Friday, September 28, 2012
Open letter to Mayor John Linder
Submitted by Titan One firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents of the Once Great City of Chester
Everywhere within the City Limits
Chester, PA 19013
September 27, 2012
His Honor Mayor Linder
Mayor of City of Chester
1 Fourth Street
Chester, PA 19013
Dear Mayor Linder:
I am writing on behalf of myself and the residents of our once glorious city.
Recent actions, or lack thereof, to matters critical to the health of the City and the welfare of its residents have left us with great concern with your judgment as to what is important to us, the residents. It is because of this concern that I write to you to express what really is on the minds of those residents who call Chester there (sic) home – but only for the time being.
I say for the time being because of the recent robberies, murders, shootings, and drug and gang related shootings that have become normal occurrences in the everyday life of the City. I don’t know of any resident whose main concern isn’t when, not if, they will fall victim to a crime of one of these heinous categories. Mr. Mayor we fully understand the need to attract businesses to the city to help support its economic stability. But much like the reason I am writing – on the behalf of the residents – how can new entrepreneurs invest with the city if their investment can’t be protected? Understanding our priorities would help not only us – the residents – but would also be an effective argument when attracting new business. Mr. Mayor, where is the effort to ensure that we, the residents, can move about freely within our once great city without fear of becoming a victim of a crime, or retaliation for bearing witness against a crime? Where is the effort to protect the taxpayers from senseless political turmoil that only serves as a further distraction from more important issues? Where are the efforts to stifle and eliminate those forces which serve to undermine the education of our children? Haven’t we been embarrassed long enough? Why is it that we have to read in a county-wide publication, the fact that only one school in our School District is functioning at an acceptable level regarding PSSA scores? Where is the outcry from the city administration to readily recognize and decry that our children are being undereducated and are severely hindered in their comprehension levels in both reading and math. Why is there no consistent and open acknowledgement that this lack of education is primarily responsible for the vicious cycle of undereducated children born to undereducated, teenage mothers and that the only way to break the cycle and improve the economic status of the endangered future generations is to take corrective action and rectify the educational process within the school district.
Mr. Mayor, I implore you, why aren’t our tax dollars spent more wisely than for the hiring of staff in your administration that are either unqualified or lack expertise and/or the educational background for the position. And when City Council tries to take corrective measures you further alienate yourself by filing a lawsuit against them so that your appointments (or political favors) can again be realized. Such blatant displays of a lack of focus on what we, the residents (the people whom you serve) feel are important - to live comfortably in our city - will only cause you further alienation from us (the residents).
Mr. Mayor, why do we glorify those athletes, with a troubled past, placing them on high pedestals for our young children to admire and emulate, giving them unearned press to further substantiate all that they have done in the name of fame and glory but yet we repay not nearly enough attention, press and status to those Valedictorians, Salutorians, and even those students or individuals who are trying to make a difference and positive change in our community. This sign of respect only distracts from the need to stress the importance of an education so that they can have a real chance of having a successful career (not the slightly better than 3% chance of becoming a pro athlete).
Mr. Mayor, we know that you have only been in office for a relatively short time, but, it is becoming ever present that the safety and well-being of us, the residents, are not in your best interests. The state of the City as it appears today requires a more focused, vocal approach that is reassuring to us, because we are losing faith in your administration at a rapid pace with every story we read, news report we watch, gunshot we hear, and failed child that we see or hear speak.
We are losing faith in your administrations efforts to correct the present damage and prevent future damage. Those efforts are seen as ineffective and seemingly non-existent. We are losing faith in your administrations ability to protect us. Protect us from the guns, drugs, thugs, corruption and crime that have plagued this City for decades. We are also losing faith in your administrations ability to take the proper corrective action to ensure that our children are properly educated and that those in charge of educating our children are patient, passionate, accessible and able to solve a disagreement without it resulting in criminal charges. Mr. Mayor, if you have been vocal in your efforts – extremely vocal –, please excuse the expressed concerns of this letter, but, your words have not been heard. If you have been publicly animated, outwardly expressing your displeasure over the increase in crime and education in the city – extremely publicly animated – please excuse the expressed concerns of this letter, but again, they have not been seen. While we, the residents, appreciate your presence at fun, community events, and even the occasional media photo opportunity, we would much rather your absence go noticed because we will know that you are hard at work, working for us, the residents, creating and shaping a safe environment and community that we can nurture our families so that it can thrive – thrive for us, our children and many generations to come. You absence would be appreciated and excused.
Mr. Mayor, all that has transpired over the last few months and years has caused me to refer to us – the residents – by the term used in our opening paragraph – “residents for the time being”. It is our feeling that your problems are not our problems and that our voice is being overshadowed by political posturing and other things deemed important by YOU but have no bearing on the lives us the residents. Because we feel this way many of us have sought to flee this once great city. We say flee and not abandon because to flee is to not give up as is done when one abandons something. While we consider fleeing the comfortable surroundings that we call home we will always have Chester in our hearts and on our minds and we will leave behind the many friendships we’ve made along the way and I think that, we can handle. What we don’t want to consider is to leave a life or even worse – our life – behind in a City that has begun to prey on its own. Have you abandoned us for the political machine, self-glorification, and corruption? Have you no answers on how to keep the precious commodity of our City safe and able to thrive? Are there no effective efforts in-place or being discussed that would bring an abrupt end to the violence and crime that run rampant on the streets both day and night?
Mr. Mayor, we, the residents, are tired – tired of reading negative articles that undermine the good done by those in the City; Tired of carrying around the fact that we reside in a city with such a negative reputation; Scared - scared to walk in our own neighborhoods or play with our children in public parks or attend public functions for fear that those who do not value life will be out to take a life; and Hungry, hungry for a change that will make us, the residents walk with our heads held high and announce, before we are asked, that we are from Chester. The question is, Mr. Mayor, are you Tired, Scared and Hungry as well? If things don’t change for the better soon, there won’t be a City for you to be called Mayor.
The Residents of the City of Chester