Ask Betsy! July 2012

Dear Betsy,

During your campaign for Mayor, you organized neighborhood vacant lot cleanups. How can I do something like this?

I live next to a dump

Dear Dump Neighbor,

The first thing is to find out who owns the lot. If that’s the city, don’t expect any help. If possible, get permission from the owner. Invite friends and neighbors over for a BBQ. Be sure to ask them to bring trash bags and rubber gloves.

Dear Betsy,

I would like to go before city council with some ideas, but I’m nervous. Any suggestions?

Hesitant in the Heights

Dear Hesitant,

First you will be asked to fill out a simple form that will allow you to speak (check the back of the room for the form). I recommend that you write your ideas down and make five copies, one for each council member. Just so you know, you will only have five minutes to speak, so present only a couple of ideas your first time up there. Council does not allow you to ask questions of them and no dialog is permitted. Don’t let it bother you if you get the gavel … you will see that it happens to almost everyone that goes before them. The most important reason for going is that you might meet others attending the meeting who like your ideas and will help you to bring them to fruition.

Dear Betsy,

With all of this talk of the high cost of towing in the city, what do you recommend I do if my car breaks down?

Tow Phobic

Dear Tow Phobic,

Shop for your towing company. You will find that if the police show up first they will automatically call LAG Towing. You have every right to call around and get a lower price. Here are a couple of competitive companies whose numbers you might want to keep handy in case of a breakdown or accident: Ayers Towing, 823-5370; Falzone Towing, 823-2100; and Citywide Towing, 760-3975. Don’t forget to ask them what their daily storage rate is. This can add up fast if you need it towed to their yard!

  • Betsy Summers
  • Betsy Summers is a long-time resident of Wilkes-Barre who holds an associate’s degree from Centenary College and advanced degrees from the School of Hard Knocks. She’s also a self-taught carpenter, electrician, gardener, and Jane of all trades. Betsy currently works in veterinary sales, has served on the subcommittee for Luzerne County ethics, and has run for a number of political offices, most recently, PA State Auditor General in 2012.If you’d like a question answered, contact Betsy at or call us at 570-266-8086.

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