Lackawanna official goes off on a ‘very, very mad and concerned’ Lackawanna resident


Dear Very, very mad and concerned Lackawanna resident — I read, with dismay, your letter to the editor in the Front Page newspaper edition of December 7th, 2016, wherein, you expressed numerous derogatory remarks directed at numerous Lackawanna City Officials, myself included. I especially find your comment that the “public safety director is a complete and total moron”, personally offensive. I even wonder if you really know who I am, as you failed to identify me by name. So, let me enlighten you about myself.

I chose to serve the citizens of Lackawanna as a Lackawanna Police Officer in December 1969 and served for a total of twenty years. During my career I served as a patrol officer, an investigator in the Detective Division, and finally as a civil service Police Lieutenant until my retirement in 1990. During my police career I successfully pursued a Associate of Science Degree from Erie Community College and further pursued, and completed, a Baccalaurate Degree in Criminal Justice at Buffalo State College. I was honored to have been chosen, as one of law enforcement personnel from across the country, to represent the Lackawanna Police Department at the FBI National Training Academy, Quantico Virginia, during my law enforcement career.

After retiring from the Lackawanna Police Department in 1990, I continued my public service career with Department of Veterans Affairs, serving our nations Veterans, for a total of seventeen years, before retiring in 2007. I am also a proud Air Force Veteran, having served my country for a total military service period of four years.

I was especially sorry to hear that YOU were the ONLY person inconvenienced by the November 2014 snowstorm, which dumped seven feet of snow on our city in a 24 hour period. Never mind that fact that many city employees spent numerous hours, at work, attempting to return our city to normal, after a declared State of Emergency, by the Governor of the State of New York. If you can’t handle the unpredictable winter weather of Western New York, maybe you should consider moving back to Texas.

As for the disastrous Bethlehem Steel Plant site fire, I, along with numerous City personnel spent numerous hours on the scene, meeting with Federal, State and County Emergency Response Authorities to plan and carry out a course of action in response to the devastating fire.

You, identified as a very, very mad and concerned Lackawanna resident, appear from your written letter to the editor, appear to me to be a very disgruntled individual, who appears to unjustifiably blame numerous city servants for a multitude of your complaints.

In the last paragraph of your article you state, and I quote, “I speak the truth and if it hurts you so be it, and if you don’t like (it) tough, I would tell you the same thing face to face cause I tell it like it is.”

Strong words, but then you hid your identity as “A very, very made and concerned Lackawanna resident” and failed to inform us who you really are. My question to you is, Who really are you?

I, however, am proud and honored to have been afforded, to again, serve the City Of Lackawanna as the Director of Public Safety. I was always taught to respect others and to respect their opinions, as I will do for you. But hiding behind your failure to identify yourself, after publicly tarnishing the character of many city personnel, leaves me very disturbed. In closing, I will leave it up to the judgment of those Lackawanna citizens who have read our letters to the editor. “Which of us is the complete and total moron?”

James T. Kuna is the Director of Public Safety for the City of Lackawanna.

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