PHOTO INDEX: MINORITY LUZERNE COUNTY COMMISSIONER STEVE URBAN AND PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER KATHY BOZINSKI.
Here's the latest missive from Minority Commissioner Steve Urban. Commissioner Stephen A. Urban said he will seek the resignation of county Public Information Officer Kathy Bozinski in January because he believes she spends too much time promoting Commissioner Greg Skrepenak.
Okay, let's get it right up front. I like Steve Urban, I think the guy is a good public servant. He shows up, he makes contact with the people he's governing, he relates to them. I've voted for Steve Urban a number of times and most likely will do so again. But just when you think he's on the mound throwing a few fastballs and some curves like a good minority party commissioner is supposed to do, he jogs all the way down to the bullpen and heaves a ball with no destination in sight. His questioning of the budget deficit as well as some county hiring is admirable but the latest thing about him trying to fire Public Information Officer Kathy Bozinski is right off the wall. He claims Bozinski promotes Greg Skrepenak too much. Well, to be truthful, Skrep has been the only Commissioner around since his partner Todd Vonderheid resigned. Rose Tucker, a fill in till the end of the term has not been that visible. And God forbid if MaryAnne Petrilla was invited to photo ops as a candidate, there'd be screaming and gnashing of teeth all around. Bozinski, a former radio and TV reporter, as well as Faculty member at Luzerne County Community College has taken the job of PIO to new levels. She was quoted in the Washington Post, New York Times and CNN during the 2006 flooding scare. I researched those articles and she was talking about the prepartions the County Civil Defense people made to get the area ready for the flood that never came. Not a word there about the former NFL lineman Skrep. Bozinski has coordinated events for various non profit, ethnic and civic groups at the Courthouse and posted them on the county website. Skrep was in some of the pictures with other county officials but it's not as if she had him dressed in lederhosen for German Pride day or rolling a canoli on his nose for Columbus Day. Bozinski has promoted the county, informed the media, national, local and statewide of events good and bad and has earned her money ten times over. If Urban wanted to focus in on a target, why didn't he say something about former Sunday Independent editor Jim Torbik who was handed a high paying county public relations job a few years back and has essentially disappeared from the face of the earth. Urban should pick his spots a bit better. And picking on Kathy Bozinski is not one of them.
When I was on a committee in 1986 to celebrate the County Bicentennial, we were coming out of a meeting when a newspaper reporter snapped our photos. (This was back when local newspapers actually covered volunteer and community events on a daily basis and didn't shrink them into one big page once every 10 days). Anyway, the committee had its picture snapped and it appeared in the paper. No county commissioners were in the photo because they didn't show up. A few days after the photo appeared, Gene Klein, the County Clerk and defacto PR man back then called me and somberly intoned, "David, the commissioners are very, very low today!" Low? My first thought was someone did something to the Courthouse or one of them died. It turned out that Klein was miffed that we had the photo taken without his guys. In a few days, we had another one taken and put in the paper and the Commissioners were not "so low" anymore. But the point here is that Klein, like Bozinski is now, was an advocate. His job was to make sure people saw his team. And it was easier back then because corporations had not yet taken over the local media empires. Bozinski is an advocate for the county and Greg Skrepenak happens to be the Majority Commissioner. Urban, a guy I like should take up his complaint with Skrepenak and Petrilla and let Kathy Bozinski do her job. If he doesn't, all someone has to do is walk into the Sanitary Bakery in Nanticoke on a crowded Friday and say, "someone's picking on Coach B's kid". (Bozinski's father was Nanticoke Hall of Fame cager coach, the late Syl Bozinski). Urban would never carry Nanticoke again.
Thanksgiving is coming up and the best place to get your pumpkin pie is The Sanitary Bakery in Nanticoke. There was a fundraiser at work and people were leaving the building today with boxes of the Sanitary Pizza. Someone asked where the name came from and legend has it that when the Bakery first started, the awning on the bakery was used to protect the exterior from the coal dust generated by the mines. When the mine workers and their wives came for a treat, the name of the Bakery, The Sanitary, with the protection of that awning, said the place was clean and the food was good. Here's the website from my favorite place in Nanticoke:
http://www.sanitarybakery.com/. When Mrs. LuLac and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this spring, we got the cake from The Sanitary. A few of my Pittston relatives harrumphed and said, "Had to go all the way to Nanticoke to get a freakin' cake??" After they ate it, they kept their mouth shut.
AND IN D.C.
Taxpayers sometimes complain that the people they elect to offices too often turn out to be nothing more than warm bodies. This week, Dickson City residents didn't even get that much out of four of their seven Borough Council members. Members Barbara Mecca, James Kisel and Stanley Prushinski assembled at the advertised hour for a council meeting, only to find that members Anthony Gallis, Paul Kwiec, Peter Novajosky and Robert Wiltshire were no-shows. Without a quorum, the meeting never started, leaving the borough without a key piece of its tax structure for the coming year. This is an abdication of their responsibilities. There has to be a way to either sanction behavior like this, fine it or penalize it. This is something maybe a State Lawmaker might look investigate to stop this arrogant way of governing.
My good friend Keith Edwards has turned professor in this latest You Tube effort making the rounds on the internet.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sMI2jb16eo. Edwards worked with me at Citadel Broadcasting and is now lending his tones to WVIA TV and FM. By the way, The LuLac Political letter has a great "hayna" story about me and Willie Mays in Edition #262, July 10th, 2007.