opinion
letters to the editor
How much funding does Bethel Park Fire Department need?

As you probably know, Bethel Park passed a dedicated fund act to support the fire company. However, we continue to receive yearly letters requesting funding for its support.

Is the dedicated funding tax insufficient? Initially, we were told that only 50 percent of the residents voluntarily supported the fund drive. Now, they receive 100 percent through the dedicated funding plus 50 percent (I guess) through the yearly letter drive. How much do they need?

I have and always will support the needs of the Bethel Park Fire Department. They do a great job, but if they need additional funds, then it should be through council raising the dedicated tax and not through any additional yearly letter campaign for funds that some people will/will not support. Any clarification on this matter for the residents of Bethel Park would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Mitterer

Bethel Park

editorials
Check your personal life at the door

Much like there is a separation of church and state, in the working world, there is a separation of personal and professional lives. In any type of work environment, be it blue collar, corporate, retail, food services, volunteer, political, and so on, employees are expected to check their personal lives at the door. Not only does this mean leaving your own personal problems at home and not letting them affect your performance, it also means letting go of any past personal problems with co-workers and getting along with them while on the job.

The commissioners of South Fayette would be wise to heed the above practice.

The problems among its board of commissioners seemed to arise last year, when commissioner Jessica Cardillo-Wagenhoffer was charged with insurance fraud, stemming from a June 2012 house fire. Cardillo-Wagenhoffer agreed in February to participate in accelerated rehabilitative disposition, also known as ARD. She did not plead guilty to the charges, and upon successful completion of the two-year program, she will have her record expunged. The incident has not interfered with her duties as commissioner – directly, anyway.

However, it appears that it has interfered with commissioner Deron Gabriel’s duties. According to Cardillo-Wagenhoffer, Gabriel twice asked the township’s solicitor for opinions regarding her personal life. In March, Cardillo-Wagenhoffer made a motion to censure Gabriel from seeking legal opinions from the township solicitor without the rest of the board present. The motion passed, 4-0, though Gabriel was out of town during that particular meeting, and hence, not present for the vote.

Now, Gabriel is suing the other four commissioners for violating his civil rights for censuring him. The lawsuit was filed last Wednesday, and a regularly scheduled board of commissioners meeting that night got pretty heated. There was a lot of back and forth between Cardillo-Wagenhoffer and Gabriel, to the point where some residents in attendance called for the resignations of all five commissioners.

While business was conducted, those in attendance were forced to watch an unprofessional debate occur – not only is a commissioners meeting not the time or place to air personal vendettas, it is also a waste of time for those who have to sit by and wait for the agenda items to be followed.

Something needs to be done in South Fayette – and quickly. A board divided isn’t healthy for its members, the residents, or the blossoming community of South Fayette.