Greensburg Laurels & Lances
Lance: To the era of infallible commissioners. Back in 2003, when Westmoreland County’s Democrat majority insisted on borrowing $10 million for the juvenile detention center, any suggestion challenging that reasoning was met with ridicule. The money was approved, but the project collected dust until recent years, when Dem commissioners pared down the upgrade to $5 million. This month, the center’s “population” dropped to just one juvenile. From the get-go, this was a boondoggle.
Laurel: To Monessen officials. A $478.20 parking fund discrepancy wasn’t going to break the city. But it was enough to trigger questions and subsequent theft charges against Monessen’s longtime former treasurer, Frank “Bucky” Rizzuto Sr. That’s called protecting the public’s dime(s).
Lance: To another “helpful” state law. Had Jeannette kept up with its employee pension payments in the past, its obligation this year reportedly would be $250,000 instead of $630,000. But a 2009 state law cut municipalities some slack on their obligation. Cans kicked down the road have an expensive habit of kicking back.