State College residents on the hook
Just receive your State College borough real-estate tax bill? Are you aware that, as of the 2010 census, the roughly 40,000 residents of the borough bear the cost of supporting extra police and emergency personnel for all of the visitors to State College? None of the money from the recent doubling of the Centre County hotel tax goes to the borough. Money from the increase is earmarked to expand events that bring in even more visitors. During many events, excessive drinking leads to an increased need for police and EMS. Compared to other college towns, we are understaffed in both areas. With limited income, the borough is forced to choose between eliminating positions or increasing taxes. In the May 21 primary elections, nominations for four State College council seats and three county commissioner seats will be decided. If you are a resident of the borough, you may want to question the candidates as to where the extra money will come from to support these additional visitors. Should borough residents bear the burden alone? For more information, see the July 26 Centre Daily Times article “Most of the crime in State College is alcohol related. Who’s paying the tab?”
Extra office would encourage student voting
The Pennsylvania primary and the 12th Congressional District special election are on May 21. Penn State’s spring semester ends on May 3. As a result, voting presents a challenge for students who are registered in Centre County but living elsewhere after the end of spring semester.
Kudos to PSU for taking action to facilitate absentee voting for students!
Penn State’s vice president for student affairs and the director of the Center for Character, Conscience, and Public Purpose, along with the presidents of the undergraduate, graduate and professional student associations, added their names to a letter from the Centre County League of Women Voters to the county Board of Elections requesting a “Satellite Elections Office” in the HUB-Robeson Center on University Park campus from April 23 to 26. At this convenient location, students would be able to apply to vote absentee, and, if registered in the county, vote by submitting their absentee ballots on site.
This satellite office would demonstrate wholehearted commitments by the university and the community to encourage active student voters. In addition, the satellite office would reduce work for election officials (eliminating the need to mail hundreds of absentee ballots). It will also be a cost savings for the county.
The request was sent to the Board of Elections, and the decision is now in their hands. I hope they will act quickly to approve the satellite office so that actions can be taken to make this request a reality.
Thiessen commentary amounts to smear
I took umbrage with Marc Thiessen’s recent “flop-ed” that declares Democrats like losers, which he claims he means literally, not pejoratively. He starts off by claiming that historically politicians had to win at the state level before they could take the national stage. He then goes on to critique Beto O’Rourke’s lack of accomplishments and Stacey Abrams’ lack of experience (rather pejoratively I might add). I’m not sure if Thiessen is aware that the current president never won nor held any office any where before holding the current office, which shows, but that detail was conveniently left out of this farcical article. The former Texas congressman and minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives have won and held political offices and both were brave enough to be willing to lose in majorly uphill political battles. Let’s just drop the divisive us-vs.-them stereotype mentality, which in this instance is the classic playground bully saying Democrats like losers and Republican like winners. Publish something constructive, such as how all Americans deserve to have someone in office who truly represents them and addresses the country’s needs, not just the special interests for a few. Thiessen is certainly entitled to write what he likes, though the Centre Daily Times continues to give top headline to this and his previous smear pieces. Personally, I like winners, losers and all kinds of people in between, but I don’t appreciate those who continue to use their platform to create divisiveness. They are truly losers!