www.timesleader.com News Sports Weather Obituaries Features Business People Opinion Video Contact Us Classifieds

The expansion of the Bear Creek Township Board of Supervisors from a three-member board to a five-member board is being opposed by Ms. Bonnie Wasilewski, Chairwoman and her court. It is not political as they claim because the board currently is 3 – 0 (Democrat) in their favor.

A former supervisor, Mr. Edward Benkoski, who they continue to believe is using this process to regain power, is also a Democrat. It’s not political, it’s democratic infighting. But let’s use some common sense. If the idea of going to five supervisors from three is to get some kind of an advantage, I’m missing something here.

Ms. Ruth Koval, who has aligned herself with Ms. Wasilewski, is up for re-election this coming year. Wouldn’t it be much easier to initiate an all-out campaign to unseat her rather than try to get two people elected to achieve the same end result? The problem with the existing board is that if something is raised by grass roots or any way other than being initiated by the board, there has got to be some evil reason for it and Mr. Benkoski will surely be blamed or must in some way be benefiting.

If they spent more time running the township and addressing matters that need official attention instead of trying to carry on petty Democratic party infighting, all of us would be much better off.

Let me assure you that there are only two reasons for expanding the board. First is to make it more representative in a municipality that is strung out over 67 square miles. I don’t care that the population is fewer than 3,000 residents; the small disconnected communities need representation.

Secondly and more important, if you have a strong member on a three-member board and another member aligns with that individual, you have as close to a dictatorship as you will get in a democracy. I nearly expanded the board when I was a supervisor 30 years ago, but at that time all three supervisors, although we differed, pulled in the same direction.

The Residents for Good Government (RGG), through their publication The Bear Creek Pulse, are backing the change to five supervisors to not only correct the existing shortcomings of this three-member board but to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I do not know the political affiliation of the members of the RGG; but I know that there are both Democrats and Republicans who belong. Ms. Wasilewski and Ms. Koval are invited to become members but to date have chosen not to do so.

It has been brought up by the opponents that each new supervisor will add $1,875 annually to the township payroll. That is a fact. But you have a newly created Superintendent of Roads position added at $43,000, you also have a newly created clerk position and two (not one) secretary/treasurers. They then have had to add (and pay) an outside firm to do the payroll for all eight employees. If all this time is required, then I think they need two additional supervisors to help them.

Ms. Wasilewski and Koval continue to deny public records to Mr. Ted Carl, who is a township auditor, and are appealing Judge Toole’s ruling to provide this information at additional legal township expenses.

So if anyone says that we can’t afford two more supervisors, I say, “We can’t afford not to have them.”

The Weekender Go Lackawanna Timesleader The Dallas Post Tunkhannock Times Impressions Media The Abington Journal Hazelton Times Five Mountain Times El Mensajero Pittston Sunday Dispatch Creative Circle Media Image Map