Election Day in Pennsylvania is Nov. 5 – and Patch is providing our readers with a look at the candidates running for office locally.
Paul MacDonald is one of four Republican incumbents running for Borough Council in Collegeville, along with Arnold Mann, Rowan Keenan and Rod Rees.
If you are a candidate and would like to submit a questionnaire, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Paul MacDonald
Running for:Collegeville Borough Council
Party Affiliation: Republican
Positions Previously Held:
Currently a council member for Collegeville, PA. Have served on several boards outside of local government.
Why are you running for office?
Four years ago my only purpose for running for Borough Council was to fulfill my obligation to serve the community in which I lived. That same reason is why I am seeking re-election to the Collegeville Borough Council. It has been a successful four years for the council and I would like to continue contributing to the momentum of the success of the council that I believe has and is benefitting the community.
Four years ago we saw the beginnings of the downtown beautification program – a program financed through a grant that the borough had applied for. That project, which included new sidewalks, paver enhanced crosswalk, trees, street lights, etc., was completed within budget. In addition to these improvements, local businesses had the opportunity to receive financial incentives through the same grant to update their storefronts.
On the subject of finance and budgets, it is my expectation that very shortly the council will pass a new fiscal budget without an increase in taxes to the residents of Collegeville Borough. This will be the fourth consecutive year that we have been able to do accomplish this. While it is true that district public school taxes have not been able to accomplish that, we have. The borough has been able through intentional planning, in most cases planning five years or more out in advance, been able to manage expenses – and this is key, without cutting services to the residents of Collegeville Borough. We have been able to do this by investing much time in negotiation new snow removal contracts, trash hauling contracts, road resurfacing contracts to name a few.
Most of the United States has suffered due to current economic times. That was true with Collegeville as well. That being said Collegeville is clearly on the rebound and the future looks just as promising as what we have enjoyed seeing in the past several years. We have at least 17 new businesses in the borough that replaced businesses that closed. Home values are on the rise and are in many cases at or above the values back before the housing crunch. A regional newspaper published an article that Collegeville is the place to live and that the desire to relocate to Collegeville is hampered by the demand of homes available on the market.
In a nutshell, those of us currently serving on borough council manage the affairs of the borough no differently then we do our own household expenses. We do not spend what we do not have nor do we intend on spending at the expense of the residents of Collegeville. Simply stated, a concept often foreign of government at all levels – we manage. And I would like to continue serving on our proactive council to take Collegeville at greater heights then we already enjoy.
What are the biggest issues facing your community?
The biggest issues we face are the issues that we have been successfully managing over the past four years. Three to four years ago if one drove around Collegeville they would have seen a lot of empty store fronts. That has drastically improved. Yes there are still some available commercial properties but we also have several new businesses planning to join our community.
Several years ago, along with the downtown beautification program, a survey was conducted to learn what the residents of Collegeville like to see in the way of new businesses. One of the items as an example was more dining establishments. Since the time of that survey I can think off-hand at least three new dining establishments that are new to the borough. Attracting new businesses will continue to be on the forefront of our minds.
Another challenge that we need to be prepared to react accordingly is the overall job market. So far Collegeville has been spared the negative economic effects this has created throughout the nation. We need to continue look for ways to lower the expenditures of the borough. We can’t get caught off-guard.
If elected, what do you hope to accomplish?
I have pretty much answered this question in the previous questions but in short, I want to serve another four years not only to maintain the momentum that we have been experiencing, but to raise the bar and identify new ways that we can fund even greater services to the residents of Collegeville. Although we already have some of the lowest water and sewer rates in the region, we are working hard to ensure that this continues.
We are also taking a hard look at other ways to improve the appearance of our borough and are working very closely and not getting in the way of those home developments that have the same mindset. The overall tenure of the council is to assist and support and not to be a roadblock. We have a great community and we are committed to keeping it that way. Maintaining the status quo is not how we think. These are not just promises. We are already doing it. We have a proven track record.
Interesting fact about you:My wife and I serve as Co-Vice President of Bands for the Perkiomen Valley School District Music Boosters. The High School Marching Vikings won the State Championships, held at Kutztown.