MOUNT CARMEL - Jason R. Bower has announced his candidacy for the office of mayor for the Borough of Mount Carmel.

He is a son of Susan and Lawrence M. Joyce, of Mount Carmel, and Fred and Elaine Bower, of Shamokin, and is a grandson of Phyllis Erdman, of Mount Carmel.

Bower, 35, is a 1997 graduate of Mount Carmel Area Junior-Senior High School, and a 2000 graduate of Mansfield University.

He says one of the reasons he has decided to run for mayor is because he feels Mount Carmel "just isn't the same." He remembers growing up here and wants to return the borough to its past state in some regards. Bower, who has a 3-year-old son named Brady, stated, "I want my son to grow up in a town where people are proud of their community. Mount Carmel is a great town, but I believe it can be even greater."

Bower is the founder of Project MCA Cleanup, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to help beautify and assist in cleanup projects and anything which helps Mount Carmel with the help of other community volunteers. The group was responsible for a leaf cleanup last fall and the discarded Christmas tree disposal.

If elected, Bower said he will continue to work with other community volunteers in various projects in Mount Carmel and will donate his mayoral salary to this nonprofit organization. "My main goal is asking for the support of my community for a better, more beautiful, and prosperous Mount Carmel for my son and the members of the community. I will work diligently and tirelessly to try and achieve that by whatever power my position would allow me."

If elected, Bower would like to incorporate a regular town hall meeting with himself and possibly members of council, the police department and/or fire departments, and any other entity involved in day-to-day activities of Mount Carmel. He believes this will help improve community pride by getting the public more involved and allowing voices to be heard in a more informal setting.

Bower said, "During this campaign, I've talked to many people who have ideas and concerns regarding things they'd like to see done or changed. I'd like to bring those voices to the forefront because, in my opinion, they are the voices and opinions of the most important part of a community, being the people who live here."

Bower's stepgrandfather, Lawrence R. Joyce, was a longtime mayor of Mount Carmel, serving his community for more than 32 years, non-consecutively. Bower stated "During my adolescence, I was constantly around local politics with my stepgrandfather being the mayor and my stepfather being the chief of police."

He wants to help increase community pride and involvement in the restoration of the borough. "I know people care about this town and want it to be great again. I believe I'm the person who can help make that happen."

Bower is a member of the Mount Carmel Rotary, the Community Watch Program, Fraternal Order of Eagles, West End Athletic Club, Clover Hose Fire Company and the VFW.