Which bad Jim OKONAK decision is the WORST?
Click on an option to vote
#1 Dec 1, 2012
OK, here are some recent Okonak decisions -- BAD DECISIONS for Latrobe:
1) Buy and tear down Art Deco historic armory, to build parking lot, when parking lot is not needed, and Armory was an historic building on the:
-----National Register of Historic Places.
2) Buy and tear down 1880s Italianate house on Main Street that was in pretty damn fine condition to be restored into small town, "Main Street (literally Main Street) Gem" Again, parking lot was the goal.
3) Ask community to contribute to rebuild a structure on his foundation's land, which his foundation did not insure, and to rebuild far larger than what existed before, even though the town has greater needs and does not have a need for a "castle" at a local park.
-----For some reason, I'm the only one that sees this as crazy, but hey...
4) Purchased the 2nd Ward school, on Main Street,(originally the 1880s High School for all of Latrobe), with the plans to tear it down.
-----This building is also historic, and turning that property into a parking lot -- is an act of sheer destruction of Latrobe's past.
This is bad...this guy makes BAD DECISIONS for the town's history...
-----This guy has NO HISTORIC sense and shouldn't be allowed to DESTROY Latrobe's HISTORIC PROPERTIES.
#2 Dec 1, 2012
5) Okonak's Foundation also bought the old Strickler's Building, and razed it (not the worst of decisions, given that it was toxic and needed too much remdiation, and restoration, since nothing was left to carry out "preservation" (the interior had been stripped to nothing).
#3 Dec 1, 2012
Why is Okonak's Foundation even involved in buying Latrobe Real Estate?
Didn't his foundation make some sort of loan to the School District, like $160,000, so the School district could move its offices from Main Street to Lincoln Road?
-----Why did GLSD need a loan to move its own faculties?
#4 Dec 2, 2012
HE carry's a check book in one hand and a club in the other.
#5 Dec 2, 2012
Why do you say that?
Often, in TOPIX, people refer to him in very controlling, manipulative, negative terms. OK.
So, even though I have no personal interest in the guy, I listed BAD BAD DECISIONS that he's made for historic structures and for "playland".
Everyone on here, who thinks he's ruling the town, should do the same.
Let's figure out why he has such a bad image in the town.
Is it fair to give him the bad "rep" or not?
Given his work on historical structures in the town, it's MORE THAN FAIR!
Since: Jan 11
#6 Dec 2, 2012
Doing a Topix search, I see the name mentioned in exactly five threads. Four of them were started by you, and only two other people have ever said anything about the man, good, bad or indifferent. In all of the threads that you started, as in most, you're the only participant.
You should learn to talk to yourself IN PRIVATE.
#7 Dec 2, 2012
Moz, his name is mentioned in lots of threads -- and people mention it under their breath, as if they were sitting in a public room, afraid to stand up and "take a stand" about why they don't like his control over the town.
And, often in Latrobe TOPIX, he is not referred to as Jim Okonak, he's referred to as "the big O" or "JO", or "O", so of course, his name won't show up when you search.
Fear of speaking against perceived "power" brokers in Latrobe is why the town does not move forward.
For example, someone once said that the prior Police Chief Charles Husksa, lost his position because he didn't want to kiss the ass of Jim Okononak. Now how are those two entities in Latrobe even connected?
-----It's connections like that, which I'd like people to explore.
And, yes, I start the threads, because others make the comments, and I give them a "place" to talk, then they run and hide...just like as if we were in a public meeting place in LAtrobe, like a City Council meeting, and under their breathes, people chastise this guy, yet they never go to the podium to use his name, ask questions, and speak against something that he's doing.
This is another reason why Latrobe has failed over the years:
-----Latrobeans live in fear of speaking against educated people, and people perceived as people in power. That's sad.
#9 Dec 2, 2012
I am ofter critical of you, 5WR, but I think you are spot on with this. It is a shame. My question would be, who's interest does Jim O serve?
I think a good idea for that old school building on Main would be to make college suites for St. V's students. It would tie in nicely with the proposed bike trail with the college. Is that building unsavable?
The Strickler's building being torn down still bothers me. It sat there and rot year after year and collected so much junk!! How was it allowed to sit there and just rot. Who owned it and how did it not violate any code?
#10 Dec 2, 2012
Officer Jeff Regula of the Latrobe Police owned it for years, then lost it to a foreclosure process and sheriff's sale.
There were actually rentals above the first floors that I am certain violated health codes, but...
Since there's no tenant organization in Westmoreland County, not one freakin' tenants' advocay group, who cares if in Latrobe or anywhere in Westmoreland County, people live in -- illegal, not up to minimal code -- squalor.
#11 Dec 2, 2012
This is the wrong rehab of this historic structure.
I have never heard this before, and I will write a letter this week to Jim Okonak to explain that this is the WRONG SOPHISTICAL use of an old building.
What OKONAK should have done -- if St. V housing was his goal -- was to buy 333 Main street. It had 25 units and eventually was marked dow to $299,000, and probably sold for less. That would have been a FABULOUS building to turn into student housing.
1) IT would have turned a slum/dump into a key piece of real estate in downtown Latrobe
2) It would have gentrified the slum/dump, in other words, it would have "cleaned out the slum tenants" and the slum owners, and the two pedophiles, PEDOPHILES who live int he building and all the drug dealers.
The 2nd Ward School -- which is THE FIRST HIGH SCHOOL in Latrobe -- needs to be returned to its original grandeur, and used as offices for the historical society, and other major philanthropic groups in Latrobe.
Yes, this would take money, but there are foundations all over the United States, and STATE and FEDERAL funds just waiting to be tapped for this type of RESTORATION AND PRESERVATION.
#12 Dec 2, 2012
SOHPISTICAL ha ha...that's a new misspelling
Let's try HISTORICAL
Since: Jan 11
#13 Dec 2, 2012
You've gotta f***ing be kidding. Do you people even read half the crap you write to recognize how absolutely moronic it is?
I thought the church next door bought that building some months ago. It's going to be demolished.
#14 Dec 2, 2012
This is a very good question, very interesting.
1) Tearing down the Armory WORKED AGAINST the revitalization of Latrobe:
----- part of making a town -- come alive again -- is showcasing its past, its history, its natural resources, its grand old architecture, and other markers of cultural, social, economic, and industrial history.
----- and once a property is placed on the National Register, the custodian of the property just can't tear it down, or sell it to be torn down. I'm not even sure how that whole process of demolition was even legal, given its National Register designation!
2) Let's ask: How has the town been improved by the demolition of the Armory?
-----Answer : it's hasn't been improved, in fact people ARE UPSET and FEEL A LOSS and the town did not need a parking lot, in a residential neighborhood that has endless street parking!
3) Now all of you fill in what the LOSS OF THE ARMORY meant to you! and how the parking lot taking its place, improves Latrobe in any way!
#15 Dec 2, 2012
Here's a recent picture of the armory and a facebook link. Does it look like an historical structure that should have been demolished?
#16 Dec 2, 2012
Do you have any facts that support your claims? Maybe they were bad and maybe they weren't. It is unfortunate that some of the older structures were torn down. But unless you have the facts to back it up don't comment.
As far as the old high school/admin building, there is a reason. I would have rather the new owner (the church) invest the money to rehabilitate it, but they are not. I cannot make anyone spend their money the way that I want them too, and neither can you. Contact the church office to discuss it.
I know the reasoning behind the sale of the old high school/admin building and why the foundation helped the district, but I won't provide you with answers. Do your own research, then come back and discuss it like a grown up instead of like a snotty little kid that doesn't get their way. Your tantrums are ridiculous and immature.
#17 Dec 2, 2012
If there is a "historic" building empty for a long period of time, why doesn't anyone care until they get wind of it being torn down? Why not find out why the building is empty then help out?
I liked this building, but complaining after the fact does nothing constructive. Use it as a lesson and take interest before the bulldozer is sitting on the street.
#18 Dec 2, 2012
The reasons for the sale are irrelevant!
Supposedly, the building needed a $160,000 roof, etc. Who [email protected]! Now, it's in the hands of a philanthropy, which can PROPERLY DIRECT its salvage as a piece of Latrobe's history.
----- There are entire programs of study set up throughout the United States at the undergraduate and graduate level to teach:
-----Architectural Restoration and Preservation
Some Architects' entire careers are based on the process of salvaging pieces of architecture.
-----There really are not barriers to saving a building!!!!
Well, except ignorance, goals which do not set out to preserve architectural pieces of the past.
#19 Dec 2, 2012
1880s Italiante house on Main Street, Latrobe, PA
Yes, in 1998, I walked through the entire 1880s Italiante house on Main Street, when it was for sale at that time.
I saw that most of the woodwork was in the building, that the exterior woodwork that had been removed was stored in the basement.
I saw that much of the original wall paper remained on the third floor, and could have been -- reproduced -- as part of the restoration process.
I was able to see the cupola and its way of lighting the 3rd floor area.
At the time the home was built, the 3rd floor would have been the servants' quarters and the nursery area for babies!
Preserving this home would have illustrated much of Latrobe's past -- as well as tell a story about the way people lived in an era long gone!
The property could have been used for weddings, parties, major fund-raising events in Latrobe.
It was a fine and grand piece of HISTORY for Latrobe.
----- It was a STUPID AND SELFISH of any entity in Latrobe to tear down this structure!
#20 Dec 2, 2012
Then why don't you contact the church and provide them with that information? Or contact these preservation organizations and have them contact the church? Or you can just sit at your computer and keep complaining about it over and over and over and over again.
It was more than about the roof. Get the facts.
#21 Dec 2, 2012
This is where you are wrong!!!!
All over the country, people with architectural and historical goals ban together to get:
------ court orders
to stop the demolition of historical buildings. And the orders are granted all the time!
Your -- incorrect -- thinking is why Latrobe has been destroyed! No one has the background to lead the town into the 21st century.
People live in fear, they don't know that they can OPPOSE what's going on in the town!
And, a few people, with a little chunk of change have DESTROYED most of Latrobe's significant architecture
----- This DESTRUCTION OF GRAND AND HISTORIC BUILDING is yet another reason why downtown Latrobe is such a dump!
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