Kutztown residents James Schlegel is running uncontested for Kutztown mayor and Arabel Elliott uncontested for Kutztown Borough Council in the 2017 primaries on May 16. Incumbents Derek Mace and Kevin Snyder are running uncontested for re-election for Borough Council.
Schlegel, 67, is a Democrat running for the four-year term as Mayor of Kutztown, replacing Mayor Sandy Green, who is not running for re-election after 12 years of serving.
For the past 10 years, Schlegel has served on Borough Council, chairing the Water and Wastewater committee and was a member of the following committees: Public Works, Information and Technology, Community Development and Public Safety. He has served as the Chairman of the Kutztown Transportation Authority since its inception in the year 2000.
“Kutztown is an amazing community, with a wonderful history,” said Schlegel. “We’re diverse, hardworking, and share a willingness to volunteer. Moving forward I would like to use my experience to improve the communications between the Borough and its residents as well as our neighbors outside of the Borough. I would like to work with the Kutztown Community Partnership and the Chamber of Commerce towards getting more light to medium industries set up in our town so we that can improve the tax base and provide more job opportunities.”
A lifelong resident of Kutztown and a 1968 Kutztown High School alumnus, Schlegel was a Specialist 5th Class in the United States Army, completing tours in Germany and Vietnam. He graduated from the United States Army Transportation School in Fort Eustis, Virginia, after which he drove truck while stationed in Germany for the 591st Transportation Company and was a transportation movements and control specialist in the 4th Transportation Command in Vietnam. He later received a diploma from the International Correspondence School in Traffic Management and a diploma from the Allentown Business School for General Business.
Retired from Atlas Minerals and Chemicals after 45 years as the shipper, Schlegel currently works part time for the Kutztown Bottling Works. He and his wife of 44 years, Merry, raised their two sons Daniel and Andrew in Kutztown.
A resident of Kutztown for more than 15 years, Elliott is a Democrat running uncontested for the four-year term Kutztown Borough Council precinct 1, a seat currently filled by Peg Devlin, who is not running for re-election in the 2017 primaries.
“I was prompted to run for Borough Council quite simply because I was asked. I was approached by Peg Devlin who is stepping down and whose position I am running for,” said Elliott. “Peg is an intelligent, positive and productive person making a difference in our community and I look forward to doing the same if given the chance.”
If elected, Elliott hopes “to learn from the current Board members, follow the high standards and goals for facilitating the operation of Kutztown that they set, and offer my own experience and expertise to continue and improve upon those.”
Working in social services for more than 25 years, she is a social worker, family counselor, Kutztown Area School District parent and Kutztown Community Partnership volunteer.
“I hope to offer my experience and expertise to represent interests and perspectives of all Kutztown residents for the past, present and future,” said Elliott. “Kutztown has been, and continues to be, an amazing place for my husband and I to start our lives, raise our children, and become part of a community. I was raised to believe that it is not a responsibility but a privilege to be able to give back to that, and pay it forward. I hope to be given that privilege if elected as a member of Borough Council.”
Snyder, a Republican, currently serves as Borough Council President.
“I was born and raised in Kutztown and have owned and operated a business in Kutztown for the past 45 years,” said Snyder, who owns Adam & Eve on Main Street. “I live here and I work here. I love Kutztown. Serving on Council for the past 10 years, making decisions that will improve and protect the way of life of our residents and businesses, is my way of giving back to my community.
Snyder said that Kutztown is surrounded by Maxatauny Township and in the next 5 to 10 years, there will be tremendous growth.
“Whether the growth comes from industrial, residential or growth from Kutztown University, we need to be prepared to manage the impact that growth will have on our community,” said Snyder.
Mace, a Democrat, has served two terms on Council and seeks re-election.
“I think participation in government is important,” said Mace.
He hopes to keep the borough self-sufficient and increase connections to the university.
Mace is a 45-year-old father of three KASD students, married to Karise. He enjoys deer hunting and gardening.