Three-term Johnstown City Councilwoman Marie Mock is seeking reelection to continue playing a role in what she considers to be an ongoing successful and cooperative period for the municipality’s government.
In the past few years, the city, working with the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, has increased blight removal, reducing the number of neglected structures from more than 1,000 to about 700. The city also recently sold its sewer collection system, bringing in $24 million to be used to fund the pension program and invest in capital projects.
Contentious council meetings, which once were common, no longer occur.
“The climate on City Council in the past couple years has been nothing short of amazing,” Mock, a Democrat, said in a press release statement. “We all should be proud of our financial situation. All council and Mayor (Frank) Janakovic actively participate in a professional manner with staff, other groups, agencies and government legislators toward what’s best for the city.”
Challenges obviously remain, as the city is often ranked among the poorest in the nation and the population continues to plunge unabated, expected to officially drop below 20,000 when numbers from the 2020 Census are released.
But Mock feels “there are so many exciting things in the pipeline.”
“Major improvements to the recreation areas of the city are in the works and will be followed through this year, hopefully,” she said. “Blight removal, code issues and rental inspections are going to be greatly accelerated and implemented this year, too, because of this council’s actions.”
The seat currently held by Mock is one of four positions on council, along with the mayorship, being contested this year.
Her background includes being in banking for four decades, including currently being an assistant vice president with Ameriserv Trust & Financial Services.
She is also a leader in the West End Improvement Group, an organization she described as being “fully dedicated to the beautification and improvements in the West End.”
“We have a community garden that we feel is a blessing for the residents,” Mock said. “We’re a small group, but it’s evident that we pack a punch. I also make my way to other areas and neighborhoods in the city. I participate in just about every community meeting and event as possible.”