Parkesburg man charged with sexually assaulting 9-year-old girl at a Leola home

Cletus Dena Houston, 60, of Parkesburg, assaulted the girl while he was serving as a caretaker of the child in December, East Lampeter Township police reported.

Township police Det. Preston Gentzler charged Houston with aggravated indecent assault of a child, indecent assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor.

Houston was arraigned Monday before District Judge Denise Commins and was committed to Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.

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32 responses to “Parkesburg man charged with sexually assaulting 9-year-old girl at a Leola home

  1. Oops, there goes the low crime theory. Check the sex offender website for area code 19365.

  2. cletus…there is the first clue…

  3. I wish this man an absolutely miserable, unbearable summerland.

  4. In my professional capacity for years I worked with and managed staff providing care, evaluation and treatment of a variety of sex offenders. When they were caught there were often multiple other offenses that had been committed and undetected. The overwhelming majority of offenses occurred within close proximity to where they were living. Often times their crimes and control of their victims had the crimes going undetected for many years. Our fine department does an excellent job of working very quietly behind the scenes and it would be a huge mistake to think that because this one single incident was “detected” in another community, there is somehow less diligence needed right here in Parkesburg.

    • David,

      If you want to use this incident as proof we need a larger police department, I think you are barking up the wrong tree. Every community has a certain level of crime… every community has its drug culture… every community has its child abusers… every community gets touched by crime. The contracts with other municipalities will not stop a pedophile… neither will a Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit. Parkesburg does not need to be the regional police force. We are a very small community, and if something like this was discovered here it should be turned over to county detectives, that is what they are for. The more local politicians try to push to make us look like one of the big dogs, the more the community pays the price.

      • I think you are making a proverbial mountain out of a mole hill Tim and putting words in my mouth at the same time. I didn’t say anything about the police contracts and have consistently told you and everyone else I am not in favor of the contracts and even gave you a brief description of what a regional force could look like “without” it being Parkesburg as the agent, so please stop that.

        You tend to be so fixated on your mantra of smaller, smaller, smaller that you don’t even hear what is being said Tim. My comment that you are responding to simply said I think our department does an excellent job related to these types of offenses. I do however disagree with your premise that “all” of these cases should be turned over to the county. The criminals would probably celebrate that approach. Send everything somewhere else where the investigation gets prioritized along with every other current case in the county. That’s not a very effective way to close cases and keep a close eye on the criminals in our midst. Now, notice Tim, I have spoken here about anything other than the handling of SO cases. Let’s stay on topic please. As I see it, we have a fundamental disagreement on this issue. You say save money and kick them all up to the county. I say I believe we can do a MUCH more effective job locally.

        The only other issue I implied in “this” discussion is that I disagree with those in town who think we have a low crime rate and therefore want to cut the force. I think the force can be trimmed, but with my understanding of the budget, to get any “real” savings you actually have to go down to about 4 officers and the Chief, who would also then have a regular routine street schedule. Officers would have to work without back up and that is not wise or safe. So, my position Tim is we have more crime then many want to believe and to achieve real savings you have to actually cut below a minimum safety level. I’m sure you will take issue with this too, so have at it.

        • David,

          Since it is fairly obvious the PD’s website is not up to day, how many officers are on Parkesburg’s payroll? The website shows 16… I was of the understanding there was currently 20. If that is the case, how does “real savings” start at reducing the department to only 4 officers?

          • David Jones

            I believe it is at 16, 9 FT including the chief and 6 PT plus the Secretary. It’s really difficult to explain it all without the charts and tables that show where the money comes from and goes. There are many moving parts in the police budget Tim. The last time I saw the union contract we had to pay full bennies for 6 months for any cut for a FT officer. You have to account for legal costs because there will be substantial legal costs. The statewide union has deep pockets and each cut will be challenged. There are a variety of income sources that off-set parts of the budget. Has staff are reduced these sources are also reduced. I think this is a better conversation to have “off-line” for a variety of reasons Tim and I’d be happy to do that anytime schedules permit.

          • So, what you are saying is PAST DECISIONS to grow the department beyond our boarders has tied our hands? That somehow, because of union contracts, we would need to cut 75% of the department to see one dime of savings? Becoming a regional department was a brilliant idea, wasn’t it? So, when Atglen decided not to renew their contract with Parkesburg, the department did not cut manpower because staffing is really no longer locally controlled?

            …and you wonder why people harp on past decisions?

          • David Jones

            I’m not sure how you got all of that from what I just recently wrote Tim. Certainly, growing the department beyond our borders complicates a later reduction. I don’t think I said “one dime of savings” I thought I said something like, “real or meaningful” savings. Sure you can save money with everything you cut, but if you are going to cut it has to be substantial enough to pass the savings on to the taxpayers. Again Tim, this is an “off-line” discussion. I don’t know what they did or didn’t do as a result of losing the Atglen contract and I suspect you don’t either Tim. I know the contract income was budgeted at $172,500. So you have to cut the budget by that amount to get back to zero Tim. You don’t have to actually drop officers, you can achieve those reductions by cutting hours too I would think. Let’s say you cut the FTE of that $172,500. Now, eliminate the other contracts and you have to eliminate FTE equal to off-set that lost revenue. That would take you down into the FT officers most likely. You’d probably get one FT officer position cut just to zero out the lost revenue. So, now you are down to 7 FT plus the chief or a total of 8 officers to patrol and protect the Burg. Without getting into the details of a 24/7 schedule and coverage for court, this is about as low as you can go. Further reductions would impact times of the day where there would be NO police coverage. Within all of this you can realize some “MINIMAL” savings, but certainly NOT enough to cut taxes. Could you hold the line on future increases for an extra year this way? Possibly. Again Tim. There are so many facets to this discussion we can’t do it justice on line nor should we try.

          • The point of getting rid of contracts is to reduce the size of the department, and reduce liability. I’m not sure what you mean by “real or meaningful” savings. Now, are you also bringing up the decision to build the municipal building and the desire to keep court in the borough? Are you telling me that decision also ties our hands as to the size of the police department? What real advantage was it for us to do that?

          • David Jones

            The liability issue to me is a non-issue really. All of the insurance and contracts are pretty solid on those fronts. Real savings in my book are ones that can be passed on to the taxpayers. If you have a net gain of $20,000 for instance it’s unlikely any taxes would be reduced because inflation would eat that up the next year anyway. Real and meaningful savings in my opinion would have to rise to the level of reducing the taxes by at least ONE mill so you could actually role back the taxes. If you are not going to roll back taxes then it’s very marginal at best.
            Tim, you’re starting to scare me fellow. When did I bring up the building in “THIS” conversation? You are drifting all over the place. I’m happy to answer your questions about the building, but look at the topic heading for this dialogue and the conversation is way off the original point.
            I’ve not been a defender of the building as I’ve said many times. When I came on council the 20 year lease for the building was already done. I explained many many times my involvement in the building and I don’t see the point of rehashing that now as if we can undo it by talking it to death. The building doesn’t justify any particular size for the force and I would not consider the building in any discussions about the size to maintain. It’s irrelevant. We own the building, it’s like your house. If the size of your family gets bigger you do something to adjust. If the size of the family shrinks you can also make adjustments. That’s a different discussion entirely.
            There could have been other ways to develop a new Government Services Building, but we all know what and how it was done. I’m so over that it’s not even funny. We have options there, but I don’t tie them to the police at all. If you want to talk about the court being in the Burg, I believe that is a very good thing. Taking ownership of the building relieved us of a lot of the costs. We no longer pay the taxes we paid through the rent and we get revenue to off set our costs on the mortgage. I’ve gone over this so so so many times Tim, I just don’t have the energy to go there yet again unless their is a specific question. The Fire Company was the rightful owners of the old borough hall. It was right to return that property to them. They have put so much muscle and money into rehabbing the building and they can get grants to off set costs that they couldn’t get if they didn’t have the deed.
            When we didn’t have a holding cell we took prisoners to Coatesville and paid to house them temporarily there. I don’t know if you were in the old police station in the back of the old borough hall, but it was a terrible environment on many levels. The bottom line here is the building does not tie our hands at all in terms of plans for the police. Would I have built the GSC? No. I’ve already said hundreds of times, it was that decision that got me on council in the first place. You simply must have heard me say that at least once along the way Tim.

          • I’m trying to put the pieces together here, David. I’m trying to look at the big picture, not just things specific to you.

            You’re right, you didn’t bring it up, but it is a bit of information from our facebook conversation. KK broke in when I criticized the building stating, “I wouldn’t exoect you to know but back in 2004 when we were considering the Government Services Building, the County was looking to move the DJ out of the Borough if a new, larger home wasn’t found.”

            So, the desire to keep the the District Justice’s office within the borough was one of the motivating factors of the new Government Services Building, which in turn requires the us to maintain a certain level of manpower with the police department.

            Add to that the borough’s idea to expand the police into a regional department through contracts with other municipalities, and because of union contracts your telling me we couldn’t truly reduce the size of the department if we wanted to because the borough tied their own hands… right/wrong? I wonder how other municipalities get away with cutting the size of their police departments.

            Here’s the fundamental problem for most political insiders: They are surrounded by ins and outs of borough goings on everyday. They are informed as to the “big picture” of how all the pieces fit together. However, citizens get only pieces of information, scattered throughout the year.

            What’s the problem here? The political class believes they are making the best choices, with the information they have. However, it doesn’t matter what the political class think about what they are doing. It matters what citizens think.

            I mean seriously, earlier in the year there was talk about putting up cameras all over Parkesburg for the police. My first thought was The Simpsons episode that the town did the same thing… what a joke, right?! What would be next, maybe a monorail? However, the reasons behind it were probably very well thought out and rationalized.

            I’m sure political insiders see this as going on as publicly as necessary or required, but it is just unreasonable to expect every citizen to go to every meeting so that nothing sneaks up on them… and this stuff does tend to sneak up on people.

            The idea (I have heard repeated often since jumping into politics) that there is complacency with citizens is true to a point. There is a certain satisfaction and contentment with being blissfully unaware. However, raising taxes is like poking a sleeping lion with a stick. At some point, you are going to have one unhappy lion on your hands, and he doesn’t really care why you were poking him.

          • David JONES

            I can’t speak to the motives of people Tim, that I believe is slippery territory. I will say that people in office across the country make decisions to spend tax money to keep businesses in certain geographical areas, there’s nothing new about that. I think you will find the move to providing contracted police services outside of Parkesburg predates 2004. Was one of the reasons for the new and bigger space to provide better working conditions for a force larger than one needed for Parkesburg alone? Absolutely! This is why when I was on council and chair of the finance committee I always factored the costs of the portion of the building (mortgage, rent, utilities, etc) into the real costs of the police. Many others wanted to simply look at the distinct budget items like salaries, benefits, equipment, etc. Approximately one third of the building costs are directly attributed to the police in my mind, no question. I am NOT saying we can’t reduce the force because of the contracts. I’m saying it has to be done within the boundaries of the contract and there are very particular costs associated with that. Many times, looking in from an uninformed position, people will say “just cut” what’s the problem. I’m simply saying there are many issues that must be addressed. I’m also saying that people who advocate for cut, cut, cut “may” not be in the majority, so the opinions of all of the citizens must be factored and weighed in whatever decision is made. This is a lesson I learned first hand when I held hearings on reducing the force. I’m saying that if you move to reduce the force you have to factor in the revenue side which will be impacted, from contracts as well as the loss of fines and restitution. It’s not simply cut the salaries and benefits, it’s a much more complicated formula than that. That’s what I’m saying and all that I’m saying Tim. I never said it can’t be done or shouldn’t be done, only offered caution in the process all along the way. I believe we owe everyone an expectation of proceeding in whatever direction cautiously. How do other municipalities do it? There was an article in the Lancaster New Era earlier this week about that exact process. A public hearing was held. Following several hours of discussion A MEMBER OF COUNCIL made a motion to furlough 3 officers. That motion did not pass. He then made a motion to furlough 2 officers and that motion passed 4-3. Behind the scenes I am CERTAIN there were many hours of discussions, looking at finances, talking with legal counsel, etc. It can be done and there is a well laid out process for how it is done. I can tell you that it is not done lightly and unless the positive cost savings FAR outweighs the negative costs of reducing coverage, then it doesn’t pass. This is what many people (including Joey) don’t understand. You can’t simply say I’m going to do it because I want to do it or I think it should be done. You must provide “STRONG EVIDENCE” of the absolute need to make the change and even then you must build a consensus. It is not a simple matter. You are becoming laughable with your continued harping on a political class in Parkesburg. You can’t really believe the council members don’t listen to the citizens. TRY to understand that your viewpoint is only one side of the equation. There are also people who say don’t cut the police. You have to take a consensus of the population and represent everyone. If the majority do not agree many people on council will choose to vote to represent the opinion and wish of the majority. That’s how government works. I think you miss this point that just because you hold your position passionately, there are actually a fair number of people who see it differently. You don’t seem capable of allowing that just possibly the consent of the majority is being acted upon. That doesn’t mean there aren’t complaints, but if a “majority” of people supported your position why didn’t anyone choose to unseat the current members of council. You have to allow that just “possibly” the are satisfied. That’s not the same as happy, but in this realm people vote very cautiously. With the exception of a few, people will usually not support radicals on either side. It frightens their senses. This is what I tried to caution Joey about. I don’t support cameras all over town and they are controversial everywhere. Lancaster is one of the cities that has more cameras per square mile than any other in the country. There is no doubt they can be of value in solving crime and many believe the destruction and vandalism in the park has been greatly reduced by the cameras there. The cameras we have were obtained through grants. I’m not in favor of spending from the general fund for further coverage. I agree that things sneak up on you if you don’t attend meetings and I would love to see a public forum where information is shared better. I think that can be done. In all of my years (more than I would like to admit) I have never heard anyone say I’m comfortable with the level of taxes. I’ve always heard continual complaints about the level of taxes be too high. Thirty years ago, people complained about losing their homes to taxes. This is probably the most consistent refrain any of us hears in the public discourse. I take it seriously Tim. I agree taxes are too high and something must be done. I also know just how painful the actual remedy will be and I seriously doubt the majority wants to actually go through that pain, that is why anyone with the responsibility to making these decisions must be absolutely SURE people understand the pain they will endure before the cuts are made. Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2013 02:53:46 +0000 To: davidjones384@msn.com

          • David,

            I know people complain about taxes no matter what the tax rate is, but we are talking about borough homeowners having a total tax rate of over 50 mills. This is not business as usual, despite how some would like to spin it.

            I also don’t believe every decision, made by every representative (at any level of government) is always made in line with the interests of the entire community. Local government has its own form of lobbyists, and I would bet it is the squeaky wheel that shapes opinion more than the majority.

            It seems so much easier to grown the beast, than to shrink it… and the PD is a prime example of that. There seems to be a greater burden of proof placed on eliminating than adding. Do you think average citizen believes the PD’s role is to “Serve & Protect” or to be a revenue stream for the borough, and not a very effective one since my understanding is they go over budget more often than not.

            Now we have our own Bridge to Nowhere project… and very little information or updates. There is more public information on Amtrak’s proposed renovation of the train station (I wouldn’t hold my breath for that) than our bridge renovation, which is suppose to be imminent.

            One thing I have said in the past is people typically are willing to pay when they see taxes are being used effectively, wisely, and providing a good return on the tax dollars invested.

            Chester County is one of Pennsylvania’s fastest growing counties in population, yet Parkesburg exists in a Buyers Market with more people wanting out than wanting in. If we had one shining beacon that the higher than average taxes paid to the borough and school district where worth it, this would not be the case. Home-buyers see thru the spin, and that fact is reflected in Parkesburg’s Real Estate Market numbers.

          • David Jones

            I believe the average citizen believes the PD should serve and protect, for sure. If you ask them should the police try to off set expenses and enhance revenue, I think the would say yes. As far as going over budget, well…

            I don’t know that I agree with your analysis of more people wanting out than wanting in. I think there are a lot of factors that continue to plague our local economy and housing market. I would say that the rate of taxes is the most important of those, BUT not the only issue. I would also say that to the extent new homes are selling at a very nice rate the problems seem to be more in the resale area and that may be where you could say more people want out than in based on the data you provided in another post. However, the fact is the overwhelming number of houses are NOT for sale might be an indication that the vast majority of the citizens want to stay in Parkesburg even with a tax situation they are not comfortable or pleased about. I put myself in the category Tim and I don’t think I’m alone. Then you have someone like Joey running for Mayor who takes a person like me who wants to stay and tells me to leave.

            We’ve talked a lot about the taxes, police, GSC and a host of other things, but what impact do you think having a Mayor like Joey will have on the impression of people thinking about moving to Parkesburg? What impact does continuously highlighting and drawing focus to our problems at the expense of never talking about our assets have on the perception of people thinking of moving to Parkesburg? I’ve said continuously, all of the citizens have to make this a place where people want to live. Back in the days of the building of small towns like Parkesburg, the strength of the towns was fostered by what were known as boosters. It’s okay to identify issues, run for office and try to make a positive change. I applaud those efforts. It’s something very different to keep harping on past decisions and everything negative you can think of. Those activities are counter-productive and only serve to drive people away from the community. That’s the very thing you say taxes do and why you want lower taxes. I would like a lower quotient of negativity for the same reason. On a personal level it’s not good for the soul either.

          • To your “the fact is the overwhelming number of houses are NOT for sale” comment… Have you ever seen an area where more the 50% of homeowner’s had their properties up For Sale? We would most likely have to be living on top of a Superfund site to see something like that… not even then because people would want their payday.

            What data do you have that tells you new construction in Parkesburg is selling any better than the resale market? Keep in mind, I already know how it is selling, and you should at least have a good indication from the price points in the overall data I have shared in my reports.

            In the category of “there are a lot of factors,” there are a number of reasons we can point to why there may not be more people trying to sell their homes. One reason is the typical seller will sell (on average) every 6-7 years. Those people most likely to sell are underwater if they live in Parkesburg. I know a couple who wanted to sell, but the Parkesburg house purchased in 2006 for $199,000 is only worth about $120,000 on a good day. They wouldn’t even make enough to pay off their mortgage. They are held hostage by housing prices.

            Now that you have brought this conversation full circle to Joey Rzonca, let me tie some of this together. My problem is that there are “insiders” who want to be appreciated and respected for being or having been at one time duly elected and volunteering, who are also diligently working to push Mr Rzonca off the ballot or pressure him to withdraw. Insiders have labeled Mr Rzonca as an undesirable, yet he has done as much or more to get elected as anyone else. The insiders don’t want to risk Mr Rzonca being on the ballot come November. They can’t want voters to have a choice.

            Everyone has every right to question the man’s vision of the borough. You dislike that I talk about a political class, insiders and good ole boy politics, at the same time there are those trying to get him off the ballot and you are publicly urging the Republican Party to disavow a person who worked to get himself nominated… and he did it not at a local party meeting, but by going business to business and person to person, talking about what he thinks is good for Parkesburg.

            If you don’t want Joey Rzonca to win, campaign on behalf of Mayor Hagan and tell people what he has done to improve Parkesburg, and why he needs to be re-elected. However, since you have repeatedly stated the Mayor has no power then what does it matter?

          • David JONES

            Well Tim, thank you for going around in circles with me. I will defer to you on matters of real estate since you purport to be an expert. I walk on 7th and 8th avenue almost everyday, weather permitting and I will admit that the only evidence I have that things “seem” to be moving nicely there is what I see. It’s interesting that you put out a lot of “facts” about the real estate market and that’s fine, but when people who have actually worked on the budget and helped to manage the borough give you facts about why and how decisions were made you NEVER accept those facts and reasons even though you don’t have another set of facts yourself to support your counter claims. It’s fine to be a Monday morning quarterback and second guess everything years after the fact. You claim you have to be intimately involved in meetings to get information, but you really don’t. I hadn’t been to a council meeting in many many years but I read the paper and knew about the plans for the GSC building. You have a E-Paper (not sure if I’m using the proper term) that you promote as giving unbiased information to the public. Are your recent comments IN YOUR PAPER unbiased? The things you have said in these past days don’t going anywhere near being unbiased, they are the polar opposite. My concern about Joey has NOTHING to do with politics or him challenging your “insiders.” I think he is potentially very dangerous! I have 30 years professional experience in risk management. The greatest predictor of future violence is a history of past violence. I will be the first to admit this is not an exact science to be sure Tim, but how much of a risk are you willing to take? I believe Joey’s video is the product of a potentially dangerous person based on his past history and statements and actions of the past year and half. Imagine for a moment, in the forensic investigation following one of the massacres I have spoken about (or any other for that matter) where the police go back from the time of the crime and painstakingly put together a psychological profile of the perp(s), as they are currently doing in Boston. What they are looking for are signs and symptoms of trouble lurking. Now, suppose they were to uncover a video like the one Joey made. It has nothing to do with when he made it or if it was before one event and after another event Tim. How do you think it would be perceived? I can tell you, as a MAJOR RED FLAG that was somehow overlooked, or in this case, known but written off as just another wacky video by Joey. “Acting” as if it is somehow funny to take shots at a young person on a motorbike is not normal behavior. I believe the majority of people do not think it is funny in the least. When I confronted him about it, his response was it was before the massacres I mentioned, even though it was well after 2 of the 3 and he totally missed the point. His other response was he is free to post whatever he wants and say whatever he wants. While that is certainly true it shows that he has no remorse or feelings for the mockery even now. That’s the scariest part Tim. He does not understand what his actions reveal about his character or the character of anyone who would do such a thing. This is why I am against Joey becoming Mayor or even being on the ballot. He is unpredictable! I don’t doubt that he can be charming and compelling and seem sincere on a personal level. What are the most frequent responses you hear following heinous incidents when friends, neighbors and even family are interviewed? Wow, we never saw that coming. He’s so quite and unassuming. He’s always been a good neighbor and friendly. Then, slowly a whole other side of the person is revealed and the pieces start to fall into place. If people vote for you in November something they will count on will be predictability, given a certain set of circumstances we know how Tim will go. We know what he stands for and how he will vote. Joey stands for Joey. Since his very first pronouncement it’s only been about him. When he speaks about what he will do, he says things that don’t make sense. Not because I don’t agree with him, but because they cannot be done by the Mayor. Contrary to what you say, I believe the Mayor is important because he is the face and voice of our community. John Hagan has represented us with character, honesty and distinction. I have never seen or heard him publicly berate another citizen. This is important because the Mayor represents us all, not just one party. As the only Democrat in office currently he has worked with council and offered a voice of reason during public debates on policy and budget. He has been a calming voice in our community for decades. In one of the more outrageous acts of intimidation by council when they berated and told taxpayers to leave town, that was not the Mayor and he did not support it or take part in it. Given that Joey has already taken this approach by telling me to leave town, what do you think he will do if another situation comes up like this and he is Mayor. I believe he is “likely” to be the instigator! I advised Joey to run for borough council if he was truly interested in changing some of things he has spoken about because that’s where the motions and the votes come from and are taken. How do you define “insiders” Tim? If you get elected will you be an insider? I bet you won’t see yourself that way, but wait 3 years and there will be lots of people in the school district who see you as an insider. Why? Because you are in or have held office. WOW! What an insider! If being an insider gives you access to information others in the public don’t have and power to make decisions that others don’t have the power to do, then guess what? You are an insider. These kinds of labels are not helpful or informative, they are only meant to deride people who see things differently than you. These are blatant attempts to create an us versus them mentality and I don’t find that helpful to anyone Tim. I’m guessing you see me as an insider since you keep bringing it up in our conversations? I haven’t spoken to a member of council in more than 6 months. I have NO power to decide anything. Other than waving to the Mayor as he went by in a parade, I haven’t even seen him. I haven’t spoken to the borough manager, secretary or chief of police in a very long time, with the exception of waving as I passed them on the street. You see, the truth be told Tim, I have no dog in this race. I support the Mayor for reelection for the reasons I have stated, but that doesn’t make me an insider, it puts me squarely with the majority of the citizens in the town. I’m not working on his campaign committee (if he even has one). I’m not opposed to Joey because he is Republican. I have stated clearly that I think he is unpredictable at best and potentially dangerous and after threatening me with physical violence and telling me to move out of town, I must admit I have a personal animosity toward him. I’m not sure how you would feel about me if I were to treat you in the same manner with such hate (his word for me) and distain. In closing this round let me respond to the person you say paid $199,000 and now his house is worth $120,000. That is a truly sad affair and I feel sad whenever I see something like that happening to anyone. I have a friend who has been trying to sell her house for over a year now. I believe there are many factors that make that difficult and I agree one of the biggest is our local tax burden. Since she lives on First Avenue I believe another STRONG factor is the decrepit condition of the street and sidewalks along First Avenue. Both my Aunt and Uncle who live in Westminster Place have fallen walking to the store on deplorable sidewalks that are the responsibility of the owners of those properties. We have 4 council members who are running for reelection unopposed and they are the majority of council that set the current tax rate. They were sitting on council chairs when the outrageous verbal attack on taxpayers was done. They have the power to pull the plug on W. Bridge St. So why not address the people who are actually in power and have the power to make changes? Instead, Joey talks about how great it will be to add yet another Republican and have a totally Republican powerhouse. Really? If the current and future members of council continue to take the same approach what will Joey be able to do? Maybe he can charm them into doing his will? How will he react if they don’t do what he wants and he has no power to make them? That’s anybody’s guess Tim and I don’t think you would like to go out on a limb and say what you think he would or wouldn’t do. Why? Because he is unpredictable! Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2013 18:17:30 +0000 To: davidjones384@msn.com

          • David,

            Do you seriously read what you write? Are you familiar with the names Bam Margera, Steve-O, or Johnny Knoxville? These guys made millions doing the kind of videos that you state reveal deep psychological issues in Mr Rzonca. Their MTV series and movies are juvenile, moronic, controversial… it is nothing I would watch, and nothing I would allow my kids to watch, but a sign of issues with violence?

            Joey Rzonca is rough around the edges. He is not politically savvy. He is not the most well spoken. He is not slick or polished, nor is he warm and fuzzy. He is much more representative of people who watch NASCAR than Soccer. It doesn’t make him dangerous.

            Granted, some of what has been going on Mr Rzonca brought on to himself. However, his claims of corruption does not make him crazy. Michele Bachmann cries corruption at the drop of the hat, and she has been a Representative (MN 6th District) since 2007. This week, Obama’s own supporters called the NSA-Verizon scandal a corrupt use of power, even though it is all legal. Accusations of corruption and misuse of power go hand in hand with politics. Groupthink is much scarier, in my opinion.

            I asked what Mayor Hagan has done to improve Parkesburg, and why he needs to be re-elected, and the best you have is his public demeanor. It is great that he is a nice person, and in most small rural communities having a nice person representing the face of the community is all they probably need. While at different ends of the political spectrum, Obama ran his initial campaign as an activist President; Mr Rzonca is running to be an activist Mayor.

            I hate (and I do mean hate) having to be put in the position of defending Mr Rzonca. However, I despise more that there are attempts to push a person off the ballot who worked to get himself on with enthusiasm. This country was founded by rabble-rousers, instigators, and agitators. Those characteristics, in and of themselves, are not vices.

            I personally believe (and this is just my personal opinion) that your anger is misdirected. Your anger should be directed at the local political system that allowed Mr Rzonca to run unopposed for the Republican nomination. It is a political system that would rather quietly recruit than encourage vigorous, lively, and vital participation.

            As it looks right now, Mr Rzonca is the only reason anyone has to come to the polls in November… whether it is to vote for him or against him. That is something he can be proud of, even if he loses.

          • David JONES

            When did any of these young men follow up their videos with threats of violence and hatred directed at specific individuals? Do they also possess a “significant” criminal history associated with violent acts? You see Tim, I do actually read what I write and although you don’t like it, I’ll stand by it. Putting Joey in the same class as these other individuals is not even close to accurate. Although their issues are not the same based on their background and other significant identifiers, they are none-the-less very self-destructive, would you agree? As I recall a young man fell to his death from the library building at West Chester U related to these young men. Isn’t Bam’s best friend dead as a direct result of his careless and reckless lifestyle? Your reference to Michele is interesting, now that she is leaving with her head down and in disgrace. However, once again, I’m not aware of her criminal background or specific threats of violence she has made, but maybe I just missed them. Don’t you think the school board election is a reason to come to the poles in November? Interesting. I find it interesting that you would equate Joey with someone whose claim to fame is “Jackass!” Very interesting. As far as Mr. Hagan is concerned, why do I have to say why he should be reelected? I’m not running his campaign or working for his reelection. My concern is with Joey and his lack of integrity and character and so I compared that to the polar opposite, John Hagan. Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of the candidate asking us to unseat the Mayor to tell us why? What harm has he brought to Parkesburg? Did he raise the taxes? No. Did he build or sign the lease for the GSC? No. Did he develop the plans for the W. Bridge Street Bridge? No. Was he the one who got the State Street Bridge grant? No. Has he engaged in criminal activity? No. Has he embarrassed his office? No. Has he attacked people wanting to speak at public meetings? No. As I continue to say and you continue to ignore, the borough council has the responsibilities for almost all public policy and actions. It is the borough council that hires and fires. It is the borough council that negotiates and signs the union contracts. All of the things you say need to be done will not be done by whomever the Mayor is next year. These things will be addressed by council. Many years ago my grandfather vetoed a tax increase as Mayor (the only power the Mayor has in that process) and it was overridden in minutes! By the time 7 Republican members of council take an action of any kind do you really expect me to believe that a Republican Mayor will try to veto that action? I strongly believe in a balance of power at every level of government. I believe when you have one party in TOTAL control at any level, you get a distorted outcome from one perspective. I agree with your assertion that Joey has given people a reason locally to come out and vote and I accept that he has worked hard to get to this point. It sounds like you agree with me to some extent when you acknowledge that Joey has brought on some of the criticism himself? So, you don’t agree with me about what I purport to be deep psychological issues, but you do characterize them as “Juvenile, moronic and controversial?” Therefore, you support the election of a candidate for Mayor who has proven to be Juvenile, moronic and controversial. Well, that should be a real reason to vote for Joey and a BIG improvement for Parkesburg. Thanks Tim. Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2013 12:23:40 +0000 To: davidjones384@msn.com

          • The anger and venom toward Mr Rzonca is over the top, especially from people who claim he has no real chance of winning a largely ceremonial position that has no power… and this conversation has devolved into mindless bickering. Hate begets hate.

          • David Jones

            I do NOT hate Joey Tim. How about a compromise and truce? I would be happy to put a sign in my yard, “Vote for Joey, he’s not proven to be pathological, just juvenile and moronic.”

            I’ve said it many times, Tim, I do NOT hate Joey, I just think he is very wrong for the position of Mayor and I have pointed out my reasons and even you state that he has brought this criticism on himself. If he shows any evidence of the corruption he has alleged and/or the unethical behavior he has alleged, then a retraction will be in order. I can’t take his allegations to the Ethics Committee in Harrisburg, but he can. I would much rather address his allegations in an official capacity than have him throw his garbage about others into a public dialogue where there is no standard of evidence.

            Keep in mind Tim. I didn’t even know who this guy was until he started making wild accusations that included me. I believe his motivation in all of this is self-promotion, not the best interests of the town.

            This can end another way. He can admit he has NO evidence of wrong doing and he wants to focus on a positive campaign and future for Parkesburg. How hard would that be? Remember, he first said I was criticizing him because I wanted to be Mayor and he was also wrong about that, but has not retracted that statement either.

            If he retracts his false and baseless allegations about me I will never say another word about him on the internet or any other public forum.

  5. notpbtodayfan

    The best protection is always community involvement, engagement, and awareness, particularly as it relates to kids. Learning the names of the kids in our neighborhood, keeping an eye out for anyone acting suspicious, and taking ownership of the safety of our community is the most important lesson here.

    We are a small town. It is our responsibility to protect children from the harm of predatory adults.

    • I don’t disagree with that as an addition. Parents can’t protect their children 24/7 and can’t do the investigative work. Following the registration and monitoring registered offenders is the responsibility of the police. The other known concern is that the perp is “often” a family member. The second most frequent perp is a caregiver. I say this because it is always the person right in front of you. This is why it is important to provide additional support to the professionals in this area. We had an incident right here on 8th avenue a few years back and it was pretty scary. It was actually the wife that busted the case open and the neighbors were very helpful, but kicking this case over to the county would have done nothing.

  6. Tim is it possible when reporting events and people in the Parkesburg zip code to identify if they are in the Borough? The 19365 zip code covers a lot of land and people that are not in the Borough of Parkesburg. Just Parkesburg is somewhat misleading, but “Parkesburg area vs Parkesburg borough” would help readers understand where events happened and people involved live.

  7. Dave and Tim, you should both be ashamed of yourselves for having this conversation under this article.

  8. You can have all of the police in the state of Pennsylvania attempt to ID and track perps but the simple fact is that as parents you keep your children close to you no matter how friendly the next door neighbor is or how helpful the neighborhood watch person is to you and your children etc. And for God sake stop forcing little kids to kiss and hug adults whether it’s Uncle John or Grandpa Joe, no it’s not cute or respectful. Your sending the WRONG MESSAGE!

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