Name: Gerard J. O’Malley
Occupation: I am employed in the pharmaceutical industry. During my career, I have utilized my educational background researching, inventing, developing and commercializing pharmaceutical solutions to meet health care needs of patients and caregivers.
Length of time living in the borough: I am a 22-year resident of the borough and live on Washington Avenue with my wife Bridget and three daughters Jayne, Holly and Kelly.
What organizations and activities are you involved with locally?
I serve as the co-chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, member of Police Pension and Long-term Parking Committees and am a founding member of the Newtown Borough Traffic Committee and the Joint Newtown Borough and Township Traffic Committee. Prior to being elected to council, I was a member of the Newtown Borough Planning Commission.
Borough shop owners have been vocal in their concerns that business isn’t good right now. What do you think Borough Council should and can do to help increase activity for downtown shop owners?
Two overarching concepts are to increase communication and move faster. One communication idea is to transform the existing long-term parking committee into a Borough Business Committee. This committee would not only make recommendations on improving parking but also address other issues that are facing the business community. Secondly, we need to change the mindset on council and move faster to try innovative or experimental ideas such as valet parking or an optimized sign ordinance. The business world moves fast and we should address issues and implement ideas in the most expedient manner. I believe that we did move quickly and flexibly on working with the business community on the recent valet parking proposal.
Do you support Allan Smith’s proposal for the future of the former Stockburger site on South State Street? If not, why and what would you like to see done?
Whatever gets developed on that site should have the look and feel of Newtown and ultimately be a valuable addition to the town. I like the concept of mixed use with office, retail and residential. I was concerned with the intensity of the early sketches and the potential traffic, parking and other impacts on the borough. We need to strike the right balance in the utilization of the space.
What other issues would you like to see come to the forefront if you are elected to council?
One of the projects that the Traffic Committee is currently working on is a plan for increased pedestrian and bicycle circulation along with traffic calming. I helped the borough secure a grant to carry out this project. We should have recommendations for actions that the borough will need to prioritize and implement. I am ready to continue my leadership on traffic, pedestrian and biycle safety and parking improvements now and after I am reelected.
Why should residents vote for you?
I am running for reelection because I want to continue to serve the people of Newtown. I have a proven record of accomplishment and I’m ready to shape the future of Newtown. My goal is to keep our unique sense of place and history as we move forward. I enjoy working with the community to find the best answers in areas such as pedestrian safety, traffic, parking and future development. We need to be pragmatic and develop with Newtown in mind. I will continue to carefully control how we spend taxpayers’ dollars and continue to be transparent in decision making. I will lead as an individual member of council and will work together with the other five members of council to find the best solutions for Newtown.