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To provide a clean, crime-free, and safe environment with competitive services that allows residents to enjoy a high quality of life, while providing commerce an environment to thrive.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Gary Bertsch Announces for Mayor

“Time’s Up: We Need Lasting Positive Changes”

A New Image for Easton

We sell ourselves short with our image. People coming to the City, and those who live here and pay taxes, see empty buildings, both commercial and residential, that often give indications that the City or people don’t care and are satisfied with being mediocre. That is just not us!

I have seen the negative effect one blighted property can have on a block. Too often poor conditions are not only unsafe, but hamper communication and a feeling of neighborhood among residents. Small improvements matter: Trees can be added and sidewalks, parks and playgrounds – even overcrowded alleyways can be cleaned up for positive effect in a neighborhood.

Revenues, Waste & Taxes

Our taxes are outrageous and only keep rising because of the gap between revenues and spending. The City needs to recruit revenue generators including businesses and new residents. We must build a business friendly environment and use creative incentives for people to attain home ownership. We have $1.6 million of uncollected fees owed to us while we scramble for extra quarters from parking meters to cover shortfalls. If these amounts owed to the people of Easton are not paid the properties must have liens placed upon them or face seizure.

Every member of Council, not just the Mayor, must encourage revenue generators to come to Easton. We can align regionally with other communities to promote the region and attract businesses and economic development.

City of Easton spending is out of line with similar communities. Stopping wasteful spending begins with an end to mismanagement of resources. It includes streamlining and/or merging departments, upgrading information systems so that all departments work together efficiently, and getting better value from our extensive legal representation. Ending waste means finding a solution to the overtime crisis and staffing departments at the most efficient levels. The City cannot afford a lack top to bottom efficiency.


Improved housing stock means encouraging single-family owner occupation and getting vacant properties filled, cleaned up, and back on the tax rolls. A positive initiative is this Spring’s affordable housing tour of Easton and Phillipsburg, a private/public partnership to market homes for sale under $200,000.

We need to be a clean, pedestrian friendly City without prostitution, drugs, noise and other quality of life problems. These are not easy goals, but everyone in the administration, city council, and departments must be committed to it. Housing improves when investments are made.

The police department must work in a coordinated, comprehensive fashion with the residents of each neighborhood, Weed & Seed, and Block Watch to implement Neighborhood Policing. Easton’s image must be one of clean, safe, and a pleasure to live and work in.

Youth & Social Issues

Our biggest asset is our human talent and its potential, but we are being underserved.

Our youth need more attention. They need incentives to pursue more education and acquire skills they need for the work force and to steer clear of the traps of crime and drugs that are killing so many of our young people. We need to inspire and motivate them. As a recruiter that was my job. It still is and probably will always be.

We have seen where collaboration works. Various public, private, and faith-based organizations are working together for the first time in a spirit of partnership. As Mayor, I will encourage our residents, in every neighborhood, to be role models by assuming community leadership positions.

On the other side, our youth who are educated leave for greener pastures of jobs and housing creating a void in the most important area of not only our economy, but our community as well.

Gary D. Bertsch
Butler Street
Easton, Pennsylvania

Age 59

B.S. Political Science & History; Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD

M.S. History (emphasis Latin America); New York University, NY, NY

Presently serve as the Program Manager of the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership (Also Easton’s “Elm Street” Project)

Community Activist; Member of Block Watch and Weed & Seed; Member of NAACP, Arts Community of Easton (ACE), President of Riverside Festival of the Arts, Secretary and Treasurer of the Easton Redevelopment Authority (ERA), Promoter for Boy Scouts of America

Former Captain in the United States Marine Corps

Member of U.S. & Marine Corps Track Team Qualified to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials (Marathon)

Hired by Ross Perot as a Corporate Recruiter (Worked on Wall Street)

Former Secondary School Educator and Administrator (North Hunterdon School District, Annandale, NJ)

Started and Operated a Successful Business for 15 Years Within the Healthcare Industry

Former General Manager & presently a Partner in a 38-acre industrial site (Former Taylor Wharton Foundry, site of the longest continuous operating industrial operation in North America)

Residential Owner/Property Manager in Easton

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