Letters to the Editor

Letters: Pipe, Higgins have the right view of government; Engeman represents residents’ best interests 

Pipe, Higgins have the right view of government

I’ve said this before, and it’s worth repeating.

I’m writing in support of re-electing Michael Pipe and Mark Higgins as our Centre County commissioners. Over the past four years, they have demonstrated an understanding of the purpose of government and the knowledge and skills to implement strategies to provide that government to the citizens of Centre County in an efficient and effective manner.

The purpose of government is to create an environment in which citizens can flourish. This includes providing for health, safety and an infrastructure that enables people to pursue productive lives. While this needs to be done in a financially responsible manner with good administrative practices, good governance is not measured by a “bottom line” metric.

A government, unlike a business, isn’t a for-profit enterprise. Running a profit at the end of the year isn’t a goal. In fact, unless a debt exists that needs to be paid down, a budget surplus is not necessarily a good thing. There’s no year-end bonus or shareholder dividends to be paid and used as a measure of success, only the well-being of the citizens. Pipe and Higgins represent this view of government.

County commissioners are advocates not just for individual citizens but for local governments in their interactions with other levels of government. In his participation with statewide boards and committees; Pipe and Higgins have demonstrated this ability.

Please support these two men with your two votes on Tuesday, Nov. 5th.

M.J. Hovanec, College Township

Engeman represents residents’ best interests

Janet Engeman deserves your vote for re-election as State College Borough councilwoman. Neither flamboyant nor a grand-stander, Janet listens closely and quietly to her constituents, to other councilpersons, to discussions at civic organizations, taking in all sides before she acts. Her vote is carefully considered.

Alert to the welfare of diverse constituencies in the Borough, Janet represents their best interests. Her strong management background is an asset to the Borough.

First and foremost, Janet is an environmentalist who cares deeply about clean air, pure water, nature, regional sprawl and the impact of climate warming. She supports unwavering what is best for the borough and region.

I particularly value Janet’s contributions to improve our local environment: her work as Borough representative to the Spring Creek Watershed Commission, as environmental chair of the League of Women Voters, as member of the Sierra Club and the Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition. She has been actively involved in gas pipeline safety, fighting Nestlé’s bottling company, protecting our watershed and promoting electric buses. Her participation informs her promotion of the environmental needs of the State College Borough.

Janet’s votes at the Centre Region Council of Governments consistently champion green solutions to environmental issues, where otherwise these life-impacting issues might be swept under the rug of development and growth as usual.

Janet is well loved by her constituents. I frequently see Borough residents give her big hugs of thanks. They think she is someone special: an elected official who cares about them by promoting healthy neighborhoods.

Dorothy Blair, Boalsburg

Flaws in Trump’s ‘didn’t help’ claim

If “helping us in Normandy” is the new litmus test for the United States to honor its commitment to its allies, then I’d be very nervous now living in South Korea, Taiwan or Japan. None of them “helped us in Normandy.” Should our western European allies also be nervous? Many of them didn’t help, either. In fact, Germany made things downright difficult.

Michael DiRaimo, State College

Breon has professionalism, knowledge for prothonotary job

I am writing to endorse the candidacy of Jeremy Breon as the next prothonotary of Centre County. As an attorney, I am able to see Jeremy interact with the public on a regular basis on matters before the court. For the past eight years, I have observed his professionalism and knowledge of the procedures that must be followed but, beyond that, I have seen, and continue to see, his courtesy, patience and kindness toward those who need his assistance. Jeremy is a thoroughly qualified and decent man who has earned the right to succeed the retiring Deb Immel as our prothonotary. Please join with me in voting for Jeremy on Election Day.

Denny Mason, Bellefonte

Doing what it takes to bring attention to climate change

Scientists have long known, and have repeatedly warned us, that climate change was occurring because of human activities that have been pouring greenhouse gases into that great landfill in the sky since the industrial age began. The impacts of the resulting ecological chaos are evident locally, nationally and globally to anyone who a serious look around them. If you don’t believe the experts and environmentalists, ask any observant farmer or hunter.

I was one of several hundred protesters who participated in the Climate Strike at Penn State on Sept. 20. I was tremendously moved by the strong youth turnout, and particularly sympathize with the kids who cut class (and risked blowback from teachers, etc, for doing so). We “grown-ups” need to pay heed to the wisdom of the younger generations. It is long past due time to get off our haunches and ratchet things up.

I think Jane Fonda is onto something with her “Fire Drill Fridays” civil disobedience campaign in Washington, D.C. She and 15 other activists were arrested Oct. 11 on Capitol Hill for calling attention to congressional inaction on global warming. Their continuing direct actions may not inspire you to risk jail, but perhaps you won’t be quite so comfortable lounging on your sofa in light of their arrests. Maybe it’s time for someone to be handcuffed in front of U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson’s office in Bellefonte to get his personal attention on this issue.

Douglas M. Mason, Port Matilda. The author is the chairman of the Sierra Club Moshannon Group.

Fifield has experience needed for controller

I encourage voters to go to the polls on election day and vote for Hank Fifield for Centre County Controller. While all public offices require honesty and integrity, some require a higher level of technical competency and expertise. That is true of the office of County Controller. There is no time for on the job training.

Hank has Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Financial Accounting. He has over 20 years of responsibility in the accounting and finance departments of a major U.S. corporation. Of equal importance, Hank currently serves as Deputy Controller for Centre County.

Hank is a fine person, and he is a person of great professional competence. That is just what is needed to oversee the financial operations of county government.

Vote for Hank with confidence on Nov. 5th.

Russell Brooks, Centre Hall
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