? Do councilmembers not live in the county? Do they not read the paper and see what’s going on? Set aside funds for the police, then address the other issues.

Now the county roads issue, council members must walk to work each day. How can they not know how horrible our roads are? My district alone includes Grace Avenue and Bethel Road. You take your life in your hands driving on these roads. I really would like to know what my councilman thinks as he travels on them. I don’t care if it’s a state or local road. Either way he’s in a position to fight for their repair. Lancaster County receives more than a million dollars each year for roads. I’ve been here almost four years. How can these two roads skip his attention. As you travel these roads look to the sides. You see bumpers, among other car parts from drivers who have lost control of their vehicle. The liability to the county far outweighs the cost to fix it.

In recent editions of The Lancaster News, there have been stories about Lancaster County Economic Development. Yet, in my opinion, we have a few council members who abuse their powers and put Lancaster at a standstill. We need to find out why a few members took such drastic action to freeze the LCEDC budget. To me this looks like a personal issue with LCEDC Director Keith Tunnell. An outside investigator will get to the bottom of it. And if it’s true, then some council members have some explaining to do.

Governing means making tough choices. It’s not a popularity contest. There are some council members who think the latter.

We cannot, as a county, move forward in the future. If we have such issues with our leaders, there is a problem here.

John P. Lage Jr. is a Lancaster County resident