Your turn Featured

9:59am EDT July 22, 2002

Editor’s Note: This new section is designed to elicit your response to the issues of the day. It’s your chance to tell us what you really think. We’ll publish your responses in the next available issue. Just fax your response to (412) 321-6058 or e-mail it to

Question: What do you think it’s going to take to make this region prosperous, if it’s not already? And what will you need to change this year to make your company survive/thrive?

James Rametta, BC-HIS
President, Rametta Audiology & Hearing Aid Center
Tarentum, Pa.

In order for this area to prosper and move forward into the next millennium, we need to get the county government to keep their noses out of local businesses. The problems that have occurred in this area in the past 20 to 30 years can be directly attributed to interference by county and city officials.

We need to increase hotel space around and in the city. This need has been with us since the convention center was built. This is the reason we cannot fill the center on an ongoing basis. I can’t believe that someone has not figured out a way to put a 150-room hotel on top of the convention center.

It is a fact that sports arenas do not spur growth in the cities, yet our political cronies continue to make bad decisions along these lines. Bad business taxes and added sales taxes, not to mention bad policies, have created a situation where we owe more on the present stadium than the original cost of the entire project. We need to remove the politicians from the business community and not allow their influences in the business areas.

This is a great city and it has the potential to be even greater. Our natural resources and exceptional talent in many aspects of the arts, business and industry are second to none in the nation. We need to start promoting it as such and not as a toy or a stepping stone for some personal agenda by local political wannabes and their buddies.

Scott Hoffman
President, The Safety Store
Bridgeville, Pa.

The region needs to remember how it got where it is—through hard work, not hand-outs, babysitting or bleeding hearts. Wake up, work, and when you’re exhausted, work some more.

More customers need to know that, in a sometimes unscrupulous business, we choose to be different. Our mission for 1999 is to find a way to tell them.

Emily Schultheiss
President, Thriving Systems
Bradford Woods, Pa.

Thrivers know that both the secret to prosperity and the obstacles that stand in our way lie within ourselves. To prosper, this region needs to learn that lesson. You can’t prosper by looking to Harrisburg or Washington for a hand-out. You can’t prosper until you have a burning desire to prosper — which means letting go of the “poor me” attitude that has characterized much of the thinking in this area for as long as I’ve been here.

Pittsburgh has had an opportunity to reinvent itself with the departure of big steel companies and other corporations that headquartered here. When we learn to prosper as the best kept secret east of the Mississippi, instead of continuing to lament our demise as the steel capital of the world, then we can move forward and thrive.

My company? I have already had to make those difficult changes in order to learn to thrive.

April’s question:

The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance hopes to raise more than $37 million from public, corporate and foundation sources to market the region both to itself and the rest of the world over the next five years. What would you do if you had $37 million to spend on the region to make it more attractive and ensure its long-term economic prosperity?

Fax your response to (412) 321-6058 or e-mail it to We’ll publish all of your answers.