You Invest in Rail to Get the Dense Development

Here’s an important lesson from the Charlotte Observer: rail is a real estate development tool. You make public investments in rail if you’re prepared to allow a lot more population density near train stations, and not otherwise. What profitable rail lines all have in common is that the areas they serve have sufficient population density [...]

Send Lehigh University a Land Tax Bill

I’ll give John Callahan the same advice on Lehigh University that I gave Rich Fitzgerald on UPMC – don’t just ask for a random amount of money. Send them a non-binding land tax bill. Figure out how much money a private company would pay in taxes on all the land Lehigh’s using, and then send them [...]

Sal Panto Not Running for Northampton County Exec

Sal Panto has been signaling for a while that he’s not planning to run for NorCo Executive, and now he’s making it official. I’m a huge fan of Panto as Easton Mayor, and I’m glad he’s going to stay on and finish the job. This makes the choice for County Executive pretty easy, although I’ll resist the temptation to prematurely endorse [...]

Against Electing Row Officers

I want to echo Bernie O’Hare’s points here about what a horrible idea electing row officers is. The case for making a job an elected position is that there’s some kind of political content the person presides over that the voters disagree about. Or, that there’s some potential for conflict of interest if the Executive [...]