To the editor: Recently, Point Township Supervisor Randall Yoxheimer wrote a slanderous letter and is currently on a smear campaign/witch hunt attacking anyone who opposes his handling, or lack thereof, of federal taxpayers' money.

This federal money was given to Point Township through a HOME partnership program to build 14 housing units in the township that were below the median income of Northumberland County. Yoxheimer signed guarantees on behalf of Point Township that the board would administer the grant according to the application submitted. In the application to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, specific requirements had to be followed to qualify for the federal funds.

Not only did Randall fail in his obligations entrusted to him by his constituents, he attacked citizens who are demanding accountability for his oversight failures. The News-Item printed his slanderous smear letter that is not backed up by facts. The News-Item has contributed to attacks on citizens' reputations by printing such a letter. Yoxheimer as an elected leader should be held to a higher standard of professionalism. It is quite obvious that he is attacking the messengers because he does not want their message to come out.

Harassment and intimidation by government officials is a serious crime, and newspapers have a responsibility to make sure the authors of "opinions" are not using their very powerful conduct to harass citizens and make life miserable for anyone who opposes them. Using the paper to intimidate the great majority of people into supporting them or at least being afraid of speaking out in opposition is wrong. Unethical officials sometimes seek to destroy the reputations and careers of those who oppose them, usually in dishonest ways. This creates not only an unethical environment of fear and mutual hatred, but undermines the government in numerous ways. The most damaging result is scaring honest citizens away from participation in government.

Attacking the very citizens who they were elected to represent is the most reprehensible of actions by a public servant. Using your authority to intimidate citizens must stop. If your actions, or lack thereof, surrounding the HOME partnership program are above reproach, stop running smear campaigns and allow the cards to fall where they may. I have the right to question government officials and the handling of my hard-earned tax dollars without being intimidated. If you don't like having your actions questioned, perhaps you should reconsider public service.

I guess this is just you and Richard Shoch making true on the public statements you made about me becoming a "target." I can assure you, your well-orchestrated smear campaign will not deter me from being a fiscal watchdog.

Mark Heintzelman

Point Township