The Nov. 3 election will be pivotal for Bellefonte’s future.
Bellefonte West has a choice — to re-elect Frank Halderman, the president of Borough Council that approved the demolition of the historic Garman Theater, even while citizens were willing to restore it, or to elect Joanne Tosti-Vasey, someone who fought tirelessly to save the Garman.
I look forward to voting for Tosti-Vasey. Tosti-Vasey advocates for preservation and restoration of Bellefonte’s historic buildings. Tosti-Vasey understands that Bellefonte’s most valuable asset, its architecture and historic charm, must be preserved for future generations.
I am concerned about the recent trend to allow the demolition of our historic buildings. What can we expect for the Armory and the Gamble Mill if our council members are more motivated to chase after new development than they are with protecting our historic structures?
After developers ran amok in Sicily in the 1980s, and destroyed many of their ancient and historic buildings to build new high-rise apartment buildings, the citizens woke up and passed a law that no structure older than 100 years old can be demolished for any reason. I think Bellefonte would be wise to adopt a similar ordinance.
But first things first. We must vote out those who thought it was OK to destroy the Garman and elect new council members who understand that the surest path to a prosperous future for Bellefonte is through its past.