As the sun sets on 2021, we asked leaders around the Midvalley and Upvalley about their goals for the coming year. From focusing on increasing community involvement to feeding the hungry, here’s some New Year’s resolutions we all can get behind:
Working, walking together
My goal is to get 100 new people involved in helping their communities. I’m committed to talking with more local groups so we all believe our communities are important, worthy of our time and commitment. Let’s work together. We already have everything we need for our communities to succeed.
I’d like to see more people walking. It allows for more chance meetings with friends and neighbors, more support for local businesses.
Personally, I’m going to start living like my community is walkable by walking to the grocery store. It’s a half-mile away, but I’ll treat it like it’s my exercise two to three times a week. Professionally, I’ll work to improve access to this recreation: better sidewalks, road crossings and lighting. Let’s hear it for the safe, useful, and pleasant walk!
— Gus Fahey, Valley in Motion
Building a better city
My goals for 2022: A thriving, united, safe and joyful community. Building strong partnerships with our local organizations. Being a good neighbor to our surrounding communities and empowering our residents to take an active role in our great city.
— Michele Bannon, Carbondale City clerk
Tech and respect
It’s is definitely going to be an exciting year for the Borough of Throop as we begin implementation of our new SaaS web based iWorQ, permitting, code enforcement and rental registration tool.
This cloud-based software application will allow for smoother and more efficient processing and retention of records. As our borough grows, my goal is to continue to be an advocate for its residents and businesses by assisting in the sometimes-stressful processes that are required to educate and inform each person of the needs for ordinances and code regulations. Consistency and respect are two of the most important factors in zoning and code enforcement and I commit myself to continuing to keep those the highest standards for our residents and businesses.
Additionally, as borough fire chief, I have been able to speak with many residents and business owners over the years and provide them with a better understanding of how the entire staff of Borough of Throop employees are here to serve them with the highest level of service they so deserve. It’s my honor to serve everyone in the borough that I care so much for. Cheers to everyone for a safe, healthy and successful 2022.
— Andy Hegedus, Throop fire chief and zoning/code enforcement officer
Continuing the momentum
My hope for 2022 is to see Olyphant accomplish the continued momentum of work we’ve started, council members working in synd and our downtown continuing to grow and thrive. With the expansion of our industrial park and bringing back jobs to our area, I see this an amazing opportunity to support all of the goals we have set for the borough and we will continue to push through in 2022, to bring back the old days of the Queen City in a new updated way for our community and leaving something for our residents, communities and elders to be once again be proud of.
The nonprofit food pantry we started in the height of the pandemic was meant to be a short term initiative that offered help to families in need during that time. “The Valley Village of Volunteers” food pantry was born. This was an eye-opening experience for me and I imagine all who volunteered each week, it proved the dire need our valley has for the most simple daily staple: food.
As a result of this, we are currently working on opening a more permanent location. As with any project, there are many hoops to jump through and it is a large undertaking of grant research, applications, specific food handling trainings, nonprofit applications, securing the new site and the funds to pay for all of it. This is a moving target, however we are committed to opening the doors to a bigger and better facility in 2022.
— Beth Frushon, Olyphant councilwoman
Fostering community pride
The Archbald Neighborhood Association aims to develop and implement creative community-based projects to encourage economic opportunity, build strong neighborhoods and enhance the well-being of the residents. As we go into 2022, our long-term goals are to create an environment for people that makes it easier to live a healthier and more joyful life.
We want to fill the Main Street with businesses, restaurants, cafes and shops. Let’s make it more likely for people to walk around and be active, socialize and enjoy the beautiful resources of the valley, including the Lackawanna River, the streams, trails and mountains. We want to make Archbald a place where businesses feel welcome and supported, and residents take pride in their homes.
We have been working to sow the seeds of community and smart planning for the past two years since we started ANA. We have held several community days along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail; we have held contests such as the Fall Chalk Contest with the Archbald Police Department and our Christmas Light Contest; we serve on various committees with Archbald Borough so we can realize a better future for Archbald.
Specifically, in 2022 we would like create a strategic plan and vision for Archbald so we can start actualizing those bigger goals. How do we need to design our Main Street so people can walk to where they need to go? How can we encourage an aesthetically pleasing facade on our Main Street buildings that calls people to shop and gather here? How can capitalize on our plentiful resources like a Class A Trout fishery and beautiful Lackawanna River Heritage Trail so more people can enjoy what our area has to offer?
As we work towards a strategic plan and vision in 2022, we also hope to have new events and programs that continue to celebrate and bring our community together. We plan on having a monthly business spotlight and welcoming new businesses to Archbald with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. We are excited to welcome a new bakery and café to Archbald, Queen of Tarts, and we hope to welcome many more businesses in the future.
We hope to create an area where people can have their coffee or a pastry along the river across from Queen of Tarts on Main Street. Please contact us if you are interested in donating so we can purchase benches. Lastly, we plan on having a Wing Fest, featuring all the best wings in Archbald and the valley, in the spring.
— Tamara Misewicz-Healey, Kayleigh Cornell and Sarah Gabriel-Stefursky, Archbald Neighborhood Association
In 2022, I hope Carbondale residents will share their stories to help shape the future of our community. As part of the Heart & Soul project, NeighborWorks is leading a team of volunteers dedicated to improving the Pioneer City. We want to make sure all residents have a say in the future of Carbondale and everyone has the opportunity to get involved.
My personal resolution is to rekindle my love for art. As a former graphic designer, I discovered that creating art helps me relax and express myself. But it’s been a long time since I’ve tapped into my artistic side. I’m not sure what this will look like yet. Maybe I’ll dust off my sketch book or hone a new craft like woodworking. I would love to publicly exhibit my work somewhere before the end of the year!
— Todd Pousley, Neighborhood Revitalization manager, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania
Strengthening a community
I would hope that Jessup will consider building a community center. This project has been discussed for many years. There are many in the community who share this desire to make this project happen. It could be a gathering place for the community. I have had the experience at a center that hosted blood drives, meetings, parties and sports for the youth. It would create a special place for our youth to be more active with their friends.
I have been a part of the Jessup 21st Century Association and we have done a lot of great things for the community in the last 27 years. I hope that this year we can attract our younger generation to join us, to carry on our great ambitions for the future.
And personally, I keep the same resolution each year. Once a month, give a call to a family or friend I haven’t talked to in long time.
— Genie Lupini, Jessup tax collector and Jessup 21st Century Association
For 2022, The American Cancer Society locally will continue to build off of prior success and continue to move into a post-COVID-19 world by upgrading digital capacity, innovating and continue to drive the mission to reduce the cancer burden in the United States. Launching the “NEPA vs Cancer” initiative in 2022 will provide us a large platform for our supporters, cancer survivors/caregivers and their families to tell their personal cancer stories and assist your American Cancer Society in our life-saving work.
As chair of the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Council, we will continue to work to address the needs of our nonprofit community while empowering new collaborative efforts to help make our communities stronger. The Nonprofit Council provides NEPA an opportunity to network, collaborate, and make even strong impacts in our community.
— Jamie Kane, associate director, American Cancer Society PA and NY