Three candidates will compete for two two-year terms on the Shoemakersville borough council.
Dana Randazzo, Michael Grim and Amy Botwright compete for the two places. Randazzo and Botwright are titular.
We asked candidates to answer two questions:
Question 1: Why do you think you are the right person for this job?
Question 2: What are the most important issues facing the borough at the moment, and how do you plan to tackle them?
Dana Randazzo, 49
Background: Randazzo has lived in the borough for 18 years, grew up in the south-east of Reading and graduated from Reading High School. She has worked in the banking industry for the past 26 years and as a risk analyst for a large local bank for the past 18 years. She also started a career in real estate about five years ago and is now a real estate agent with Daryl Tillman Realty Group in Wyomissing. She has been a member of the borough council since January 2020.
Answer 1: I believe I am the right fit for this role because I bring a willingness to work with the community to help keep this small town while helping the residents of Shoemakersville and our small businesses stay strong and thrive.
I am able to bring my insights and experience as a real estate agent and parent to help keep Shoey strong. I have a past experience of helping and volunteering with local residences, local charities and even volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.
Answer 2: There have been a lot of changes in our community and many residents are talking about the future of our small borough. We need to keep our little town warm by continuing our park programs and community parades, but also start adding new traditions and programs that involve all residents. By offering support programs to help our elderly residents and by hosting Good Samaritan cleansing events, this will help support this initiative.
Amy Botwright, 46
Party: Shoey Gnome Aficianatos
Background: Bachelor of Science in Accounting; MBA; Certified pool operator; 20+ years of experience in non-profit administration; Over 10 years on Shoemakersville Borough Council, currently as representative of the County Tax Commission for SD Hamburg Municipalities; borough representative for the North Berks Planning Commission; Borough Representative for the Berks North Extension of the Schuylkill River Trail.
Answer 1: My professional experience in non-profit administration translates directly to the board. Balancing a budget with limited funds and aging infrastructure can be a huge challenge, but the focus on planning and preventative maintenance has helped the borough make long-awaited improvements without major rate increases. Research and grant applications are key to securing more funding to cover at least some of these improvements. Leveraging technology to improve communication while recognizing the benefits of manual systems is also a applicable and necessary skill in our community. We have a diverse population that obtains information from different mediums and we need to be aware that not everyone is on social media.
Answer 2: The biggest problem in our community is aging infrastructure. We have a sewage plant, a water plant, several wells and many streets that need improvement and repair. Our park has major drainage issues that cause storm water runoff issues. Add to that new mandates for source water protection, the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) and increased testing at factories and tax planning becomes even more imperative. It will be necessary to continue to be diligent and focus on forecasting to avoid having to increase tariffs. Tracking preventive maintenance is no longer optional, it is mandatory.
Michael Grim, 44
Background: I was born at St. Joe’s Hospital in Reading and spent my formative years in Shoemakersville – the hometown of my mother, who graduated from HAHS in 1971 – and graduated from HAHS in 1994.
I graduated as an associate in specialty technology, majoring in graphic design from the Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts in York in 1996, and have spent over 20 years working as both a graphic designer and a web designer. . During this time, I have regularly interacted with corporate CEOs, marketing directors and business owners to facilitate company-wide corporate branding strategies for print materials and online portals. online, including e-commerce websites, informational websites, web marketing platforms, and advertising landing pages. I have also managed teams of other designers and worked in unison with external vendors to meet the needs of various projects. So I know the type of communication often required in different situations.
I’ve also been running my own photography and design business since 2010, so I’m well aware of the type of work that needs to be done to run something like this, as well as the financial aspects of that, as well as the tax-related aspect of things. .
Answer 1: As a longtime resident of Shoey, whose mother also grew up here, I saw how wonderful and beautiful our little town can be. Growing up as I have been, I have great respect for our city and I just want to see this community continue to thrive. Having said that, I have spent the past two years looking at way too many arguments online about issues going on in town and / or with our city council that have gone unresolved, and far too many complaints that go unresolved. no one answers to solve these problems. problems. So, after attending several municipal assemblies in order to be better informed about the internal workings of our municipal council, I feel that I can help our city to make positive changes, which can also help bring our community and our municipal council closer together. together. The main tenants of my campaign and my desire to be on city council come down to this: honesty, integrity and transparency. I promise to always be honest with residents, to hold myself, the board and our community, at a level of integrity that we can all be proud of, and I will always, always be transparent with residents about my actions. relationships with our city council, and how we work to help our community grow in the future.
Answer 2: I think there are a number of issues to be resolved. The first is safety and security. Shoey has always been a safe little town, but lately there have been incidents that have worried far too many residents I have spoken with. If I am elected, I will do my best to resolve this issue as best we can. One of the ways to do this is through our Neighborhood Watch program, which I have been a part of for almost a year now. I will be working with Mayor Remp to expand this program he started and make it a valuable tool for our community. The next problem I see is community and charity. From better publicizing local events to the community, to incorporating feedback and feedback from residents on the type of events we are running, and even adding more community-style events to help. those of our neighbors who may find themselves in difficult times, if I am elected, my objective will be to help make our city an even more united community through community-type and charitable events. The next element that I consider important is growth and expansion. If elected, I plan to look at what actions the city can take to encourage more people to open small businesses locally. If we could add more local small businesses to our town like 30 and 40 years ago, I think Shoey can thrive for another 250 years. Finally, I believe that the last element of importance is that of owners and tenants. One element that I would like to implement, if elected, is to work on the creation of an official (or even unofficial) “welcome party” type group to welcome new residents – tenants and landlords in town. If we could have a group of dedicated residents, with tools like a sort of ‘welcome kit’ – with a few prescriptions highlighted, a 3 month calendar of upcoming city events, a list of local businesses and services. that they provide, etc. – I think it would do wonders not only to make new residents to the city feel welcome, but also help boost the business of our local suppliers, and have the added benefit of making these new residents aware of the way we usually look after our properties (for the good of our community).