Letters to the editor

October 12, 2003|by

Job market isn't so hot

To the editor:

I have to take issue with the comments made by Franklin County Commissioner Bob Thomas and L. Michael Ross of the FCADC.

Unfortunately, I have seen the facts from the other side, having lost my job in April. Bob Thomas says that "if you look in the want ads in the papers, that the work is out there." The Chambersburg newspaper had about 39 advertisements for full- time workers, with only three being for manufacturing businesses.

Several were construction- related and some were health-care related. A good many were sales- or service-related. Most needed experienced people. I didn't check, but I doubt if even half of these jobs paid more than $10 an hour. Not only that, I doubt if few, if any, of the people hit by layoffs from either Landis, Grove, Fresh Express or other area companies could even qualify for any of these jobs. A check through the Hagerstown paper showed a lot more possibilities, but basically the same trend.


Ross's statement that manufacturers "are somewhat concerned about their ability to get the right people and the right number of people" is very startling. From my recent experience, area manufacturers are seeing the current recession as an opportunity to keep wages and benefits down.

I know firsthand that trained and experienced people are being offered 30-50 percent less than they were making for similar jobs with fewer benefits. Since Target has opened up, they have become a benchmark. Believe me, $10 an hour is not good money. It might be fine for a young person just starting out, but it is hard to make a living on it.

As for the "hot job market in Franklin County" that Bob Thomas was so excited about, I was probably one of those in the July report. The thing is, I got a job in the real hot job market, and with overtime, I am actually making more money than I was before and have better benefits.

The only bad thing is I have to drive to Frederick to get it, as do a large number of other residents of Franklin County. Unfortunately, it seems like the "right people" have to drive out of the county to find jobs with decent wages.

Don Richards
Greencastle, Pa.

Pass the plan

To the editor:

Not long ago we were reminded that only 1 percent of the population of Washington County is farmers and 8 percent are in the building industries. That leaves 91 percent with other interests. We members of the 91 percent have as much right to protect our quality of life as the farmer or the land speculator and the developer.

We are a grass-roots group of residents of Washington County who are concerned with our natural resources, our quality of life and our taxes. We do not have access to the funds that special interests do - i.e., the land speculators and the developers who buy large ad and send slick mailings.

We do pay our taxes - in full - and therefore, we have a right to voice our opinion. We are not anti-growth, only anti-uncontrolled growth in rural areas where there are no water and sewer lines, where the roads are deteriorating, schools are at near capacity and essential services such as fire and rescue are stretched to the max.

The county taxpayers cannot afford to or be expected to supply this infrastructure for sprawl rural housing.

We support the farming community and want them to remain in our midst. We want to help devise new ways to make farming more profitable. How do we want our tax dollars spent - on infrastructure or on land preservation? The choice is up to our elected County Commissioners. Are they strong enough to resist special interests? Are they secure enough to do what is right for the majority of people living in Washington County?

We will be turning over to the commissioners the petitions gathered supporting the Comprehensive Plan's recommended rezoning in the rural areas. These are from residents who are concerned with how their tax dollars will be spent. They chose to remain at home from the public hearing, as they knew it would be one-sided, thanks to expensive advertising and an atmosphere of fear and injustice created by insinuation.

The commissioners, prior to any final decision, will hear their voices. Hopefully our commissioners will not be intimidated by the special interests and will carefully weigh the issues before voting on the rural rezoning. The comprehensive plan has been written over five long years with public input all along the way. Let's not waste that time and effort.

Henryetta Livelsberger

Too much self

To the editor:

What is the truth that we so easily set aside while living for self? The truth that we are all one. Same clay, same source, same breath of life in us. So what separates me from you? All we need to do is look: Cain, blinded by the veil of jealousy, kills Abel and believes he has achieved something for himself; Hitler hits on the hideous vein of prejudice running through the ages and believes it is gold; we turn our backs on "less fortunate" brothers and sisters and believe we deserve our blessings.

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