Political candidates often trip over each other to prove who's the biggest booster for their districts or municipalities.

That's called campaigning, and it gets a little thick at times. It's usually a good idea to take what's said with a grain of salt.

So in an odd sort of way, York City mayoral candidate Joe Beltrante's candor was refreshing.

"I have absolutely no desire to live in York City," he declared this week -- to a judge, no less.

Beltrante was trying to convince York County President Common Pleas Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh that -- however unpleasant his living conditions may be -- he does, in fact, reside in the city.

That was the crux of an election complaint challenging his eligibility to run for mayor.

Although he owns several rental properties in York, two residents argued Beltrante, in fact, lives in Manchester Township.

That's where his wife and child live in a home he owns -- a home for which he receives tax breaks reserved for owner-occupied properties -- and that's where he voted in the November 2012 election.

Beltrante claimed he was living in one of his properties on South Queen Street because he couldn't rent it out and wanted to protect his investment.

Long story short: Linebaugh the next day issued a ruling on behalf of the challengers, citing their evidence, as well as case law defining "permanent" and "temporary" residences.


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As far as we're concerned, though, Beltrante's comment in the courtroom proved right then and there he was unqualified for the office, regardless of whether he was eligible to run for it.

Besides living in York, qualified candidates care about the city and see the good along with flaws.

They don't run for office to make a point; they do it to make a difference.

They certainly don't intend to flee at the first opportunity.

There are plenty of people -- residents and elected officials -- who try to make York a better place every day, year after year.

And they'll continue to do it long after Beltrante leases his property and returns home to Manchester Township.