In less than fifteen hours Citizens Against Commissioner Kern members and supporters will be gathering on the Ironton Rail Trail to protest against the methods that the IRT commission used in determining the guidelines for the memorial benches. In short, the system was a Pay-To-Play fundraiser. If you donated enough money to the IRT, you could have a bench dedicated in memory of anyone you’d like. Games like that epitomize the corrupt culture in Whitehall and Coplay. It’s things like that which CACK has dedicated itself to challenging.
Tomorrow if you’re on the trail and see one of our folks. Please sign the petition. We’re asking the IRT to remove the memorial benches and give back the money donated. There are hundreds of people in Whitehall who want and deserve a memorial bench to be dedicated to their loved ones. Unfortunately, because of taxes and a high cost of living, not many can afford the luxury. Commissioner Kern paid up to have a memorial bench dedicated to his children. Now, that’s very noble.
However, the citizens of this town should not have to look at memorial benches that were auctioned off to the highest bidder. The process should be more open.
Because there is evidence that the Kern bench provided invaluable political capital during Kern’s 2007 election bid, we demand that bench be the first one rededicated. He was running for commissioner and a lot of potential voters walked by his family’s memorial bench every weekend. The memories of his children was used as a political tool. He paid for it, his buddies on the IRT commission made sure he got it.
We have been circulating the petition all weekend and have gathered 2,500 signatures. We hope to have at least 4,000 when we present it at the next IRT commission meeting
If you support fair play and are against cronyism and corruption, sign the petition and join us out on the trail tomorrow.