In debates and in his CDT article, Michael Black claims the population of State College borough will shortly grow to 100,000, almost 150 percent more than the 42,000 residents in 4-square miles that we have now. He says, “Is having two people living on a lot that could house 50 a good use of land?” As a member of Borough Council committed to neighborhood preservation, I wondered what he was thinking.
I decided to follow the money. Looking at his public record campaign finance reports, I see donations of more than $12,000 — quite a lot for the low-paying job of mayor. Of that, $300 comes from borough residents, $1,250 from the larger area, $2,575 from out of state, $2,600 from P.O. Box addresses, $3,400 from commercial real estate interests and almost $1,700 from the candidate and spouse.
He says he wants to foster borough businesses, but look at his expenses. His campaign address is in Patton Township. Including media purchases, he has spent about $1,200 in the borough, about $4,500 in the region and about $2,800 out of state.
His public record voting history shows Black voted in last May’s primary, when he could vote for himself. Before that, he had not voted in a municipal primary since 2003.
Black has not been active in local government, but he is now interested in being mayor? Could his 100,000 population figure be confusion about the differences between State College the borough, State College the post office and State College the school district?
Jesse L. Barlow, State College
The writer is a State College Borough Council member.
Note: Concerns were raised about the legality of publishing some of the information in this letter, but after consultation with consul, the letter has been reposted.