Itzi Meztli, an associate English professor at SRU, is one of four individuals vying for a seat on the Borough Council today. Meztli decided to run earlier this year after he objected to the use of taxpayer money to fund the Gateway Park Project.
“I really felt as though this was a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars,” Meztli said. “The borough reported a $10,000 surplus for 2018 because they made a 2.5 mill tax increase for 2017. The tax upsurge was to bring in around $50,000 extra a year in revenues to pay for a loan to finance the Gateway Park & Parking Lot Project after the demolition of downtown’s old First National Bank building.”
Meztli has been a professor at Slippery Rock since 2003 and a borough resident for the past twelve years. He had previously served as a borough council member in an interim role for six months in 2011 before serving a full four-year term from 2012 to 2016. Meztli did not seek a bid for re-election to focus on his latest promotion of Associate Professor. He still regularly attends meetings, however, and has been displeased with what he considers an inadequate council.
“Our current Council discourages residents from participating and asking questions in council meetings; for example, only after much public pressure, the borough finally started putting up agendas and meeting minutes unto the borough’s website. During citizen input, there’s a strict, three-minute limit, and speakers are quickly cut off because it’s obvious that Council members don’t seem to listen to borough taxpayers.”
If elected, Meztli hopes to direct additional funds towards the Slippery Rock Community Library and will oppose parking meters being installed in the downtown district. He is one of three candidates who hope to become new faces on the Borough Council, the others being Russell D. Karl and C. Eugene Allison. Meztli endorses these two candidates as well, hoping to bring about change in the borough by wiping the slate clean.
“We need to do what we can to take back our local government. Our municipality needs a Borough Manager, to administer our local government more efficiently and professionally. I have been working to get the word out to students so they are registered and can help make an impact in this community.”
Polls will open today at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m., with the winners being announced later tonight. For registered students, the Slippery Rock Recreation Center will serve as the polling place for borough residents.