I would like to sincerely thank all of the citizens that attended the Home Rule Commission open house.
It was extremely refreshing to hear the questions and concerns of our city’s future from our residents. As a study commissioner, the entire experience has been eye-opening and informative. On May 18, the citizens of New Castle will have the opportunity to be the change they desperately want to see.
The Act 47 exit plan references the Home Rule Charter as a solution multiple times, stating it is “the city’s best chance to close the financial deficit in the long term” (exit plan page 7).
It also references the after effects of its failure, stating, “if the charter fails, the city will have to offset the lost Act 47 earned income tax revenues with significant real estate tax increases” (exit plan page 36). In my opinion, the charter offers consistent and effective government, as well as taxing diversity that ensures that the city won’t have to balance the budget solely on the backs of property owners.
Many cities have utilized the home rule process to their benefit, such as Altoona, Sharon, Easton and Johnstown. They created government structures that are unique to meet the needs of their communities. I believe the proposed charter does just that for New Castle. The alternative is potentially receivership, and there is no good outcome from that scenario. I encourage my fellow citizens to be the change and vote “YES” for the home rule charter!
Secretary, New Castle Home Rule study commission