Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hot Times in Avella

Hello Everyone,

I'm Andy Walz and recently I came on board the campaign as assistant campaign manager. It has been an interesting couple of weeks and I have enjoyed my time thus far. I just want to introduce myself a bit before getting into the Independence Township meeting. I recently graduated from Saint Vincent College where I served in the student government for four years, and the final one as president, and majored in political science. Last summer I had the privilege to intern in the Executive Office of the President, needless to say I just love politics. I'm looking forward to learning a lot more from Paul and Tom, though. On to the meeting......

I believe this township meeting epitomized every reason Paul is running for State House, the idea of Public Service vs. Self Service and the preservation of power. Obviously, Paul believes the need of his constituents will always outway the preservation of any elected officials power, which is why he is such an ardent supporter of term limits. But, I am getting off course. The major issue brought up at the meeting was that nearly all of the business owners in downtown Avella want the township to step in and either condemn or tear down the buildings that are basically falling down. However, the supervisors seemed to believe that this issue was not really in their jurisdiction, and recommended that a chamber of commerce be formed to put together a funding plan. While this seems like a good idea, it appeared to me that the business owners already had thought through a number of issues and the supervisors were just unwilling to act, and did not want to take any responsibilty, thus passing the decision off to a yet to be formed chamber of commerce.

Actions like these are unacceptable in an area as financially strapped as Southwestern Pennsylvania. If a group of concerned citizens band together to get a project done that will ultimately enhance the community as a whole, they should not have to fight with the local government to get it done. Rather, that government should count its blessings that the citizens actually care and are willing to put a lot of time and energy into the project.

I think a state representative who has experience in small town issues and knows the concerns and problems within them, like Paul, will work to put together a plan so concerned citizens can take action within their communities, and once again be proud to call a place, like Avella, home.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Andy didn't mention this in his post but inspiring our use of the words "hot" and "fiery" to describe this meeting is the fact that the meeting space was actually quite warm. The meeting took place in the house (yes, a regular, two-story house) on the main street in Avella that Independence Township is now renting for their offices. There were thirty or so people squeezed into the house's living room and cramped entranceway and there didn't seem to be air conditioning. This was in addition to the tension in the room due to the arguing and shouting. One local business owner sitting on the steps in the entranceway correctly said it was like reality television.