Blakely Residents Want Mellow’s Name Off Park

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BLAKELY -- The argument over whether to rename a Lackawanna County park bearing the name of a former state senator is now being considered by officials.

Monday night at a Blakely council meeting, members listened to public comment over if and why Bob Mellow’s name should be removed.

Mellow is now locked up in a federal prison on charges of public corruption and failing to pay taxes.

Once one of the most powerful politicians in Harrisburg, Mellow is now serving 16 months in a South Carolina prison.

In his hometown of Blakely, his name continues to draw controversy; more specifically, the fact that his name remains at a park in Blakely.

At a borough council meeting, many asked to have Mellow’s name removed.

“Should we act as if nothing ever happened?” asked resident Annmarie Dubas. “Do we keep Mellow’s name on a park even though he’s being held responsible for his actions in federal court?”

But if his name is removed, the argument now arises as what name to replace it with.

One proposal is calling it the Sgt. Jan Argonish Fallen Warrior Memorial Park.

The Peckville native was killed in 2007 while serving in Afghanistan.

“Jan Argonish, who was raised on Valley View Drive, who played at Mellow Park, who rode his bike through the streets and town, was raised like so many young people,” said Dubas.

Others say the park should be named for all those lost in the War on Terror.

“If we name the whole park after one individual, we’ve got some people from the Mid-Valley and Blakely who are active duty now, in Kuwait and Afghanistan,” said Peter Krensigsky.

Argonish’s mother also spoke at the meeting, saying she supports both options, however Mellow’s name must be removed.

“To honor, it’s honor. If Bob Mellow were an honorable man, we would not be having this conversation,” said Argonish.

However not everyone feels Mellow’s name should be dropped.

“He’s made Blakely borough a better place. He’s been a very loyal son of Blakely borough and I would request that you not rename the park,” said Bob Munley, a former Blakely councilman.

Borough officials said they wanted to hear from the public before moving forward on this issue.

There is no word on when there could be a decision.