My name is Wendy Cominsky. I am a mother, small business owner, hair stylist and writer. I am motivated, diligent, passionate and persistent. I know doing the right thing is seldom easy and yet I do it anyway. I always keep future generations in mind when making decisions today. I support the working class, because I am the working class. Over the years I have, on numerous occasions, stood up for the greatest good of our community. I have fought to protect our local environment, property values, the safety and education of our children. You can learn more about these ventures in the notes and videos section on this page. I don’t need to tell you I “will” fight for what’s right because I have been fighting, for many, many years. I will be able to do more for our county as a whole by being elected to Luzerne County Council.
There are many issues that need to be dealt with in Luzerne County and I believe the empowerment of our communities is the first step of progress. One way to do this is to lower, if not, abolish crime. We need to increase the number of our full time police officers instead of making them work double shifts. Any person willing to risk their life to protect ours is worth investing in. This also goes for fire fighters, paramedics military and prison guards. Another way to lower crime is to create a prison system that “rehabs” inmates thereby preventing repeat offenders. By doing this, we will lower overpopulation of the prisons and future crime rates. Another way to lower crime rates is to unite neighbors. I believe community gardens are great start and asking the Agriculture board to work with the Recreational Facilities and redevelopment boards will combine resources and increase efficiency. Reaching out to experienced, non-profit organizations for guidance to achieve these goals is also important. For instance the HandsOn Network is “led by a dynamic and diverse team that blends business smarts, network experience and passion for the sector.” Their mission is to make the world a better place through volunteering.
Luzerne county is around $300 million in debt. The county has been making progress in paying it down, however, I believe it can be done faster. The standard practice of making budget cuts and raising taxes, although effective, is crippling our community. We need to start thinking outside the box to raise revenues that offset or prevent more tax increases. We have beautiful seasonal landscapes, a plethora of outdoor activities, diverse spectrum of cultures, minor league sports teams, wineries, multiple artistic events, music venues and small town family oriented communities, all of which are helpful for tourism and attractive to families looking to make roots. Instead of alluring more big box stores, I would love to see the development of locally owned small business. Towns like Jim Thorpe, Manyunk and Ithaca are perfect examples of what I envision. With dedication and hard work I believe Luzerne County is capable of this, in a short period of time.
Boosting Small Business
We have three universities and two colleges in the greater Wilkes-Barre area and should be working with them to broaden our resources and development throughout the county. Thirty years ago the hillside of Scranton was a very dangerous place, since the expansion of the University of Scranton, neighborhoods are safer and small businesses are booming. We need to “get more bang for our buck” if we want to increase revenue for the county and local businesses. I believe working with these universities and colleges will help our county achieve that. For instance, most businesses don’t realize students are seeking internships for “experience” to put on their resumes upon graduation. Many businesses and local government agencies would benefit greatly with interns. Wilkes University has the Small Business Development Center, we should be working with them to create growth of small businesses throughout the county. LCCC Architectural programs could be working with the Redevelopment Authority in coming up with new, innovative ideas for restoring or rebuilding abandoned properties. Also, working with trade schools and unions would offer hands on training while allowing students to work on smaller county projects. These are simply “ideas” for a starting point, we should reach out and ask these institutions what ideas they have to efficiently create prosperity in our communities.
We also should be considering alternative energy as well as protecting what is left of our natural resources. Apparently some people did not learn their lesson from the coal companies. Tunkhannock is seeing a dramatic drop in local business since the gas drilling craze is fading. When we run out of gas, like the coal mines, those companies will be gone and many people will be without jobs and many businesses without customers. This can cause economic collapse and we need to prevent it. Everybody was sold on gas because it would bring jobs to the area and lower energy costs. Here’s the exciting news: so will the development of renewable energy sources! By shifting our focus to renewable energy, we will lower costs and still have fossil fuel energy to rely on in times of crisis. Environmentally speaking, I believe that clean water will become more valuable than gold in the not so distant future. We absolutely need to protect our natural springs as if they were our children, because frankly, our children will pay the price if we don’t.
A challenge I have noticed is that our local government has been doing the same thing over and over and over while expecting a different outcome. Over the next few months I will be tackling individual issues the county faces and posting them in the notes section of this page so that you will be able to cast your vote confidently. There are so many innovative ideas I have for growth and progress in Luzerne County, I hope you will give me a chance to show you that this area, our home, is truly capable of great things.