An appeal to Wilkes-Barre City Council made just prior to the approval of the 2013 budget

 Letters to the Editor

Disclaimer: Letters to the Editor express the opinion of the writer and are not necessarily the opinion of WBIG ownership, management or staff.

Members of Council, Mr. Mayor, and Staff:

Before I am out of time, I wish to state unequivocally that I am opposed to any tax increase, or increase in any of the fees currently in force, except for maybe the parking.

I live in the Rolling Mill Hills district. My neighborhood is comprised of mostly septuagenarians and octogenarians, some of which are borderline ninety. At age 77, I am considered the “kid” on the block! Most are widowers or widows. They came up when there were no 401(k)’s or reliable pension plans, so most rely on their Social Security checks and meager savings.

All of them hope that they can outlive major repairs to their homes. They are one water heater or furnace away from a major financial crunch. They pee in their toilets three or four times before flushing to save on their water bills. They only put garbage out every other week because of the cost of garbage bags. They pay exorbitant school taxes even though they have not had a child in school in fifty years!! They cannot get to the store for groceries, so they have to pay to have what meager things they buy delivered.

They worked hard all their lives to pay their bills, raised a family, and through no fault of their own, have lived too long. Many have outlived their children, their families, and friends. They only turn on the light in the room that they happen to be in, and keep the thermostat in the low 60’s, using blankets for warmth.

When they last saw their mate, they had to continue trying to fly with one wing, and for a while they were successful, but now it has become an insurmountable task. Waiting to die has to be the most depressing for them and some go to bed wondering if maybe tonight it will be over. If they are forced into a nursing home the speculators will buy their homes, and they will rent them to the dumpster overflow from out of state, until they are no longer habitable, then walk away.

It shouldn’t have gotten to this point, and it wouldn’t have if you had been better stewards.

Ray Arellano, Wilkes-Barre

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