Letters to the Editor

Letters: Exarchos will ‘keep things on track in Bellefonte’; Stand for justice, vote ‘no’ on ballot question

Exarchos will ‘keep things on track in Bellefonte’

I am writing to remind everyone how important it is to vote and to do your homework on all of the candidates. My vote for Centre County commissioner is definitely going to Chris Exarchos. We need someone who has the ability and experience to handle a huge $80-plus million county budget. Those millions are our hard-earned tax dollars and I want somebody who watches every single penny of it. Times are financially tight for everybody and we need somebody who is on the job every day and is not afraid to make the tough decisions about how our county is run and how our dollars are spent. There is no doubt that Chris Exarchos is the candidate who will keep things on track in Bellefonte. Please vote Nov. 5.

Irv Hoy, Howard

Stand for justice, vote ‘no’ on ballot question

Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? The Proposed Pennsylvania Constitutional Amendment – Crime Victim Rights – states that someone accused – not convicted – accused of a crime doesn’t have the right to ask for discovery materials so that they and their lawyer will be able to plan a defense. Here is an excerpt of the exact text from the proposed constitutional amendment:

“Rights of victims of crime: ... to refuse an interview, deposition or other discovery request made by the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused; ...”

What has happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” What has happened to the Pledge of Allegiance, which ends “with liberty and justice for all?”

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania recommends Pennsylvanians vote “no” On this Ballot Question on Nov. 5th, stand for justice for all and vote “no.”

Joan M. Heller, Beech Creek

Pipe and Higgins have integrity

I am writing to encourage all voters to re-elect Mike Pipe and Mark Higgins for county commissioners. I have lived in Centre County over 30 years and I do not know of a stronger team in the role of commissioners than Pipe and Higgins.

Pipe and Higgins have been impressive in their efforts to make living in Centre County better for all. They have a record of thoughtful and reasoned responses to many issues and concerns, from criminal justice reform to mental health, and community development and making county government more accountable.

They have clearly indicated willingness to take the time to study all possible sides of the issues and then act in the best interest of the larger community. This is not always easy or politically expedient but Mike and Mark’s integrity win out every time.

We have been most fortunate to have two public servants of Pipe and Higgins’ caliber willing to serve our County. Some voters vote only in national or state elections but it is often at the local level that changes impact our lives. Please get out and vote, and re-elect Pipe and Higgins as Centre County commissioners. We need their continued dedication, skills and civility.

Kathy Ruhl, Boalsburg

Earning the opportunity for re-election

Mark Higgins and Michael Pipe have accomplished a lot in their current term as Centre County commissioners. They have earned the opportunity to be re-elected and continue their important work for the citizens of Centre County.

In particular I appreciate their efforts to expand rural broadband access in places like Penns Valley, and their support for affordable housing through partnerships with the Centre County Housing and State College Community Land Trusts, without increasing county property tax rates.

Especially important is their work to ensure that our elections are fair and votes are counted accurately and safely. The county has new voting machines which are auditable through the provision of a paper trail, as well as being ADA compliant. The Pennsylvania Department of State requires all counties to have new systems in place by the end of this year, but only about 3/4 of them have complied. We are fortunate to be among them.

Mark and Mike work well together and the partisan infighting that has plagued past Boards has ended. Centre County voters have two votes for County Commissioner — please consider using both of them to help re-elect Mark Higgins and Michael Pipe.

Ned Balzer, Lemont

County residents deserve Pipe and Higgins

Like many of my neighbors, I’ve had it with politicians who divide our community with angry rhetoric and pander to narrow interests. The good people of Centre County deserve elected officials who devote their time to improving the quality of life for everyone and bringing people together, rather than pitting them against one another.

We deserve elected officials who listen to their constituents, value and uphold the law, and are willing to put in the extra effort required to balance budgets, build our economy, and create a stronger community.

We deserve Michael Pipe and Mark Higgins.

I’ve known Pipe and Higgins since we were classmates in Leadership Centre County six years ago. Both have a genuine passion for public service and have proved their dedication to Centre County residents by delivering results that make life here safer and more comfortable for hardworking families.

Pipe and Higgins have added valuable services to address the devastating opioid epidemic; they’ve invested in training and retaining first responders; they’ve created jobs and established business incubators throughout the County; and they’ve enhanced safety nets for seniors, veterans, and other vulnerable community members.

They’ve done this and much, much more – all while holding property taxes steady for the last four years!

If you value fiscal responsibility, transparency in government, and sensible laws that keep you and your neighbors safe, please join me in voting for Pipe and Higgins on Nov. 5.

Susanna Jech Paul, State College

Keep the team ‘working for us’

In his time as commissioner, Michael Pipe has worked to save taxpayer dollars and reduce recidivism as chair of the Prison Board of Inspectors. He was a leading advocate for Centre County to become part of the “Stepping Up Initiative” to reduce the amount of individuals in the County Correctional Facility with severe mental illnesses. Since becoming a commissioner in 2012, Pipe has advocated for improved mental health services and important resources for re-entering citizens. With these resources, individuals who leave the county correctional facility are less likely to re-offend and are more likely to contribute as productive members of our community.

Before he joined the board of commissioners in 2016, Mark Higgins devoted his career to saving and creating hundreds of good-paying jobs in the private sector. As commissioner, he went to work to help small businesses thrive in Centre County. Helping to create jobs can support a family and keep young professionals in Centre County. Higgins has led to way to have Centre County assist regional business incubators in supporting our local entrepreneurs. His plan for investing in economic development has made us more competitive with other counties in the state, retained local companies, and created more jobs that have and will boost our overall quality of life.

The team of Higgins and Pipe is the most dynamic and forward-thinking choice you can make on Nov. 5 for the betterment of all in Centre County. Let’s keep the team that’s working for us.

Sean M. Miller, Ferguson Township
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