Failing grade

It would seem that being elected to public office causes a person to forget whatever they may have once known about math and economics. While I have observed this phenomenon at all levels of government for many years, there was one story that prompted this letter.

The story in the January 6 edition of the paper headlined, “City leadership seeks new funds for 2018” demonstrated this in the first couple of paragraphs.

Councilwoman Liz Miele (assuming she was not misquoted) showed her lack of mathematic faculty by claiming that it takes four million dollars to balance a two million dollar shortfall. While the accuracy of this statement is dubious, it demonstrates the financial ineptitude and irresponsibility of those in city government.

As sad as this is, the more dangerous thinking in the article comes from Mayor Campana. For years now, the mayor seems to think that retail business is the answer to the financial problems of the city. It is not.

As nice as retail establishments are, they are, economically speaking, parasites. They live off the real economic drivers. Retail takes the money that is in an area and sends it to their suppliers. What any area needs to have real economic growth is industry. Industry brings money into the area and is the life blood of a healthy economy.

If an area has a good industrial base, the area will prosper and retail establishments will be chomping to move in. You won’t need to offer any additional incentives. But retail is easy and industry is hard, so petty politicians take the easy route, because they don’t know or care it won’t work.

Williamsport has been doing all the trendy new things that have failed in other areas. What this city needs is innovative leadership, by people who can come up with their own ideas and who understand economics.

Williamsport doesn’t need a new form of government; it needs to elect new people in government. The kind of people who aren’t in it for ego or power. People who will work for people rather than the reverse.

Paul Rinker


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom