Picture via Borrough recording
“Taxation without representation” was the cry of patriots at the Boston Tea Party. Colonists in early America went to war with England to fight for their rights. 243 years later in State College, a group of our citizens wants to restrict others from serving as interim mayor based on where they work.
If it were up to council members Catherine Dauler and Theresa Lafer, Penn State employees would not be allowed to serve as interim mayor following the announced resignation of the current mayor, Don Hahn who was recently elected to a district magistrate post.
This proposed requirement emerged during a discussion at a special meeting of the Borough Council on Friday, October 25 about the requirements that the Council would use to consider candidates for the interim mayor position. In State College, over half of the residents are employed by Penn State University. If this qualification is enacted, tax-paying Penn State employees would not be allowed to hold the highest public office in the Burrough.
These criteria would be used to evaluate these 13 candidates:
Thomas J. Dougherty III
Ronald L. Fillipelli
Eleanor L. Schiff
Jacob R. Werner
This would especially affect four out of the 13 candidates including Leous, Darnell, Werner, and Browne, who are Penn State employees.
One of the concerns of citizens in a college town is that institutions may become influential.
Although the series of proposals seems to be a large issue, the majority of State High students had yet to hear about the proposal.
Senior Allaina Wagner had briefly heard of the proposals made for interim mayor. “Within this town, it is kind of pointless to try to fight the monster that is Penn State and so why not just homogenize State College with Penn State,” Wagner said.
This idea of changing the requirements for the interim mayor seems as if it doesn’t affect State High students, but it does have an impact on them. “I think it does [affect State High Students] because their future is invested into Penn State and their parents have jobs at Penn State,” Wagner said.
The borough has currently decided to take a break on discussing the requirements for interim mayor and the recent proposals. They returned to the topic at their first meeting on December 2 to confirm the requirements before voting at their December 16 meeting for interim mayor.