Signs have proud history of care
To the editor: I am writing this letter in regards to a letter written by Mr. Lutz. I realize he's looking for positive press, but I have to respond to his statements about the Welcome to Kulpmont signs. The signs were donated by me in remembrance of my father, Nick Goretski Sr.
If you check the back issues, you will see the first ones went up in 1993. There was a photo in The News-Item.
First, I got council's permission. They sent a letter to PennDOT, because they own the area they are placed on. They required a diagram with size and location. After they were approved, Joe Schiccitano, borough supervisor, arranged for George Malakoski, the borough mechanic, to assist me with erecting them.
Since then, I have replaced them four times. I painted the actual signs myself. The one you took the photo of was the only one always being damaged. It was once hit by a truck, causing us to reduce the size. And, the signs were always being vandalized. One time I found a nice rock next to the damaged sign.
I bought the next two signs to replace the originals, and on the last one, I suggested that we put them in plexi-glass frames to better protect them.
I had noticed that the one at the west end of town was damaged and I was going to ask council if that one could be moved closer to Mr. Apichell's former home, which would mean less chance for vandalism.
But when I saw this spring they were being repaired, I went to the borough hall the next day to inquire. For one, they were supposed to be navy blue and white, like our original football team's colors, not baby blue. They told me they didn't know who had repainted them.
I myself was going to repaint them again this summer, but I just had a shoulder operation and wasn't ready yet.
So to say that no one was taking care of them is not true.
Counting time on several boards at the same time, I have 50-plus years of political service and never took a paycheck. I always used my salary for borough projects that weren't in the budget. I'm now 60 years old, and I never intended to maintain the signs forever, but I never even posted on the signs saying I did them or that they were created in honor of my father.
I realize most of this is due to the new borough building debate. So I realize what's really going on. I worked for a wonderful representative in Bob Belfanti who's probably sorry he hired me because I was always hounding him for projects and funding in Kulpmont. But because of Rep. Belfanti, you got $25,000 for a concession stand and $10,000 for a fieldhouse. I was also on the sewer authority and they got grants for security gates, raising manholes and correcting flow problems. He also went right along with saving the old school and creating Roosevelt Court. In fact, I lost the next election because of rumors that development of a college at that site would create a drug problem and raise taxes.
But it got done anyway, and now senior citizens subsidize the school and we have the LIFE Center we went after Geisinger Medical Center to create.
I ran one more time because there were no street signs. I made sure, working with Mr. Bob Slaby and Mr. John Gordner, and we know have street signs.
So my question to Mr. Lutz is: I know you are older than I; if you want change, why have you never run for office? You can't just decide without proper consent to paint all the stop signs in Kulpmont blue. Be a part of the system.
In closing, I would like to say I never took my pay for public service, even though my income crashed after I got hurt in 1987 and, after this year and next, I'll have had 20-plus surgeries. But after I got hurt, I worked for Bob for 22½ years because I didn't want to be just a disabled person in his 30s. Thanks, Bob, for hiring a Local 520 guy who had little to offer, but sure learned fast about how to get things done.
This is not an endorsement for the building project and also not a "no" toward it. But government is not what you think; you have to be in it to win it, and have all the facts.
There were many things I wanted to change, too, but you're still just one person with one vote.
Nicholas Goretski III