Local 101: Beyond Running for Office

Local Government 101: Beyond Running for Office

I have great news for you…..You don’t have to hold office to have influence!

This is how things go in Borough politics in PA.

Elected officials (Borough Council) gets the final say over legislation (in local government they are ordinances, resolutions).  Long before a decision over legislation is made, some voter comes up with an idea. Voter says they want “X.”  They research how to achieve “X” then they write a draft of the reasons for “X.”  They consult with a Councilperson or someone who does stuff in the municipality to find out if “X” already exists.  If not, has it someone else tried “X” before and what happened.

The next step is to present “X” and its background to committee members with a draft of an ordinance -if possible- or ask the committee to draft an ordinance.  Remember, committee members are going to be volunteers with their own jobs, families, and priorities.  You have to sell them on the benefits of acting on your vision of “X.”  If they think “X” needs to be tweaked, overhauled or discarded, the committee will often let you know where they stand, or you will find out how they feel once it’s time for them to take action.

If they say yes and pass it on to the next stage, then congratulations!  You’ve won round one!

Next it goes from a committee to Council.  There is time for public comment.  “X” gets debated or goes right to a vote.  If “X” is voted yes, congratulations!  You’ve won round two!!

The final stage (if it is an ordinance), is for “X” to be signed or vetoed by the Mayor.

All this because a little ‘ol voter had a little ol’ idea.  Then the magic happens!

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Affordable, Inclusive Housing Task Force

I was thrilled by by tonight’s policy meeting!  Tonight, three important members of the community took their initiative to create an Affordable Housing Task Force to the Policy Committee.   The fact that the biggest organizations in Phoenixville are working to create so much momentum behind creating this task force encourages me so much as both a citizen and as a candidate running for Mayor!
Why am I excited by this proposal?  I have close family working at $10/hr.  His struggle is very real.  If his car were to die, e.g. he would be unable to get to either of his two jobs in under an hour (if at all).  Beyond my family, however, I drove past a young McDonalds worker during our last snow storm.  She was walking home without a coat when temperatures were down in the 20s.  She had her arms inside her shirt to protect them from the wind.  I offered her a ride but she was already practically home.  All this to say: This Affordable Housing Task Force is an absolute necessity!  People are struggling in Phoenixville and can’t even afford coats or car repairs.
Aspects of the plan:
– Research data and have a consensus on issues related to housing affordability
– Propose practical measures for the Phoenixville Borough to incentivize developers to create affordable housing i.e. create an impact fee fund.
– Formalize a collaborative partnership with Habitat for Humanity
– Partner with developers on including affordable housing
I can’t wait to see the next stage of this proposal and then for it to become policy in the borough!  Let’s let our Councilpeople know that we support a strong Affordable Housing Task Force!
James C. Kovaleski – President
jkovaleski@phoenixville.org
Catherine Doherty
cdoherty@phoenixville.org
Michael Kuznar -Assistant Secretary
mkuznar@phoenixville.org
Jon R. Ichter II
jichter@phoenixville.org
Dana Dugan – Vice-President
ddugan@phoenixville.org
Jeremy Dalton

Civil Service Commission

Thank you for taking time tonight to hear my request to join the Civil Service Commission.

My interest in the Civil Service Commission is three-fold: 1) to show gratitude for the service and protection that our police provide to the whole community, specifically to me and my 4 year old son. 2) to serve our police force who has done such an outstanding job keeping our town safe so that it can continue providing its outstanding service. 3) to take part in the selection of the next round of officers as the need arises and as the Borough’s needs grow.

I have lived here in Phoenixville for almost three years and have had the pleasure of raising my son in this incredible town. I’ve never once worried about my safety or my son’s safety. Coming from an overprotective single father, THAT. SPEAKS. VOLUMES.

I ask to join the Civil Service Commission today because I want to serve our police force who has collectively created the atmosphere of safety for the child-friendly town that Phoenixville is. Parents come here from all over our area because this town is known as a safe place for kids to be. That kind of confidence from parents does not happen on its own. That kind of confidence from parents does not happen without a cohesive, cooperative, WELL-SELECTED police force ensuring that order is maintained.

I ask you to consider me for the Civil Service Commission because the selection of the next round of officers is essential to ensuring that the order we all expect of the Phoenixville Police Department continues to be a hallmark of our town. I ask to be considered for this appointment to be a part of the remarkable protection that the Phoenixville Police Department provides.

The Phoenixville Police Department’s motto is “To Protect and Serve with Pride.” They do protect. They do serve. They should be proud. And I would be proud to serve them as a member of the Civil Service Commission.

I’m resident Nate Craig,

Thank you.

EPA Pushes Radon Message

The EPA calls January Radon Action month.  So today I’m sharing this 2011 video of NFL Player Chester Pitts explaining what Radon is and why to test for it.  Mayoral candidate Nate Craig has been a radon inspector for four years and has helped protect the lungs of thousands of clients and their children.

In Chester County you have a 31% chance of finding radon in your home (based on readings taken in 50,000 homes in the area).  Radon tests are simple and can save your life.

EPA’s Radon Video