Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Interesting debate between the Centre County commissioner candidates in today's CDT. I'm not seeing anything that's likely to make me change my mind - Conklin and Dershem it is. Exarchos is a fury of anti-tax hysteria, and Goreham seems to be a typical boneheaded Democrat. Both Dershem and Conklin were cautious about matters, and inclined to keep their eyes on future needs due to demographic expansion - the need to finance a fourth district judgeship, expansion out of the overstuffed Willowbank offices, the long-overdue courthouse renovation, etc. I don't know what to make of that preposterous baseball stadium boondoggle, but Conklin voted against it.

About that courthouse renovation - it seems like a bit of overkill, to my mind. The Bellefonte courthouse itself could stand with a bit of cleaning up - the lightning rod on the tower has been leaning drunkenly for as long as I've been in town, and the building had been getting a bit dingy. That being said, I don't understand why they felt the need to tear up the entire town square, and cut down all the trees. They were at least a hundred years old, and the town feels hollowed out without them dominating High and Allegheny Streets any more. They ripped up the fountain, the stone walls, and everything else, until Governor Curtin and his hulking war memorial stood above a muddy hole where the square used to be. At least they aren't tearing down the monument. I can't imagine what they're planning to put in there that would compensate for tearing out those magnificent trees, though.

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