State College Borough Council primary election

State College Borough Council seats remain open days ahead of filing deadline

jvanderk@centredaily.comMarch 8, 2013 

— Tom Daubert has served the borough on and off since the mid-1980s and will seek his second recent term on Borough Council this year.

As of Thursday, no one else had filed to run for the three total council seats that will come available this year, and no one had filed to run for borough mayor, which also is up. Current Mayor Elizabeth Goreham has said she will run for re-election to a second term.

The seats of council President Don Hahn and Councilman Ron Filippelli will be available this year, and both have reached their two-term limit, prohibiting them from running again for at least two years. Term limits were added to the borough’s home rule charter in 1999.

Hahn, a local attorney, was first elected in 1995 and served one term. He returned in 2005, after serving on the Planning Commission and said he would spend at least another six years away from the council with no current plans for further borough service.

Filippelli, retired dean of Penn State’s College of Liberal Arts, will have served eight years total, and he said that’s enough time. He serves on the board of the Downtown State College Improvement District, and that service will end when his council term ends. Filippelli said he doesn’t anticipate running for council in the future, but would work on committees if asked.

Daubert started his borough service on the Planning Commission and as president of the State College South Association from 1985 to 1991. The retired Penn State chemical engineering professor served on the council from 1992 to 2007 before taking the required two years off, then he was re-elected in 2009.

He said he thinks the borough has a better relationship with the university than ever before, and that a review of the borough’s zoning ordinances will be an important issue next year. He compared the issue of redeveloping the west end, which has seen lengthy debate resulting in no changes so far, though new plans exist for Ferguson Township’s side to Calder Way. He said, 20 years ago, Calder was “nothing.”

“I think we could fix it up,” he said of the west end. “With better street signs, benches, to make the alleys look better — to spruce it up.”

Jessica VanderKolk can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @jVanReporter.

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