Letter to the editor | Rules must apply to all

April 11, 2014 

The recent passage of ordinance 2036, authorizing State College to back a $5 million credit line for the HIP project, is the latest poor financial decision Borough Council has made for the residents of State College.

By the council’s own admission on its agenda, there are “few precedents ... in other communities” for this sort of spending. It’s not surprising, then, that this program has several fundamental problems.

In addition to government housing-market meddling, this program creates a dangerous situation for council members and staff.

Indeed, the lack of formulaic purchasing procedures will certainly generate an air of suspicion or corruption regarding every property transaction.

Why did they buy this house and not that one? The open-ended expenses for settlement, realtors, etc. just sour the pot even more.

Will Mayor Elizabeth Goreham and council members lead by example?

If the goal, as stated in the special meeting agenda of “recapturing student homes and other rentals by converting them back into owner-occupied housing” is so paramount as to authorize the use of taxpayer money for private real-estate transactions, then who among them will be the first to divest themselves of any borough rentals they may own?

Which of them will lead by personally committing to ridding this town of another rental?

If the mayor and council are not personally willing to do this themselves, then they have no business taxing us into it either.

Jonathan Pitt, State College

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