The Centre Daily Times endorsement of Michael Black for mayor — despite Mr. Black’s lack of demonstrated interest in serving on State College boards and commissions, or even occasionally showing up at Borough Council meetings to express his opinions — was shortsighted. Unfortunately, the United States just elected a president whose inexperience has resulted in poor decision-making. The other two candidates for State College Mayor, Don Hahn and Ron Madrid, have been involved in local government and know its inner workings.
Mr. Black does not understand the role of mayor. The mayor does not have the ability to vote. Although the mayor can veto an ordinance when it has been passed by council, the mayoral veto can easily be overruled by council at its next meeting. Administrative power is under the purview of the borough manager. When he became interested in running for mayor, Black did not check the borough bylaws on the rights and responsibilities of the mayor even though the Home Rule Charter is on the borough website.
At a recent mayoral debate, he announced he was a member of a “triple secret committee” with business people developing a plan for Allen Street and the downtown — which would be revealed after the election. We do not need or want a mayor who meets with select people in secret without consulting his constituents; that is the opposite of inclusiveness.
We need a mayor with ethics who understands the responsibilities of being mayor. Michael Black is not that person.
Michael Casper, State College