PHOTO INDEX: REPRESENTATIVE PHYLLIS MUNDY AND COMMISSIONER MARY ANNE PETRILLA.
OPEN HOUSE CANCELED
The Open House advertised in the last edition for Vintage Tub and Bath has been postponed dye to the weather. It will be rescheduled for the spring.
MUNDY TOUTS SEMINAR
Elder Abuse Task Force to hold free seminar for seniors March 8
Representative Phyllis Mundy is encouraging area seniors to attend a free seminar the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Elder Abuse Task Force of Pennsylvania is hosting in March. The seminar, "Protecting Yourself from Elder Financial Fraud: Don’t Become a Victim!" will be held from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, March 8 (snow date: Wednesday, March 10) at Insalaco Hall, Misericordia University. Lunch will be provided following the morning seminar and light refreshments will be available at the evening session. More and more, scam artists are targeting the elderly for sensitive information to exploit and steal from them. Seniors suffering from senility, dementia, or Alzheimer's Disease often are prey for scam artists due to their vulnerability. But seniors and others who simply lack the sophistication to spot these scams fall prey, as well. The information most commonly stolen is Social Security, credit card and bank account numbers. This seminar will be extremely informative, and I am encouraging area seniors, their families and caregivers to learn how to protect themselves and those they love from this form of elder abuse. The seminar will feature guest speakers Ronald Costen, director of the Pennsylvania Institute on Protective Services at Temple University; Brenda Colbert of Marshall, Parker & Associates, which specializes in elder law and estate planning; and representatives from the Pennsylvania State Police and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office. Those who wish to register for either of the seminars, or who would like more information about financial exploitation, can call the call the Luzerne/Wyoming County Area Agencies on Aging at 570-822-1158. The deadline for registration is March 1. Formed in 2008 under my leadership and that of state Rep. Karen Boback, R- Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming, the task force is comprised of 33 members, including representatives from local district attorney's offices, law enforcement agencies and elder services providers, as well as elder abuse experts and state lawmakers. Its mission is three-fold: to facilitate and develop expertise in prosecuting elder abuse; to train professionals such as bank staff and medical personnel who are in constant contact with senior citizens to identify and report cases of potential fraud and abuse; and to educate the public about elder abuse and how to prevent and report it. Additional information about the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Elder Abuse Task Force of Pennsylvania is available by visiting www.elderabusetaskforce.org.
PETRILLA ADDRESSES MIX UP
Commissioner Mary Anne Petrilla issued a statement today regarding the Homestead Act but also took the opportunity to touch on a few other issues.
I want the taxpayers of the county to know I hear their frustration and anger at the recent mix-up concerning the Homestead Tax Exemption. There was a mistake made here. We’re all human. I told the people attending the commissioners’ meeting last week who protested that we would correct this. And we have. I can’t dial back the play clock on this one item. We will make sure things like this don’t occur again. I also hope that all I have tried to do to improve county government at this crucial time in our history will not be judged by this one incident. I’ve finally put an end to the wasteful practice of seemingly endless county borrowing. We had to raise taxes, but we made many cuts in this year’s spending to try to minimize the pain. We now have a fairer tax system with everyone paying their fair share instead of some receiving a better deal over others. This preferential treatment went on for decades beyond when other counties reassessed. Additionally:
I singlehandedly worked with the principals of PA Child Care to end their lease that cost $58 million. Discovered the practice of contract piecemealing, stopped and exposed it, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. Completely put an end to nepotism and cronyism by hiring professional and experienced directors to fill jobs. Developed a cooperative working relationship with the courts to streamline their budget and save taxpayer’s two million dollars a year. There has been much to cleanup since I became chairwoman of the commissioners. I’ve worked hard to begin the cleanup. I hope people won’t rush to judgment on my overall record before some time passes and it can be judged in it’s entirety. These have been tough times in Luzerne County for a variety of reasons. We’re doing our best in these trying days. I hope people will look at the big picture. Thank you to the taxpayers for any patience they can afford us. We will continue to try and do better.