State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

State College Mayor's Race: Goreham Says Young Professionals Are Key to Increasing Tax Base

by on November 05, 2013 7:00 AM

It took Elizabeth Goreham four years to figure out what exactly it meant to be Mayor of State College. Although it is largely a ceremonial role, it is one she takes very seriously.

"There's an old adage in politics that goes something like 'it takes four years to learn the job and four years to do it,'" Goreham jokes. "There's a steep learning curve."

On Tuesday, Goreham (D) will face off against challenger Ron Madrid (R) in the race for State College Mayor.

Goreham assumed her position after long-time State College Mayor Bill Welch died in 2009. She has since learned that being mayor of State College is a more intimate role than she anticipated.

"You're very interwoven with people and more actively involved in organizations. There are many discrete events the mayor attends," Goreham says.

Goreham is running for Mayor because she understands the job and the importance that comes along with it, even if it is a bit informal. One of the reasons the job is important, she says, is because of Penn State being located in the center of it.

One of the primary issues for Goreham is keeping Penn State graduates in the State College area to build their lives.

"We have a deep connection to university," Goreham says. "In the last decade or so, I don't think students have been considering staying here. There are not a lot of jobs, but entrepreneurship is on rise."

She says the borough should provide opportunities for young professionals to live, as well decent housing that people will want to live in. She says having graduates stay can help State College fulfill its potential.

Goreham says to strengthen neighborhoods will help strengthen the borough's tax base.

Goreham also says she will continue to help foster relations between Penn State students and State College residents. Goreham not only has office hours in the HUB on campus twice a week, but also frequently takes trips to areas around town to meet with retirees who may not get on campus that much to talk about the issues the borough faces.

"Students and non students alike are really on the same side," Goreham says. "They just don't realize it yet."

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Adam Lidgett is a freelance reporter who has covered news and feature stories in State College and Centre County.
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