Save old Ben


First Posted: 4/20/2013

Dupont Borough Council President Stanley Knick Jr. and Mayor Daniel Lello showed a sense of humor and just plain sense at the PA school borad meeting on Tuesday.

Knick said if the school district closes the Benjamin Franklin Kindergarten Center in Dupont, the borough, which sold the building to the district decades ago, would buy it back and the district could double its money. The borough sold it for $2 and would buy it back for $4.

It may not happen that the district closes the school, and if it does, it won’t happen until the summer, but Knick and Lello said if the borough reacquires the building it would consider converting the old school building into apartments for the elderly.

That’s where the good sense comes in. If that happens it will continue a trend of turning old buildings into beautiful living quarters.

It worked in Pittston, where the old Lincoln, or Pittston high school, building was converted into apartments.

And it worked in West Pittston where the old Hitchner Bakery was turned into apartments.

Dupont is one heck of a progressive town and, based on their recent track record (helping with paving of the industrial park roads, stepping up with the compost site, supporting the airport traffic realignment) they will probably do a good job with whatever plans they have for Ben Franklin.

In Wyoming borough residents raised heck when the borough imposed a sewer fee. They packed a council meeting and one after another complained bitterly. Some said the incumbent council and mayor would pay at the ballot box.

But then when the time came nobody challenged the incumbents. Three council seats and the mayoral seat are unopposed in the primary

Same deal in West Pittston where many residents were angry over sewer construction costs and flood response and where all the incumbents whose seats are up in this cycle are unopposed.

Now, we’re not saying the councils and mayors should be voted out in those towns, in fact we believe they did what they had to do, we’re just illustrating that even where residents have issues with their elected officials, nobody wants to run.

And look at the Luzerne County Council ballot. When the council was created by the home rule charter, 59 candidates ran for the 11 seats. This cycle, there are 12 running.

We’re not offering a solution, or saying there has to be one, we just wonder why so few want to run.

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