Pottstown Crime Affected By Shorthanded Department, Increase In Drug Trade

POTTSTOWN, PA – There is a fairly simple reason why violent crime in Pottstown seems to have been on the rise in 2014.

The police were short-handed.

“At the beginning of 2014, we were down by 15 officers,” said Pottstown Police Chief Richard Drumheller.

“As a result, we had to pull people off the drug detail and, not surprisingly, we saw an increase in the drug problem,” he said.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150308/pottstown-crime-affected-by-shorthanded-department-increase-in-drug-trade

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Special Project: Is Pottstown Becoming More Dangerous?

Editor’s note:  Nice job, Evan.  Make sure you read the whole article because this is a good news, bad news piece.  Crime is still a problem in Pottstown.

POTTSTOWN, PA – Crime is not up in Pottstown, at least not according to the numbers.

Crime in the borough last year was, in nearly all categories, below the borough’s 10-year average, according to a Mercury analysis of crime statistics provided by the Pottstown Police Department.

The numbers of serious crimes like murder, rape and arson have remained relatively flat since 2005, and in addition, the statistics show that 2014 saw 13 percent fewer major crimes and a decrease of more than 16 percent in all reportable crimes.

Pottstown has not had more than two murders per year since 2007.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150308/special-project-is-pottstown-becoming-more-dangerous

Pottstown Poised To Fill Vacant Authority, Commission Posts

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — Although borough council wasted little time in filling the tax collector vacancy Wednesday night, there are still a few vacant positions up for grabs.

As part of the annual process of filling posts on boards and commissions, council will vote Monday on filling nine open spots, with a 10th vacancy being filled in February.

One seat on the Pottstown Borough Authority is open and two people have applied to fill it. It is currently filled by plumber Aram Ecker, who is seeking a second five-year term. However, newly elected Borough Councilwoman Sheryl Miller has also asked to be appointed.

With Miller’s defeat of Jeff Chomnuk for the third ward seat on council, the authority board currently has no member of borough council, a role Chomnuk had filled.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140110/pottstown-poised-to-fill-vacant-authority-commission-posts

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Pottstown Council: Miller Ousts Chomnuk In 3rd Ward, Kirkland Defends 7th Ward Seat

Editor’s note:  At least there are two new faces on council!  We also read that Missy Mayor lost to Sharon Thomas.  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus 🙂

POTTSTOWN, PA — Borough council will swear in two new members as a result of Tuesday’s election that will leave council with only one Republican member.

In the Third Ward race, Democratic challenger Sheryl Miller ousted incumbent Republican Jeff Chomnuk by a slim unofficial 13-vote margin, according to unofficial results posted on the Montgomery County voter services website.

However, in the Seventh Ward, incumbent Democrat Joe Kirkland successfully defended his seat for a second time against Republican challenger Cindy Conard, winning by a 77-vote margin, according to unofficial results.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131105/pottstown-council-miller-ousts-chomnuk-in-3rd-ward-kirkland-defends-7th-ward-seat

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

 

 

 

 

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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

Write-In Votes Change The Face Of Fall Elections

Editor’s note:  The only way to make Pottstown better is to clean house!  New mayor, new councilors. We ask you to please support the new candidates running for office and write in Ross Belovich for mayor.  If you wonder why, check out the Crime in Pottstown Facebook page and read what’s happening to your town.  It’s time to take it back!   POWER TO THE POTTSTOWN PEOPLE!

In Montgomery County, a contested Democratic primary in Pottstown’s Seventh Ward has translated into a general election battle.

Although incumbent Borough Councilman Joseph Kirkland easily won the Democratic line in the November ballot, his opponent, Cindy Conard picked up 50 wrote-in votes on the Republican line, for which no candidates were running.

As a result, the two will face-off again on the November ballot, with Kirkland on the Democratic line and Conard on the Republican line.

Read entire article here:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130723/NEWS01/130729836/write-in-votes-change-the-face-of-fall-elections#full_story

An Open Letter To The Voters Of Pottstown From Pottstown Borough Council Candidate Sheryl Miller

Sheryl Miller headshotI believe I am the right candidate for Pottstown Council. I have no personal agenda; simply a desire to bring Pottstown (as a whole) back to greatness — not what it once was, but rather something better.  Pottstown needs real jobs, ones in which people can obtain gainful employment.  Industry DOES still exist — it is just different now. Although Pottstown is “built out” I do believe it is still marketable.

I enjoy attending council meetings, making a point to not miss them.  I use this opportunity to learn what works and what does not work.  I welcome the frustration I feel during such meetings.  This frustration becomes fuel which inspires some of my best ideas and I have many, to tackle some of the tough problems facing the borough such as far too many opportunistic investors, crime, and not of any less importance, the current distance between decision making and real communication with the community.

I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Crime & Justice from Albright College achieving highest honors.  My most recent employment was working as a program specialist in a day program developing, coordinating, and implementing vocational, educational, social, health, safety, & personal client centered goals for adults with Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities.  Among many responsibilities, I also accompanied and supported the individuals during community outings and community service including delivering Meals on Wheels to the elderly and reading to the pre-school children at the YWCA.  I held this position for four years prior to leaving in July of 2012.  Prior to my employment, I volunteered for two years at the facility.

Previously I served for two years on Pottstown area’s Montgomery County Youth Aid Panel.  I also completed Montgomery County’s Victim Offender Conferencing Program.

For many years, I volunteered with several animal rescue groups.  My greatest love — animals.  My passion — Pottstown.

I graduated from Pottstown High School.  Upon graduating I moved to Oaks for four years.  After marrying (my husband is Spring Ford Alum) I told my husband I wanted to buy a house in my home town, which I have always loved.  We found a nice corner property which was to be our starter home, and here we have stayed for 23 years.  We will be celebrating our 25th (silver) anniversary in September.

I feel that it is of the utmost importance to stay closely connected to the community.  Although I have worked and lived locally for many years, my eyes were opened even wider when I began walking door to door in my ward having the opportunity to see and hear up close and personal the many challenges we face.

And I am just getting started!!

Sheryl Miller
3rd Ward Pottstown Council Candidate

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:

https://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.

Sheryl Miller, Candidate For Pottstown Borough Council – Ward 3

Editor’s note:  This is the kind of individual Pottstown needs on borough council.  It’s time to oust the “good old boys” and get some people in leadership positions who have a positive vision for the future of Pottstown.  To find out more about Sheryl, check out her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SherylMillerForPottstownBoroughCouncil

Sheryl Miller headshot

Sheryl Miller

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