Letters to the Editor

Letters: Mayor guidelines should not focus on the past; Keeping trick-or-treaters safe

Mayor guidelines should not focus on the past

I have worked on committees in various settings and with many executives. The details do not matter. Here is what is wrong with the Borough Council and their mayor selection criterion:

Limiting candidates to non-Penn State employees is not right, because it focuses on the past. What people did in the past, or even the present and in a different capacity, is not material to what they do in the future. A dynamic individual will quickly adapt to new situations which demand much different performance than past performance.

Limiting candidates to local-government experience is not right — because it focuses on the past. Myopic requirements are formed in a bubble of the past and fresh new ideas from outsiders are a good idea.

Limiting a mayor to Robert’s Rules is not right — because it focuses on the past. The predetermined prejudices of existing council members should not determine the debate. A mayor is responsible for undoing lockjams of yesteryear. Robert’s Rules can be used to facilitate debate, and also to stifle debate. A mayor needs to know when to use or not use Robert’s Rules.

This is the only criterion that matters for a mayor: Can the mayor focus on tangible future events that improve binding matters, such as statutes, budget, material performance and other tangible matters? Does the mayor know when to suspend Roger’s Rules in order to keep a group of people from bickering about their preconceived notions that have no bearing on factual and tangible issues?

Ed VanVliet, State College

Keeping trick-or-treaters safe

I wanted to thank the local police for handing out glow sticks to the trick-or-treaters on Saturday evening. I witnessed this personally when a police office handed out a glow stick to a small child in front of our house and then to the older kids who were walking toward our house. I opened the door to thank him personally. This shows how we care about our community and are looking out for each other in making sure everyone is safe. So thanks again for this very kind gesture.

Patti Thorwart, State College

Minimum wage factors into worker shortage

It’s incredulous that the Centre Daily Times would run an article about the factors behind State College’s worker shortage without referring to the fact that wages have not kept up with the cost of living. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage has not been raised for 13 years, and it currently stands at the federal minimum of $7.25/hour. Someone working 40 hours per week at this rate earns just $15,080 annually (before taxes) — far below the poverty line. Many local business owners would like to pay higher wages in order to attract and retain quality workers, but can’t afford to do so under the current system, lest they be undercut by their competition. Rather than trying to attract cheaper workers from more distant locations, thereby fueling a “race to the bottom,” we should raise the salary floor. It’s time for state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and other state legislators ensure all working people in Pennsylvania the right to a living wage.

Manuel Rosaldo, State College. The author is the co-coordinator of the Centre County Wage Justice Coalition.

Investing in education is not irresponsible

U.S. Rep. Fred Keller’s Facebook page proudly states, “I voted against the Democrats’ higher education giveaway. The legislation pushed through committee today on a party-line vote is emblematic of a desire to irresponsibly spend other peoples’ money and limit choice in education.” I strongly urge readers to research the College Affordability Act (CAA). I fail to see how investing in higher education, making obtaining and paying back loans easier, and yes, even helping the incarcerated earn degrees, is irresponsible spending. If Mr. Keller was sincere about stopping irresponsible spending, he and his colleagues in Congress would put and end to Donald Trump’s golf outings.

Norita Chyle, State College