Sharon Thomas Wins Back Pottstown Mayor’s Post

Editor’s note:  Delusional to the bitter end, Missy Mayor told the Mercury “the perception of crime in the borough is often greater than actual incidents suggest.”  Numbers don’t lie and neither do drug baggies all over the sidewalks in the core neighborhood.  Bye Bonnie.  We won’t miss you!

301241_1150220388989_8259643_nPOTTSTOWN, PA — Republican Sharon Thomas won back the mayor’s post Tuesday, reversing her loss to Democrat Bonnie Heath four years ago and taking back the post by a decisive 233-vote margin.

According to unofficial results from Montgomery County’s voter services website, Thomas received 1,198 votes, or 55.39 percent.

Heath collected 965 votes, or 44.61 percent.

Thomas has said her race would depend on the effectiveness of a “grassroots” effort and she said Tuesday night with the smile in her voice that those roots had “passed the test. We recruited people quickly and taught them what they needed to know,” she said.

Thomas declined to attribute any particular satisfaction to defeating the candidate who had defeated her.  (And there’s another difference between Sharon and Bonnie)

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/government-and-politics/20131105/sharon-thomas-wins-back-pottstown-mayors-post

Municipal Elections In Pottstown, November 5th

Tuesday, November 5th, is Election Day.  There are many options on the ballot which will directly impact everyday life for Pottstown Borough residents.  The people running for election tomorrow will be determining things like how much tax you pay and the direction the school district and borough take over the coming years.  The four school board candidates are all running unopposed but there are choices for two council seats and the mayor.

If you aren’t satisfied with how the borough spends your money, then tomorrow is your opportunity to vote for positive change.  Do you want to live in a safer environment?  Do you want your taxes to stop going up?  Do you want to see more economic development in the borough?  Do you want the elected leadership to actually have a plan of action instead of just “keeping a lid on the power keg”?  Do you want to see the leadership work together for the betterment of the community instead of in-fighting and having personal agendas?  Are you tired of seeing For Sale signs every where you look?  Are you tired of Pottstown being Montgomery County’s dumping ground for social services and Section 8 Housing?

We are officially endorsing the following candidates for mayor and borough council:

 

301241_1150220388989_8259643_nSharon Valentine Thomas, Mayor of Pottstown

Running against incumbent Bonnie Heath

 

 

 

 

Sheryl Miller headshot

Sheryl Miller, Pottstown Borough Council, Ward 3

Running against incumbent Jeff Chomnuk

 

 

 

 

30950_232676920206349_1767238787_n

Cindy Conard, Pottstown Borough Council, Ward 7

Running against incumbent Joe Kirkland

 

 

 

 

Here is the latest map of polling locations in Pottstown Borough:

Pottstown New Polling Locations

Pottstown Primary Candidates – Out With The Old And In With The New. Part II

Picture 653Roy’s Rants spent a few hours this afternoon talking with two Pottstown Borough Council candidates and a Pottstown mayoral candidate running in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Primary Election.  We would like to share some of this information to help voters carefully weigh their options.  The outcome of this election will be crucial in either moving Pottstown down the road to revitalization or allowing it to continue in a downward spiral.

Cindy Conard is running for 7th Ward Borough Councilor against incumbent Joe Kirkland.  Cindy and her husband moved to Pottstown several years ago.  They chose to buy a home and invest in Pottstown.  After sitting on the sidelines and watching the direction Pottstown has taken and the machinations of council, Cindy saw a leadership vacuum existed and wanted to do her civic duty by getting involved.

Cindy brings considerable management experience to the table.  She is paid to solve problems and look for solutions to problems that aren’t readily apparent.  Critical thinking is something Cindy excels at as well as her ability to ferret out the root cause of a problem rather than to simply address the symptoms.

Cindy would like to be part of a council that would: create a shared vision for Pottstown, be fiscally responsible, collaborate with the community, encourage economic development in downtown Pottstown, reduce crime and reduce “red tape” for residents to improve their homes and properties.  And most importantly, Cindy will strive to get people working together to produce results!

Former 6th Ward Councilor and “man of the people” Jody Rhoads has officially endorsed Cindy Conard!

You can check out Cindy’s official campaign Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Conard-for-Council-in-the-7th-Ward/232676780206363?fref=ts

 

Sheryl Miller is running for 3rd Ward Borough Councilor against incumbent Jeff Chomnuk.  Sheryl grew up in Pottstown and graduated from Pottstown High School.  Sheryl moved away for a few years but yearned return to the “town she loves” to live.  Sheryl and her husband bought a home in Pottstown and she has watched her hometown deteriorate.  She also feels compelled to do her civic duty and run for borough council.

Sheryl holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Albright College in Crime and Justice.  Sheryl wants Pottstown to be a safe place.  She would be tough on crime issues if elected to Pottstown Borough Council.  She advocates community policing and wants to promote police visibility by utilizing foot and bike patrols.  She also promotes police officers getting to know residents the community.

Sheryl is concerned about neighborhood safety, clean streets, property maintenance; she advocates responsible spending and supports open government.  Sheryl wants to create policies to improve the quality of life for borough residents.

Sheryl wants to improve communication and cooperation between borough council and the community which would encourage citizen engagement.

You can check out Sheryl’s official campaign Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/SherylMillerForPottstownBoroughCouncil?fref=ts

 

Ross Belovich is running for Mayor of Pottstown against former Mayor Sharon Valentine-Thomas on Tuesday.  The winner of this primary contest will go up against incumbent Bonnie Heath in November.

I did an extensive interview with Ross which you can click on here:

http://roysrants.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/pottstown-mayoral-candidate-ross-belovich-a-breath-of-fresh-air-on-the-political-landscape/

If you have not read this I would ask that you to take a few moments and read the article.

You can check out Ross’s office campaign Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/MayorofPottstown

Ross is an articulate individual with many excellent ideas on how to move Pottstown forward.  The mayor oversees the police department and acts as an official representative of the Borough of Pottstown.  To many people, the mayor is the face of Pottstown.  It is important that this individual present themselves in a dignified and professional manner at all times.

The mayor can be involved with PDIDA, PAID and other boards/entities in Pottstown that promote economic development and revitalization.  The office of the mayor could be used as a force to help affect positive change and present council with researched ideas for their consideration during the monthly Mayor’s Report.

The mayor acts as a tie-breaker in the event a vote on council ends in a draw.  The mayor should be well versed on all matters on the agenda and be able to make an informed decision if called upon.  When only six councilors are at a meeting, this scenario could happen.

Roy’s Rants officially endorses these candidates!

Pottstown Primary Candidates – Out With The Old And In With The New. Part I

It’s time for Pottstown voters to purge local politics of the ostriches on council and replace them with outside the box, critical thinkers who actually have a plan for Pottstown (other than status quo).  In case you haven’t noticed, Pottstown is teetering on a precipice.  Depending on which way the wind blows will determine if Pottstown rises from the ashes like Phoenixville or becomes the next Chester or Camden.

Frankly, I would hope residents would choose the revitalization option.

My BFF, the one and only Missy Mayor Bonnie Heath thinks Pottstown is all sunshine and puppies.  Anybody who dares to pull back the curtain and expose the truth is labeled a trouble maker, malcontent etc… and accused of casting Pottstown in a negative light.  I think that impression has already been seared on the minds of most people and they have their opinion about Pottstown.  Rampant crime, drugs, a Section 8 housing/social services overload, slumlords and a shrinking tax base speak for themselves.  You can’t put lipstick on this pig and make it look good.  Even with glitter and puppies.  People say things like, “If you have to drive through Pottstown, roll up the windows, lock the doors and pray you don’t break down”.

The current crop of bobbleheads on council and their fearless leader Steve Toroney seem to think all is peachy is Pottstown.  Look at the decisions this body has made in the last year.  Look at the crime rate, look at the “for sale signs” all over town, look at your tax bill, look at the state of the downtown (it would be worse if it weren’t for a few brave souls like ArtFusion, Steel River Playhouse, the Brick House and Sheila Dugan) and the list goes on and on.

What vision has this auspicious group proposed for the betterment of Pottstown?  Insert cricket sounds here.  Although, if you read Evan Brandt’s interview with Councilor Kirkland you would think Pottstown is a “boom town” with new businesses springing up like mushrooms and borough council is just one big love fest of unity.  For these reasons and other equally laughable ones, he thinks the incumbents should all be reelected.  Councilor Kirkland can’t seem to wrap his mind around why anybody would run against him on the Democratic ticket???  Talk about a WTF moment.

If you think your vote doesn’t make a difference, you are very wrong.  Sharon Valentine-Thomas lost to Teflon Bonnie by a few dozen votes.  Indifference and apathy are what keep these people in office.  If you would like to live in a revitalized community, a safe community and a community with an excellent quality of life, you should see what the challengers in these races are all about and what they are proposing for Pottstown.  Look at the track record of the people on council.  Are you better off today than you were four years ago?  Are you proud to say you are from Pottstown?  Can you afford to pay your property taxes?  Do you feel safe walking the streets?

These are all things you should ponder before pulling any levers on Tuesday.  Your well-being depends on it.

Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Limerick Primaries On Tap

Editor’s note:  We urge voters to check out the Reform Party candidates for Pottstown Borough Council and mayor of Pottstown.  Pottstown desperately needs a leadership change!  The elected leadership needs to have a positive vision for the future of the borough.   Currently that vision does not exist or if it does, it is a well kept secret.  It’s time to clean house.  Vote the incumbents out of office.

Although the ballot isn’t official yet, primary elections are shaping up in several Montgomery County communities.

As of Friday, some candidates had already withdrawn, but so far it looks like there will be three primary battles in Pottstown, but no contest for the school board.

In the neighboring Pottsgrove School Board race however, it looks like a real race may be brewing and several tax collector contests are in the offing as well.

In the Pottsgrove School Board race, four incumbents — B. Scott Fullmer, Nancy J. Landes, Diane M. Cherico and Michael G. Neiffer — will square off against four challengers.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130331/NEWS01/130339980/pottstown-pottsgrove-limerick-primaries-on-tap#full_story

Pottstown Mayoral Candidate, Ross Belovich – A Breath Of Fresh Air On The Political Landscape

524075_4334345123561_600996846_nIt’s that time of the year when all good political candidates need to start their campaign for Mayor of Pottstown.  A relative newcomer to Pottstown, Ross Belovich has thrown his hat into the proverbial ring.

Ross is a 4th Ward resident and has lived in Pottstown for about two years.  He has watched and studied the machinations of Pottstown borough government and decided he could make a positive difference.

I sat down with Ross Sunday afternoon to talk about why he is running and what he could bring to the table as mayor.  We talked for about an hour and a half and I believe I have a good sense of where Ross is coming from.  I had read some of his comments on Facebook and was intrigued enough by them to want to speak with him face to face.

Ross’ two passions are classic cars and computers.  He told me he has always been political and an active voter.  He feels it is important to vote!  Ross is running on the Republican ticket for mayor.

Ross sees many positive things going on in Pottstown but he has also observed Pottstown is missing unity.  There is no common vision or goal to move Pottstown forward.  Factions are pulling in different directions instead of working together.

Ross sees the position of mayor as being an ambassador for Pottstown.  The mayor should be promoting the borough to anyone who will listen.  Ross thinks marketing is crucial and needs to be done continuously.

We talked about crime, blight and some of the “hot button” issues facing Pottstown.  Ross is a big proponent of technology.  He feels Pottstown should be using security cameras to help the police department.  Cameras are a crime deterrent as well as a valuable tool for solving crimes (by using the footage to catch people in the act or by linking them to a specific time and place).  There are many grants out there to pay for cameras.  He said if downtown businesses also used cameras they could be networked with any existing borough cameras to provide a wider coverage area.  (Cameras are used successfully in Reading and Lancaster)

We talked about the problem of people loitering on High Street and bothering customers who are downtown to shop, eat or attend an event at the Steel River Playhouse.  There needs to be more of a police presence downtown.  Having a few beat cops walking the street would give patrons a sense of security and discourage loitering and panhandling.

Ross has observed there is a perception problem with Pottstown.  Many people think Pottstown is unsafe and will not venture into town.  Ross understands this perception, while very real to some people, is inaccurate and he would like to work on changing it.  In order to do this Pottstown needs to fill up the empty storefronts downtown and make the downtown more inviting to consumers.  Also if blight is eradicated, property values will go up.  Higher property values will provide more revenue for the borough and school district.

Ross supports the growing arts community in Pottstown and feels trying to lure high-tech companies into the borough would be another revitalization tool.  Pottstown is built out and needs to reinvent what it has.  No big factories will be coming to Pottstown and employing thousands any time soon.  It’s time to look at other alternatives for putting Pottstown back to work.  More jobs, equals more revenue for the borough and school district.  Ross is also a proponent of returning passenger rail service to Pottstown.

Ross likes the Core Values recently adopted by the borough but would like to see accountability tied to those values.  There should be serious consequences if those values are not being espoused by borough employees and leadership.

Lastly, Ross would like to promote better communication between the borough and the residents of Pottstown.  He is looking forward to seeing the new Pottstown Borough website when it is finished and hopes it is more “user friendly”.

On a whimsical note, Ross feels having fun and giving residents something to smile about is very important.  He thinks it would be fun to bring International Talk Like A Pirate Day to Pottstown as a borough holiday – (http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html).  Argh matey!

To learn more about Ross or ask him any questions that are on your mind, you can contact Ross at http://www.facebook.com/MayorofPottstown

Pottstown Mayor Bonnie Heath Tops Roy’s Rants Most Wanted List

I never thought the day would come when someone in this community would irritate me more than Mr. Hylton.  However, that day has now arrived.

Mayor Heath’s recent behavior is that of a petulant child.  The mayor stormed out of the last Pottstown Borough Council meeting after not getting her way on a vote.  Following close behind was her husband (Mr. Mayor), who as I reported in my last council coverage, made a derogatory comment about the collective intelligence of our council.

Pottstown has a weak mayor, strong council form of government.  We employ a professional manager (Jason) and the council dictates the course of action we take as a community.  Everyone takes direction from council.  Those seven elected officials, representing each ward of our borough, make the decisions that shape our future.  The Office of the Mayor is ceremonial (aka spirit bunny/ribbon cutter) and in the event of a tie vote on council the mayor is called on to cast the deciding vote.  The mayor also “oversees” the police department, which again appears to be fairly ceremonial as Chief Flanders runs the department.

After Bonnie’s stellar performance last month she went on WPAZ to bad mouth council and whine about the PDIDA vote, which Mo Gallant reported on her Pottstown’s Blog.  Again, is this a professional way for a mayor to act?  She may only be ceremonial; however, she is an elected official!  I suggest Bonnie run for council if being mayor does not have enough “teeth” for her liking.  Stop trying to make your job more important than it is!

Now we come to the most disturbing and egregious offense the mayor committed recently.  During the dedication ceremony at Pottsgrove Manor a few weekends ago, Bonnie approached two Montgomery County Commissioners and pushed for the PDIDA Downtown Lighting Project to be the number one priority for funding as Pottstown’s revitalization project.  Pottstown Borough Council had already voted and approved the Gallery School project as our top priority in March.  A presentation was made to Montgomery County, by the borough, supporting the Gallery School project as our number one priority for funding.  There was much debate by the Councilors about what Pottstown’s priority project should be at March’s council meeting.  A roll call vote was requested by President Toroney and the Gallery School project won.  This should have been the end of any debate!

In Bonnie’s “talks” with the Commissioners she relayed that the Galley School would profit greatly if the county funded the purchasing of their building.  This “information” was taken back to the committee who decides the funding.  This “information” is one of the reasons cited for their hesitation in funding the Gallery School project.  The final decisions have yet to be made, but Pottstown may get cut out completely for this round of revitalization dollars.  Once again, it appears to the county that Pottstown does not have its act together – a common complaint from them.  Unity of vision and speaking with one voice is essential when applying for grants and any kind of funding.  The ULI Report remarked that Pottstown’s in-fighting was a serious problem.

I must say this behavior is shocking.  This one woman side-show could not only hurt Pottstown but it could hurt one of the few businesses on High Street.  Council has gotten its act together and has worked better as a group lately.  They can agree to disagree.  As Councilor Gibson stated after Bonnie stormed out of the meeting – he doesn’t get mad when a vote doesn’t go his way; he has to respect his fellow Councilors and the will of the majority.  That is how things work in a democracy.  This meddling by the mayor could seriously jeopardize our downtown revitalization.  The mayor should be held directly responsible for any negative repercussions that her loose cannon behavior causes.  I again call upon Pottstown Borough Council to formally reprimand/censure, whatever terminology you would like to use, Mayor Bonnie Heath for totally overstepping her authority as Mayor of Pottstown; and knowingly and willfully undermining a binding vote of council (toward the revitalization of our central business district.)

Lastly, Mayor Heath was asked to do something that actually falls within her limited realm of mayoral responsibilities.  The mayor was asked to speak at a welcoming event for a family who is bicycling across the United States.  They were making a stop in Pottstown for the BMX event at Trilogy Park.  The mayor agreed to speak at the welcoming event on May 26th at PMMC.  As part of the welcoming event, the family was to be presented with gift certificates to cover their meals while in town.  The mayor also agreed to go to three restaurants to get donated gift certificates for the family.  On May 26th, the Mayor never showed up at the hospital to welcome the family nor did she speak with any businesses.  After the ride was finished down High St., people went and got the three gift certificates and presented them to the family the next day.  If you check out the family’s blog, they wrote a nice article about their stay in Pottstown.

http://www.ridethenation.org/1/post/2011/05/good-food-good-friends-good-racing.html

The next council meeting is Monday, June 13th at 7:00 p.m. in Pottstown Borough Hall.  If you are as outraged by this behavior as I am, I would invite you to address council during the portion of the meeting that allows residents to comment.

Personally, I think our mayor should resign.  This is disgraceful behavior and harmful to Pottstown.  She should hang her head in shame!

Farewell Sharon Valentine-Thomas

Pottstown Mayor Sharon Valentine-Thomas made her farewell address to Council this week.  Mayor Thomas will be missed!  She brought class and diginity to the office of mayor and made her presence known at countless events in the life of this town over the last four years.

I had the opportunity to get to know Mayor Thomas over the last year and found her to be a very pleasant person who cares deeply about Pottstown.  It’s a shame that the pathetic voter turn out in the last election caused her role as mayor to come to an end by a few dozen votes.

I think the incoming mayor and new council have A LOT of work to do.   I sincerely hope that you all get your act together and get ‘er done!  We need more people on council like Jody Rhoads who will work for the citizens of Pottstown instead of their own special interests.

I will be watching and reporting as we move forward!