NEW CASTLE —
The city of New Castle needs help.
Financially distressed and operating under Pennsylvania’s Act 47, New Castle must find ways to reverse its population loss and fiscal challenges.
Under Act 47, the city has seen improvements. But not enough. Even though New Castle is operating at a modest surplus this year, that won’t last.
Pension expenses and the rising costs of government take their toll. Long term, the city faces deep and serious financial problems.
That’s true for taxpayers and city employees. The high rate of taxation in the city erodes property values and those who work for New Castle government need to recognize job security in these circumstances isn’t guaranteed.
To counter this, New Castle must find avenues for growth. And from the perspective of city government, this involves reaching out and generating confidence in what city hall does.
The need for New Castle to build bridges and identify allies in its recovery was key in the New Castle News’ editorial board review of this year’s council candidates.
New Castle voters face a more complicated ballot than normal in the council race — at least on the Democratic side. There are no contested council races on the Republican ballot.
But this year, voters must select two council members to serve four-year terms and one to serve a two-year term. And of the six Democratic candidates running for four-year council terms, three are the candidates for the two-year slot.
Confusing? Yes, but we believe that of the six, three stand out.
Two in particular strike us as individuals who can be crucial in meeting the city’s need to attract support and assistance.
One is current council member Tom Smith. With his degrees in public administration and position as manager of Seven Fields borough in Butler County, Smith not only understands New Castle’s fiscal plight, he also sees ways to attract outside support for the city. That includes not only revenue streams from grant sources, but the benefits of forging operational alliances with other communities and organizations.
Smith’s local government knowledge base presents a tremendous asset for New Castle.
Similarly, Tim Fulkerson, a former mayor, makes a strong case for his election. Fulkerson’s exuberant personality, combined with his view government must do more to reach out to average citizens, promises to breathe new life into a city government that needs to inspire public support.
Meanwhile, incumbent councilwoman MaryAnne Gavrile also argues well for her return to office. She offers solid support for growth and cooperative endeavors. And she backs it up with community involvement.
So on May 21, we encourage Democrats in New Castle to select Tom Smith and Tim Fulkerson for city council’s four-year terms, and MaryAnne Gavrile for the two-year term.
NEW CASTLE —
The city of New Castle needs help.
- Closer Look
Casino hearing date now official
May 8 has been confirmed as the public hearing date for Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will hear from those who wish to comment on the casino license under consideration for the racetrack/casino complex planned for Mahoning Township.
Our Opinion: Public to get chance to comment on local project
A long-anticipated public hearing is finally scheduled for Lawrence County’s proposed casino. The May 8 hearing at the Mahoning Township Community Center in Hillsville will give citizens the opportunity to comment on the planned Lawrence Downs Casino.
On the Record: Today’s births, police items and district judge reports
On the Record is a periodic update of public information coming out of the Lawrence County Government Center. Look inside for the latest births, police items, and district judge reports.
Agreement to enhance Austintown track project
Penn National Gaming announced Monday it has signed a key agreement regarding its Austintown race track and casino. The thoroughbred racing track, part of a facility that will include slots-like gambling machines, is scheduled to open in the fall, and the new agreement with the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is being touted as “positive progress” in meeting that deadline.
Library friends slate spring yard sale
The Friends of the New Castle Public Library has set the date for its spring indoor yard sale. The two-day event will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 28 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 29 at the New Castle Public Library.
John K. Manna: State says some local people have high incomes
A lot of people fantasize about becoming instant millionaires. That’s why millions of Americans play the lottery, particularly when the jackpots for Powerball and Mega Millions exceed $100 million.
Tentative casino hearing date set
May 8 is the tentative date for a public hearing for Lawrence County residents to comment on the proposed casino. The Mahoning supervisors announced the date Thursday.
Training seminar to address handling PennDOT contracts
A training seminar on how to deal with state transportation engineering and construction contracts is planned for this month
Recycling facility’s plan recommended for approval
The New Castle Planning Commission has recommended approval of a land development plan for a recycling facility. Ben Weitsman and Sons of New Castle plans to construct a facility at 526 S. Jefferson St. to recycle scrap metal.
Jameson to move pediatric unit
Plans are under way to relocate inpatient pediatric care at Jameson Hospital. A press release issued Wednesday by Jameson Health System said pediatric care will continue at the hospital and “will be provided in a safe environment by the same pediatricians, physician specialists and pediatric trained registered nurses and staff.”
- More Closer Look Headlines
- Casino hearing date now official