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The Mayoral Race -

I have been distributing a flyer with condensed  statements on the candidates for office.  Here are my expanded thoughts on the Mayoral candidates. 


 
  Flyer Thoughts   Expanded thoughts
Dave Wilson Positives:
Enough experience as former council member and current committee member to gain insight into the inner working of the city, but too independent to be considered an insider.  Relevant work experience.  Good understanding of issues.

Negatives:  
He will lose many votes because people will make their decision based on his appearance.  He is not as bold as he needs to be in promoting what he knows is good policy but not yet adopted by council.

Recommendation:  Dave Wilson is clearly the stronger candidate for mayor.
When the primary started Dave Wilson seemed like the third candidate in the pack. I figured he would finish third.  If you see him you would not necessarily gravitate to him and say, "hey I'm going to get the best answer from this person".  But after listening to him for quite a while, I see that that is a total misinterpretation.  If you make a judgment just by the way he looks, you would be missing out on a great opportunity.
 
 
In the debate the League of Women Voters put on, Dave had the best answers out of all the candidates.  Specifically, when he talks about the Carriage Trails and the first contract with DEC.  He was on council when it was negotiated and he gives a testimony to what was going on that matches the documented paper trail.  In contrast, the other candidates adopt the marketing plea from the developer. Dave knows what was going on and knows how to proceed when dealing with DEC. 
 
Other things he's been able to talk about lucidly include TIF.  He had the best response for the medical marijuana, with a good back and forth on the tax benefits versus the troubles that might arise.  I would recommend you looking at the stuff that he's published on that subject. 
 
The Brandt Pike revitalization study is one of the things that I think we disagree on.   Not that I disagree that it would be nice if some of the shopping centers were a little better looking, it's just that the first thing that I heard out of his mouth there was,"if you're not growing then you're dying".  That's not really a true statement at all.  That is a marketing statement from developers that want cities to give a lot of city taxes to help them be more profitable.   The fact of the matter is you can have stability and pay all your bills and have good roads, police, fire and successful businesses without the city giving away our tax money to people that do not know how to manage their businesses.
 
 
As we talked further on the subject, he did say things that make me know that he's actually looking out for the city's best interest when those kind of developments talks are occurring.
 
 
One thing that I do wish I could have gotten more of all the candidates for all the office to do, was talk specifically on issues that are going on here now.  It would be nice if they would have gone into the council meetings and come out of those council meetings and work sessions and tell you what they thought about the specific items that were being debated that night.  But a lot of the candidates wouldn't and Dave is one I couldn't get to talk about things that  are especially important.
 
 
You can see by the back of the Flyers, TIF issue is very important to me.  I'd like to use the TIF.  TIFs can be an important tool.  In fact, I proposed a TIF recently to help upgrade Chambersburg and Fishburg roads.  But it is very important that when you talked to your candidates you ask them, "is this TIF going to affect the schools?   If they say yes, then there needs to be a reason why it's going to affect the schools. 
 
TIFs can be used responsibly and sometimes good TIFs can affect the schools. But your candidates need to be able to explain lucidly why.  The city has used TIFs improperly at least twice.  They had a plan to keep using it improperly as much as they could.  I stopped the irresponsible use of TIFs when I got elected.  It is important that now that I am leaving office,  when city creates another TIF, your council know the proper time to use the TIF.  If that TIF is going to affect the school, they need to be able to tell you why they're doing it.  Dave could show he understands this by coming out in public and saying council should convert the Lane Park and Family Dollar TIFs to non-school TIFs.
 
Some of the other things that I tried to get him and the other candidates to talk about were the charter amendments on transparencies. 
 
If you recall a few elections ago we had issue 29.   Which was a charter amendment before the voters that allowed council to reveal, vote on, and implement a resolution all in the same night.  Since this ammendment passed it is now possible that you might only get one opportunity hear about if before it was passed. This ammendments allow them to start spending money on that particular resolution immediately. 
 
That amendment passed unfortunately.   I didn't realize in time the tricks that the team of Byrge, Campbell, Shaw and Matt Truman used would be so successful and that amendment got through.
 
But when they came back with issue 29 (Issue 29 was an amendment that would have removed your ability to challenge those resolutions by ballot referendum) the next election, we were ready for those ploys and able to defeat that amendment.  In that effort, I asked the candidates to go on record saying that they did not approve of the ploys that were used to get the first ballot measure passed.  I couldn't get Dave or Jeff to go on the record for that.  They were both a little timid on that issue. 
 
Other things I would like the candidates to talk about is the high-pressure water zone.  I am not opposed to everybody in the city having good water pressure, if it's at all possible.  The proposed high-pressure water zone has the problem that many of the residents up there already have good water pressure.  In fact, I was at the trunk-or-treat event the other day and talked to two residents that live North of I-70 there that don't have any problem with water pressure. 
 
One of these people just had a water softener installed in his house.  His water measure pressure measures 50 to 55 psi.  He should expect his water pressure to go to 75 psi.  People start complaining about high water pressure when it gets above 60psi.  At 75psi, you are close to the point where you're supposed to have a regulator. If your water pressure gets above 80 code tells you to have a regulator installed because this could cause damage to your pipes. 
 
This council will not document how many people are going to have pipes damaged because of the implementation of a high-pressure water zone.  That's just wrong and I was hoping that I could get the candidates to address this and address the fact that more money is going to have to be spent on fixing the problems council is about to create.
 
I want council to document these costs and was hoping David Wilson would talk a little bit about this issue.  I couldn't get any of the candidates to do that.
 
Back to the main point Dave Wilson does have the best resume. He's as a former council member. He is a current member of the Planning Commission.

He's got insight into council but he's too independent to be considered an insider. His experience is helpful and will help a lot as he goes forward as the mayor.
 
I do pick Dave Wilson as the better candidate for mayor and hope that you vote for him.
 
       
Jeff Gore Positives:
He was upfront in his role in the Artesian Way development. A role that ended long before its current success.  

Negatives: 
Intends to do a lot more business behind closed doors.  Embraces misinformation while ignoring documented facts. Poor understanding of financial issues.  A cheerleader for every TIF even though at times it should not be used.

Recommendation:  Dave Wilson is clearly the stronger candidate for mayor.
 
Jeff Gore. 
 
My initial conversation with Jeff Gore was about an hour long.  We sat at classic pizza and talked.  In that conversation, I was impressed that he was forthright about in his involvement with the Artesian Way development off of Chambersburg Road.
 
At that time the Artesian Way development had been sitting and nothing
had been happening with it for years and years and years.  The initial
development went into foreclosure and Ryan Homes bought it out of foreclosure.  I thought it was pretty forthright that Mr. Gore had talked about that and talked all about his involvement with planning it, being responsible for marketing it, for water and other zoning changes, and other aspects of the development.
 
I had given him a lot of kudos for being forthright about his involvement.  Even as we got into the election cycle his initial post were just as forthright about that development.  He talked about how it had gotten to a place where it had stalled for quite a while.  This despite everyone knowing the development had gone into foreclosure.  In those posts he had talked about his life's accomplishments being able to go out and make friends and how he should get credit for that kind of stuff. 
 
Lately he's gone into talking spin.  He will say the success of the current development is a result of his initial vision.  He talks like it is doing well because smaller lots are a trend he predicted.  If you look at that development, if you look at what has been successful and what allowed Ryan to sell property, you see that the current development does not resemble much at all like his original design.
 
You have houses that he was trying to sell for $300,000 sitting two or three houses from houses that Ryan sold for $170,000.  The road layouts and all that kind of stuff is different.  His new approach could be just his attempt at spin.  But if he fundamentally believes he should get credit for the current success we need to worry about Mr. Gore's judgment.  The current success of Artesian Way happened despite the initial development concept, not because of it. 
 
There's a lot of things that he has adopted that could be spin or it could be a general lack of understanding of what's going on.  One of the things are the Carriage Trail supplements.  Those of us that advocate for the City have been looking to lower those supplements so that we can get to the right amount that allows for a successful development, but still keeps as much money in the city coffers as possible.  However, there are those that advocate for maximizing the profit of the developer.  These people then try to convince the city and residents in that area that the supplements need to be higher than what is needed for a successful development. 
 
Mr. Gore has latched on to those people that believe that the supplements should be whatever the developer wants.  They talk about the contract requiring high supplements.  There is nothing in the contract that requires the supplements to be given the way that these people are advocating.
 
Supplements are a complicated issue.  In actuality, because of the contract, it makes good sense to provide some supplements now, if the right deal can be made. If it is a matter of giving too high of supplements or waiting to give moderate supplements years from now, when they would be required, then it may be better to wait. Mr. Gore does not appear to understand the nuances.  It is the best interest for the city and to keep as much money in the city coffers so that we can pay for some of the other items that go on because of that development.  This includes the high-pressure water zone.
 
 
The high-pressure water zone is another issue where Mr. Gore has latched on to those that think it's a good idea despite the fact that it could cost the city a lot more than is being reveal.  It could disrupt the water pressure for a lot of people that currently have good water pressure.
 
As I say in some of the other videos you must know the nuances on issues so that you know the possible consequences. 
 
If we increase the water pressure up there, we are going to have complaints from those that have good water pressure now. The city is going to have to spend more money in order to correct that so it makes good sense to figure out, before you start the project, how many people are going to be affected and how much more money you're going to have to spend in the long run to correct those problems. 
 
The other priority that we should talked about, that is full of spin, are TIFs.  There's not a TIF that Mr. Gore doesn't appear to like or that he would not implement. He never talks about anything but the good aspects of TIF.
 
 
If you know about TIFs, you know  we've used them great here in the city.  Wwe got the I-70 interchanges done because of the TIFs.  We've also taken money that didn't belong to us through the Lane Park and the Family Dollar TIFs.  Even though it was legal to take the school's money, morally it was wrong. Mr. Gore doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that in his discussions. 
 
In full disclosure he did give an interview where he addressed TIFs.  It turns out there were as a lot of things in that interview that showed he did not have a good grasp of the issue.  This got him thinking about this subject and subsequently he's acknowledged that perhaps he should take a deeper look at the Lane Park and Family Dollar TIFs later.  The time is now to take a look and go on the record that the city should convert the Lane Park and Family Dollar TIF's to a non-school TIFs. 
 
Going on record now would show a fundamental understanding of when to use the TIFs and when not to use the TIFs and the nuances that need to be considered when deciding on a non-school TIFs or a TIF where the school contribute.  If he wants to show that he understands that and he'll go on the record and say, "hey it's time for us to convert those TIFs to non-school”, that would show understanding.  Until that time, you have to take his interview and the things that he said in
that interviews to heart.  That shows he doesn't really understand TIFs or finances in general. 
 
When talking with him or reading his post from now until election, look for him to step up and show some understanding of some fundamental aspects of development, of TIFs, of the considerations needed before you do a major project like the high-pressure water zone. 
 
At this time, I have to say that Dave Wilson shows a lot more understanding of all those things.  Dave Wilson is the stronger
candidate for mayor
 
       
     
Ward 4 Recommendation - Andy Hill                 Ward 5 Recommendation - Linda Morin

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