Proposal would aid department, city

I am writing this to clear up what I see as some misconceptions with the Johnstown Charter Review Committee’s recommendations concerning the current structure of Johnstown’s Water Department.

I feel too many residents are concentrating on the abolishment of a “Water Board.” What we really want is to combine the two departments under one leadership to improve efficiency. Too many times in small communities such as ours, it turns into more of a popularity contest than basing our decisions on the facts. I feel we can ill afford to continue with the same old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Combining the Public Works and Water Departments under the direction of the city’s engineer would result in improved response to not only repairs, but also the upgrading of an aging infrastructure by the combination of existing manpower.

Many current members of the DPW staff at one time worked for the Water Department, so they are already accustomed to this type of work. The same can be said about members of the Water Department that at one time worked for the DPW.

To give you an idea, this year alone the city’s DPW crews have replaced more than 1,900 feet of aging drainage pipe, replaced 12 deteriorated storm basins, addressed sewer issues, and are in the process of replacing a bridge on North East Avenue. This project is being done in-house with a newer style of pipe that was acquired with partial funding secured through the city engineer’s office from Fulton County’s Soil & Water Conservation District, saving Johnstown taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. Along with providing the everyday services that we all have become accustomed to having, the combination of a solid management team along with a dedicated staff is how we were able to aggressively accomplish these projects.

Whether it is property taxes or water revenue, it is your money I have been committed to protect and will continue to do as a member of the Common Council. All I ask in return is that we make our decision regarding this issue, as well as all others concerning the future of our city, based on the facts.

In closing, I am asking you to vote yes on Proposition No. 1 on Nov. 3.

KATHI L. IANNOTTI

Council Member, Ward 2

Johnstown