"This is a capitalist event. I have a problem with that." That was GC council president George Pokrant’s response to a new business (Gear Bicycle Sales) that requested to use the Keystone Shelter at Memorial Park. His comrades on the borough council agreed; a motion to approve the request wasn't even seconded.
Taxpaying businesses comprise a vital component of a successful community and merit fair treatment. Subject to reasonable regulations guiding facility use, businesses should be afforded the opportunity to use the park. The borough could shield itself from potential liability with a simple release form. Furthermore, the borough could realize a new, recurring revenue stream. A forward-thinking local government entity should champion partnership with local businesses to create a favorable business climate for all, not just the politically favored.
GC is on a path of indisputable decline: major businesses (think USIS and most recently Instron among others) continue to flee, GE is disintegrating, degraded infrastructure attests to decades of poor planning, local government schools are underperforming at an alarming rate – failing both the students they purport to serve and the taxpayers fleeced to fund the failure via annual tax hikes and perpetual bond debt. Median total household income in the GC area is $46,000 and nearly 900 families use the GC Community Food Pantry. These metrics are not exactly hallmarks of a healthy, successful community.
Reversing the decline calls for a long overdue course correction. Mr. Pokrant, GC is in dire need of more capitalism, not less.