Letter to the editor | A council member responds

August 27, 2013 

In Smita Bharti’s insulting and misleading letter published Friday, she criticizes State College borough council for not postponing the adoption of the downtown plan, the result of a process that was ongoing for more than a year.

She wanted council to delay the process because, at the last moment, a hundred or so people objected and signed a misleading petition.

Bharti insulted council members, who spend an inordinate amount of time on borough business without compensation, by implying that they had not read the plan.

The planning process to update the downtown plan, led by a nationally recognized consulting firm, involved a steering committee made up of members of State College neighborhood associations, downtown merchants, property owners, borough staff and representatives of Penn State.

The steering committee met numerous times over the year. It was the most transparent process in my eight years on council. During the planning process, a number of well-advertised public meetings were held with residents, merchants and other groups interested in the viability of our downtown.

There was a public presentation at the July 8 borough council meeting, and the plan has been available on the borough website since June 21.

Bharti states that, when asked if council members had read the plan before voting on it, no council member responded.

I can’t answer for my colleagues on council, who I know read the plan very carefully, but only for myself. I did not respond to the question because it was insulting and not worthy of a response.

Ronald L. Filippelli, State College

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