JESSUP — Officials in part of Lackawanna County’s mid-valley think ridding roads and buildings of former Senator Bob Mellow’s name may be more trouble than it’s worth. Newswatch 16 spoke with businesses who write Mellow’s name every day to see if they think the same thing.
Monday night, officials in Blakely voted to changes the name of Mellow Park because of new corruption charges against the former senator. Jessup borough officials aren’t sure if the signs there will change but that decision could depend on the businesses who call Bob Mellow Drive home.
If you get off the Casey Highway in Jessup, you’ll pass a prominent sign for Senator Bob Mellow Drive. Not far past that road is Senator Bob Mellow Park in Blakely, a place that’s been under fire since the former state senator was sent to prison on public corruption charges.
Blakely borough council voted unanimously this week to remove Mellow’s name from the park, in light of complaints and the new corruption charges against him.
Jessup officials say they haven’t heard any outcry about changing the name of their road for the senator but, businesses along it certainly have an opinion.
Dr. Paul Tomcykoski has had his pediatric practice along Mellow Drive for seven years and started feeling differently about writing out his address when Mellow was charged the first time. Now that the former senator is locked up and facing more corruption charges, he thinks it’s time to change the road’s name.
“Anything but a criminal’s name,” said Dr. Tomcykoski. “It should’ve been done already, should’ve been done a long time ago. And we have no problem changing our letterhead or our mailings. He did something wrong and needs to be punished. Fix the signs.”
Things like letterheads, envelopes, and brochures will be considered if Jessup officials bring the issue to the table. They want to make sure businesses are willing to incur the cost.
“It’ll entail a little bit of work and more of probably an expense that we’d have to consider.”
Farther down Mellow Drive, there’s Mar-Paul Construction. They’ve considered the headache that could follow if their address changes. The owners say the effort and the money don’t outweigh a criminal’s name on their letterhead.
“I think Senator Mellow is the person who actually did the legwork to put the road in and that’s why it’s named after him. We don’t have a problem with it,” said Marilee Barrone.
Jessup borough officials say a name change on Mellow Drive is not in the near future, but they may consider it if they get complaints from those businesses or other residents. We also reached out Lackawanna College and Marywood University. Those schools have buildings named after Mellow. Officials there say Blakely’s decision to remove Mellow’s will not influence theirs.