A new mayor will take over Nazareth Borough's hot seat come January 2014.
Jack Herbst, a Democrat who has been a Nazareth Borough Council fixture for 12 years, is the only mayoral candidate running in the May 21 primary.
However, anyone who gets 10 or more write-in votes in the Republican primary could face Herbst in the November general election.
And that might happen.
Carl Strye Jr., a Republican and longtime president of Vigilance Hose Co. No. 1, is running against Herbst and Charles Donello, both incumbent Democrats, for two four-year seats in the borough's Ward 3.
Strye previously said "a lot" of residents have told him they plan to write in his name for mayor.
Below is a Q&A with Jack Herbst:
Age: 53 (in May)
Education: Penn State University, photography major
Profession/Work Experience: 29 years at Met-Ed, Advanced Distribution Specialist
- 12 years as 3rd Ward Councilman
* Chairman, Police Committee
* Currently serves on Law, Technology and Economic Development committees
* Former chairman, Law Committee
* Former member of Fire and Public Works committees
* Liaison, Planning Commission
* Former liaison, Recreation Board
- Found funding and designed the Nazareth Boro-Park skate park and dog park at no cost to taxpayers.
- Member of the former Main Street Manager Program.
- Implemented "Movies in the Park," a summer series that offers free movies on Sunday evenings.
- Coached soccer for six years and served on the Nazareth Soccer Club board
- Coached youth baseball for eight years
- Coached youth basketball for six years
Why are you running for Mayor of Nazareth Borough?
I'm running for Mayor to help lead the revitalization of the downtown and help guide Council in bringing the Borough back to the town I grew up in with a bristling downtown. I want to help provide the best police and fire services to the community in the most economic way possible.
What qualifies you to serve as Mayor?
I'm a lifelong resident and have years of experience to guide the borough into the 21st Century. I can provide the leadership the community deserves.
What do you see as the Mayor’s roles and responsibilities?
Oversee police services and guide Council in making responsible and cost-effective decisions.
Where do you think the borough can reduce spending and/or save money? (Please be as specific as possible)
Inter-municipal cooperation and sharing of resources to help reduce costs of vital services and improvement projects.
What are your ideas for promoting economic development in the borough? (Please be as specific as possible)
Council needs to be responsive to the downtown's needs. For example, I worked on easing zoning parking restrictions and renting out borough-owned lots to promote development.
Work with more businesses with after-hour parking lots to allow for additional event parking.
Work with the Chamber of Commerce and real estate companies to promote service type development, restaurants and specialty shops.
What are your hopes for Nazareth’s police department?
My hopes are to have a certified police department providing 24/7 coverage, whether that happens though a merger or by developing our own department—while keeping costs and taxes associated with policing in mind, but not driving the reason for any decision.
Either way, the decision needs to be based on what is best for the community. Hard decisions need to to be made to accomplish this. I feel that I can provide the leadership to get the police services where they need to be.
What one thing would you most like to accomplish if elected as Mayor?
I would like to see Nazareth Borough as the borough I knew growing up:
- Police chatting with residents and mentoring kids, not driving around town behind tinted windows;
- The bristling downtown I experienced after a workout at the YMCA;
- And a good restaurant to eat at with old friends.
They say the days of Mayberry are gone but there is no reason that Mayberry and the 21st Century can't coexist. The borough has a rich heritage and economic development can build on its history.
Our park system is second to none in the valley. I'd like to see development of a first-class amphitheater for shows (music, theater, church services etc.).
Anything else you would like voters to know?
I'm just a blue-collar worker from a blue-collar family trying raise a family and do what's best for the community. A close friend gave me the best advice: "Do the best for the most and stay true to yourself."