With school starting this week, election season is right around the corner in Lansdale. Therefore, I should probably get the word out that I am running again (there are still a few folks in the area who are surprised to learn that I am the mayor, and then some ask about Mayor Mike and what happened to him). I have enjoyed my time as mayor, and I think I have done a pretty good job at representing the Borough. I have had disagreements with just about all of the Council members that I have served with– some more than others. For the most part though, those disagreements have been resolved with the exception of maybe a couple. Things have been relatively quiet in the Borough, which is the reason I haven’t written here in a while. As for general Lansdale observations and essays, I have a few up my sleeve which should be coming out in the not too distant future.
Of course as a politician, I’ve got to list my background, accomplishments and credentials and my plans for the future. So for those who don’t know me so well or are new to Lansdale, here’s my story:
I was born in the old North Penn Hospital which is now Elm Terrace Gardens located at the corner of Broad and 7th Streets. I attended West Point Elementary which is now memorialized by a plaque on Merck property. I worked my first job as a dishwasher at the legendary Tremont Hotel & Lounge. I graduated from Germantown Academy in 1988. I graduated from Lynchburg College in 1993 with majors in French and History. After college, I lived in Hungary for three years where I taught English and French, and it was there I met my lovely wife, Szilvia. Contemplating career paths for a year, I switched gears and entered chiropractic school in 1998. I subsequently graduated in 2001 and joined my father and uncle in their chiropractic practice which they started in Lansdale in 1957. Since 2003 we have lived at 500 West Mount Vernon Street. And currently, we have two daughters, Anna, age 8, and Emma, age 5 who attend York Avenue Elementary. And as of last Sunday, a black Labrador puppy named Dude.
Relevant Community Involvement
Since moving back to Lansdale in 2003, I have volunteered in a few capacities. I have contributed my experience in healthcare to the North Penn Adult Day Care as an exercise aide. Having a love of classical music, I volunteered my time to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra as a Board Member and then Board President from 2001-2009. I have been an active member of the North Penn Rotary Club (which puts on Lansdale Day and built the Whites Road Bandshell in ) since 2001 serving in such capacities as President and Youth Awards Chairman. And most recently, I have served on the Montgomery County Correctional Facility Board since 2012 and president since April of this year.
Of the things I am most proud during my time as mayor are the following (and not necessarily in order of importance):
- Writing the invitation letter that brought Molly Maguires to town. Unfortunately, they didn’t last but Stove & Tap has filled the void and a fine restaurant is now in the heart of town.
- Starting the Lansdale Oktoberfest with an International Flair in 2009. This was the first time alcohol was served on Borough property paving the way for the Lansdale Beer Festival.
- Helping to bring Round Guys into Lansdale.
- Helping to bring Boardroom Spirits into Lansdale.
- Bringing the Tax Collector’s Office back to Borough Hall where it should be.
- Initiating the Banner Flags on Main Street to commemorate the International Spring Festival.
- Urging Council to make a one time contribution to Manna on Main Street, the Lansdale YMCA, the PEAK Center and Advanced Living in recognition of them coming together to form the North Penn Commons Collaborative project.
- Leading the charge to divest the Borough of 311 West Main Street which had been a $6 million dollar mistake over the course of 12 years. (Now, in the span of about a year since it was sold, there will be a new brewery, Well Crafted Brewery, along with a restaurant in this space.)
- Writing this blog, especially my entries about Becky, the Walking Lady, Dick Stricker, Whites Road Park and Lansdale’s front porches. And also to continue writing articles to help the public understand other points of view on governmental projects.
- Painting portraits of interesting residents and those committed to making Lansdale a better place. These hang in my office in Borough Hall.
- Of course, supporting our fine Lansdale Police Department.
- Making Lansdale’s first calendar to support the DARE program.
- Recognizing Robert Freed before he passed away for his contribution to the Borough through carving the Lansdale Borough Seal out of wood. This currently hangs in Borough Hall.
- Making the above pictured Lansdale letters.
- Performing over 100 weddings.
Mayoral Plans and Ambitions
- I would like to see Council approve a plan to rehabilitate and renovate Railroad Plaza. This is our gateway to town from the Train Station and the geographic center of Lansdale. This should look better than it does.
- Continue to challenge Council and Staff on spending projects in the future.
- Continue to promote Lansdale as a smart, affordable destination for families and businesses.
- And continue to represent the Borough well at events such as the Memorial Day parade and ceremony, the Christmas Tree Lighting, the Menorah Lighting, the DARE program, the International Spring Festival– the list goes on and on. And of course, to continue to present proclamations, give speeches, perform the weddings, greet visitors and serve the residents of our fine Borough.
In closing, I would invite those reading this blog to feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your recommendations and/or suggestions to make Lansdale a better place here on this blog.