Stability Spurs More Growth In Pittsburgh

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slow and steady wins the race: It works for the tortoise, and it seems to be working for Pittsburgh.

The latest annual “Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow” report by PittsburghTODAY found that Pittsburgh continues to make modest economic progress after years of decline.

PittsburghTODAY is a nonprofit part of the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social & Urban Research that tracks the region’s progress compared with 15 other areas of similar size, geographic and demographic makeups.

Doug Hueck, program director for PittsburghTODAY, highlighted data regarding population growth, unemployment levels and housing appreciation rates as examples of the city’s revival.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/22/Stability-spurs-more-growth-here/stories/201402220041#ixzz2u57osImH

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Towanda Borough Council Passes $4.9M Budget Thursday, Tax Rates To Remain The Same

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TOWANDA, PA – The Towanda Borough Council on Thursday adopted a final $4.9 million borough budget for 2014, which leaves the borough’s tax rates unchanged.

The budget keeps the borough’s services the same as they were, borough Manager Kyle V. Lane said.

The council also voted unanimously to adopt the salaries for the borough’s employees for 2014, which in most cases had been previously set by union contracts.

However, the borough’s four non-unionized, salaried employees, including the borough manager, will receive a 2 percent “cost of living” raise, the council decided.

Read more: http://thedailyreview.com/news/council-passes-4-9m-budget-thursday-tax-rates-to-remain-the-same-1.1607411

10 Best Cities In Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Some very surprising results, especially the tie for number 10! Two are in Montgomery County, two are in Chester County and two in Delaware County.

The real-estate company Movoto is searching out the best cities in each state, and says six of the top 10 Pennsylvania cities are in the Philadelphia region.

Movoto says it looks at criteria that include amenities, cost of living, crime, education, median income and home value to determine its rankings. Here are what the company says are the 10 best cities in Pennsylvania:

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillylists/10-best-cities-in-Pennsylvania.html#FbOpcUwPJtHbrC05.99

Report: 25% Of NJ Struggling To Make Ends Meet

Trenton, New Jersey

Trenton, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – A new report claims one-quarter of New Jerseyans are living in poverty.

The study released Sunday by the Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute concludes that more than two million people in New Jersey are struggling to meet their basic needs.  Their numbers have increased since the beginning of the economic recession by more than 300,000.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20130908_ap_b7f29f63ccbe4989a7e751fe8f4d067d.html#MIgPiDRtQXohdeUL.99

Pottstown Police Department Versus Scranton Police Department

Editor’s note:  Scranton had a population of 76,089 according to the 2010 census.   The city is 25 square miles.  According to Citydata.com, Scranton had 150 police officers and a department of 170 as of 2010.   The crime rate in Scranton for 2010 was 275.7 (US average is 319.1).

Scranton currently has an acting Chief of Police whose salary is the same as the permanent Chief who stepped down three months ago.  The salary for running a department of 170, in a city of 76,000 people is $81,073.

Pottstown had 22,377 residents according to the 2010 census and is 5 square miles.   Pottstown had a police department of 46 officers (58 total) per Citydata.com’s data for 2010. Pottstown’s crime rate for 2010 was 539 (US average 319.1).  

Pottstown’s Chief of Police/Acting Borough Manager is already making more than $100,000.00 a year.

The cost of living differences being taken into consideration, Scranton is 3 1/2 times the size of Pottstown in population, 5 time as large as Pottstown in area and has a police department 3 times the size of Pottstown’s and yet Scranton’s Chief of Police makes $20,000 less a year than Pottstown’s???  We won’t even get into the difference in the crime rate between the two (HINT: Scranton is safer).

Does this not illustrate why Pottstown’s budget is grossly over inflated?  Does this not indicate paying a new borough manager way more than Jason Bobst was making is fiscal insanity?  

The mayor of Scranton, who is the chief executive and not a ribbon cutter like Pottstown’s Missy Mayor, makes $81,872 (far less than Jason did) and he runs a city 3 1/2 time the size of Pottstown.  And trust me, running Scranton is more challenging than running Pottstown.

Pottstown Borough Council might as well start a bonfire in Smith Plaza, throw the taxpayer’s money in, make a few s’mores and call it a day!

Here is the link to the article about how Scranton is handling their police department: 

http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/in-scranton-no-intention-of-changing-police-chief-status-1.1402117

Small Increase Likely In Social Security Benefits

Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...

Seal of the United States Social Security Administration. It appears on Social Security cards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON – Social Security recipients shouldn’t expect a big increase in monthly benefits come January.

Preliminary figures show the annual benefit boost will be between 1 percent and 2 percent, which would be among the lowest since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. Monthly benefits for retired workers now average $1,237, meaning the typical retiree can expect a raise of between $12 and $24 a month.

The size of the increase will be made official Tuesday, when the government releases inflation figures for September. The announcement is unlikely to please a big group of voters – 56 million people get benefits – just three weeks before elections for president and Congress.

The cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is tied to a government measure of inflation adopted by Congress in the 1970s. It shows that consumer prices have gone up by less than 2 percent in the past year.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=421002

No COLA For Social Security Recipients In 2011

For the second consecutive year, the Social Security trustees have determined that a cost-of-living adjustment for social security recipients is not necessary as the cost of living has not increase enough to warrant a raise.  An official announcement is expected on Friday when the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics announces their inflation estimates.