State College

What are the responsibilities of the State College mayor?

Michael Black, Don Hahn and Ron Madrid are running for State College mayor in Tuesday’s election. .
Michael Black, Don Hahn and Ron Madrid are running for State College mayor in Tuesday’s election. . Centre Daily Times, file

The State College mayor race has been getting a lot of attention.

Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, who’s served in the role for eight years, announced in February that she wouldn’t be seeking re-election.

On Tuesday, Michael Black, Don Hahn and Ron Madrid will face off at the polls to see who gets to take up her mantle.

So what responsibilities will the winner have come January?

According to State College Borough Council President Thomas Daubert, the mayor has two roles — presiding officer of council and serving as ceremonial head and official representative of the borough.

In State College — a Home Rule Charter borough — the mayor doesn’t set the agenda, he said, or have administrative responsibilities.

While he said the mayor doesn’t vote on legislation, the mayor can approve or veto ordinances. Council can veto that by a vote of 5-2.

The mayor has “the bully pulpit,” Daubert said. “They can talk about anything they want. They can’t say that it is the law of the borough, but they can talk about anything. They are only responsible to the voters.”

In State College, council employs the manager and the solicitor, he said. The other employees in the borough work under the manager.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

Mayors on the ballot in Centre County

The following are the candidates running for borough mayor seats listed on Centre County ballots.


▪ Thomas J. Wilson, Republican

Centre Hall

▪ Ray Hankinson, Republican


▪ Robert L. Yearick, Republican


▪ Brandon Schadle, Democratic

▪ Ethel L. Kellerman, Republican


▪ Lauralee A. Snyder, Democratic


▪ John M. Streno, Republican

Snow Shoe

▪ William Dudish, Republican

State College

▪ Don M. Hahn, Democratic

▪ Michael Black, Republican

▪ Ron Madrid, Independent

Note: All ballots provide voters the opportunity to vote for a write-in candidate.