Whether you agree with Mr. Rostich or not you have to give him credit for handwriting a letter to the editor at his age. Why does he do it? Because he cares. He has a history of writing letters but given his declining health he has not written as much as he would like.
Here it is taken from the Herald Standard today : https://www.heraldstandard.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/our-local-politicians-can-to-better-for-fayette-county/article_11cfc604-75e4-11e9-a1d5-cfd6df4e822a.html
In my commentary of July 3, 2018, in this newspaper, I wrote about population decrease, school closings and decline in students, church closings, loss of retail stores, businesses and jobs and the high number of obituaries in the newspaper each day. I was surprised that I never received a response to that commentary. I guess writing about Fayette County’s dilemma has no answer.
In an April 23 article in this newspaper, the Census Bureau released the 2018 report. Again, Fayette County continued to experience decline in population. Fayette County 2010 Census population was 136,606 and the 2018 is estimated at 130,441 a loss of 6165 people in 8 years. Where is the end?
In the Progress Section of the April 26 edition, it talked about expansion, which is good. Fayette County makes one step forward and one step backward. How long can the Uniontown Mall exist with the main retail store gone? Is this county making any progress?
Where is the Chamber of Commerce with its 600 membership? They could be the striking force to move this county forward. Years ago, they were behind the push to bring industry to this county. They called it 5-4 meaning five industries in four years. Sad to say, all those industries once located across from Penn State Fayette are gone. With the right leadership this chamber could move this county forward. They are powerful. Use your talent.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks in this county has been politics. Our elected officials’ biggest concern is getting reelected. Moving this county forward was not their priority although some of our elected officials had reached top positions in government. It is with sadness that Angela Zimmerlink has decided not to seek reelection to the commissioners office. I guess after 16 years, she had enough. Commissioner Zimmerlink to me was a decent, honest, intelligent person who tried her best to make this a better county, but was voted down most of the time by a 2-1 vote.
What will it take to move this county forward? We know that the toll road was supposed to move the county forward, but it did not happen. This 17-mile toll road cost $886 million is one of the costliest in America, but did not help this county. The location was bad. It was the politicians’ way.
There is a gem in this county that is not being utilized to its fullest extent which is tourism. The people in this county should demand that the money derived from the hotel tax stay in the county and not be given to the Westmoreland visitors center. Over one million dollars a year is collected in hotel tax. Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr can change this. Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink is for giving this money back to this county and having a tourism center in our county. Tourism could do wonders where it is set up to tour people showing them historic sights, museums, scenery and events. By promoting this county, we can impress visitors which would have a positive effect and could help bring new businesses to the area.
Not moving this county forward means more decline in population, more school closings, more church closings, more retail stores closings. Business closings will continue until there is more leadership showing more involvement.
I served with the United States Navy Seabees in World War II. Our motto was “We Build, We Fight, Can Do!” That is what is needed from our so-called Fayette County leaders and politicians. A “Can Do We Build” attitude. A “Can Do, We Build” logo should be the county standard bearer for the county.
Bill Rostich is a resident of Footdale.