Letter to the editor | Don’t give up on Centre Crest

June 18, 2013 

It looks like two of our county commissioners — Steve Dershem and Chris Exarchos — are ready to wash their hands of Centre Crest. They hope a nonprofit will be able to run it instead.

Because they advocate this change, the burden is on them to prove that a nonprofit would be able to run it successfully. The burden is also on them to show how a nonprofit would be able to raise enough money for a new building.

Commissioner Michael Pipe has done extensive research on this topic.

He has a detailed proposal for how to fund Centre Crest and build a new building. But Dershem claims Pipe’s proposal would result in a “massive” tax increase.

I guess it depends on what you consider “massive.”

In 2009, Dershem voted for a tax increase that was much larger than what Pipe is calling for now. Why did Dershem vote for this tax increase? Because he thought it was necessary in order to provide required public services.

This is exactly what a responsible elected public servant is supposed to do.

I hope Dershem and Exarchos will work with Pipe to craft a bipartisan proposal to save Centre Crest, which has served a vital need for the residents of this county for 74 years.

Let’s not give up on it now.

Robert Baillie

State College

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