ORAN LEONARD: Living on wrong side of tracks
July 24, 2013 11:00 AM

This seems to be my problem, living east of the railroad tracks in Blairsville. According to the Community Development Authority of Blairsville, this entitles the families of this neighborhood to zero money given to Blairsville for the Elm Street project. This area includes roughly one-third of the residents in Blairsville.

With the new grant this money will total $367,000 given to only a few neighborhoods and a certain number of “select” residents.

A recent review of past recipients seems to read like a who’s who of Blairsville, past CDA board members and numerous other prominent citizens of Blairsville. According to the recent article in the Gazette, most of the new grant has already been earmarked for certain recipients.

When questioned about this inequity, their response was that a state representative set the guidelines and neighborhoods of the grants.

Given this is the third grant, this seems to stretch logic that the CDA had no input whatsoever and that they would not request/fight to have all residents included. If they didn’t request or fight to include all citizens, this opens a whole series of questions about the leadership.

All of us “second-class” citizens of Blairsville living east of the railroad tracks — North and South Brady, North and South Morrow, Maple Avenue to name just a few — should take note at your next council election. This favoritism of certain groups of citizens by the borough council and the CDA should not be tolerated.

All council members should have taken notice of this long ago, and those members should also be held accountable.

You might live on the wrong side of the tracks next time.

Oran Leonard


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