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To provide a clean, crime-free, and safe environment with competitive services that allows residents to enjoy a high quality of life, while providing commerce an environment to thrive.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Corpora Interview

Dan Corpora was true to his word, and he has submitted his answers to our email interview.
Dear readers your comments and questions are essential!!!
We hope to hear from the other candidates soon.

Thank You Mr. Corpora,

Your Neighbors

1. Could you give us your goals for the city's neighborhoods?
My goals for the neighborhoods are simple, to have safe and clean neighborhoods. To do this we need more visibility from our Police, increased cleanup efforts (possibly using work-release or community service workers-as is currently being used in the Circle), and strengthened code enforcement.

2. What is your recreation plan?
My plan for recreation is to move forward with the idea of seeking private sponsorships for our athletic teams, especially baseball and softball. By bringing in outside funds, we would be able to use more of the current funding to enhance other recreational activities. I also would like the city to get back into the summer playground programs. As was shown this summer by the Weed and Seed, there this is still a viable program for our youth, if done correctly. In the past the city has programmed for the mornings at the parks, but I believe an evening program would be much more effective.

3. How would you work with the block watch and neighborhood associations?
I believe very strongly in the Block Watch and our neighborhood associations. I currently sit on the Executive Board of The Easton Block Watch Association, and have seen the positive effect it has had on our neighborhoods. While I was on Council, I initiated a “Take it on the Road” program, where the Council held our normal meetings at various neighborhood association events. I would like to see us continue that when possible.

4. What can be done to foster a fair, equitable, and profitable partnership with Lafayette College?
We need to continue to have open communication with Lafayette College, letting them know what our concerns, if any, are, in terms of their development and long range planning. The College, especially in recent years, has been very generous in assisting the city in projects and research.

5. If you had to raise a tax today, would you raise a business or a resident tax?
This is a difficult question. Initial reaction is, of course, to raise a business tax. We must be careful not to tax our businesses out of the city, though (but we seemed to be starting to tax our residents out of the city already).

6. What are your opinions on the Amusement/Mechanical Devices Tax?
I am in favor of the amusement/mechanical device tax that was voted on this past week. I understand the reasoning for the “cap”, but do not see the correlation of this tariff and the forgiving of a loan to the State Theater. I feel we should not have forgiven the loan. If the tax were going to create a hardship on the State, I would have proposed an increased time for repayment, but not total forgiveness.

7. What are your opinions on our property tax?
My opinion on our property tax is that it is too high, but needed. The costs of providing services to our city continue to rise, and until economic development increases and other revenues, such as the amusement/mechanical device tax, start rolling into the city, there is little we can do to reduce the our property tax.

8. What are your opinions on the sewer, water, & garbage fees?
Very similar to the last. Our fees are high, and have been raised a couple of times in the past few years to help offset increasing property taxes.

9. What are your opinions on the proposed rental inspection ordinance?
If elected to Council, I would vote in favor of the rental housing inspection legislation. I also believe it is very important that the City increase the size of the Code department to handle the inspections internally, and not outsource this function. The fees generated should offset additional costs of more Code Officers.

10. Are the city's services sufficient?
I believe city services are sufficient, at most times. Our code department has been understaffed for several months, creating a backlog on following up on complaints. We also experienced a time this summer that our Recreation Department had to close one of the two city pools due to lack of personnel. Other recreational programming is lacking as well.

11. Do you have any plans that specifically affect city services?
I have mentioned earlier my plans for recreation. I am happy to see that the city has implemented a recycling center at 500 Bushkill. We are experiencing a great deal of road construction, mostly thru Penn Dot, but would like to see long-range street overlay plans so that our needed work can be spread out over time.

12. What are your plans for the public works?
Easton is currently investigating the feasibility of bringing in Easton Suburban Water Authority to run our plants. Without seeing their offer, cannot comment too much whether I would approve or disapprove of this venture. I would be against the elimination of any positions in the parks, highway, or labor pools. We cannot expect our services to be effective if we would reduce the manpower in these areas.

13. What are your plans for the emergency services?
As a Councilperson, we cannot direct the day-to-day operations of the city departments. What we can do is provide, or not provide, the funding for various programs within departments. I would continue to provide our Fire and Police departments with the safety equipment and training they need, both for their safety and the safety of the city.

14. Would you be willing to work on the daunting task of regionalizing/combining services? If yes, in what areas?
I would be willing to work on regional projects, but only if these projects would benefit the residents of Easton. Emergency Services, particularly fire safety, would be the primary regional project. With the growth of the neighboring townships, Easton may be relied on more heavily in fire protection, due to the expertise and size of our professional department.

15. Would it be fair and/or appropriate to appoint non-residents to city boards/commissions?
It would only be fair to appoint non-residents to city boards /commissions if no resident expressed an interest in serving, or if the non-resident had a special skill or expertise that was needed and not found in our city.

16. Should the city's directors/top level managers be required to maintain residency?
I would prefer to have the top “brass” at City Hall be residents, and a resident should always be given hiring preference (if the resident possesses the skills and experience that are necessary to do the job). It is disappointing that only a small number of our current directors and administrators are Easton residents. Currently, the top two appointed positions, the Business Administrator and the Chief of Staff, are non-residents.

17. Is a part time city council effective enough?
I believe that given the current situation, where we are a strong mayor form of government, under the 3rd Class City Code, a part-time council should be effective enough for the city. The daily administration of the city does not fall under the purview of the Council, and the part-time status should be sufficient to handle the legislative matters affecting the city. An ineffective administration or Council may lead one to the opinion that Council should be elected to full-time positions, but with the appropriate people in place, it is my opinion that a part-time Council can be very effective.

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