MOUNT CARMEL - Heather Gusky Artman has announced her candidacy for a seat on Mount Carmel Borough Council.

A registered Democrat, she said she will seek the support of both Democrats and Republicans. Republican voters can vote for her through write-ins.

Artman previously ran for mayor against Kevin Jones in 2009 and for a seat on borough council in 2011.

"As a lifetime resident of Mount Carmel, I know this town is in need of some serious changes. I also realize that I am only one person and can't make changes all by myself," Artman said. "That is why I am willing to ask for the help of my fellow borough council members. I will also ask for the input of townspeople on what changes they would like to see."

Artman said that, as a council member, she will have an open door policy for any problems or ideas borough residents have. "I won't be one of those candidates who stands before you and makes a bunch of empty promises that I know I won't be able to fulfill just to earn a seat on council," Artman said. "I'd rather make a promise that I will do whatever it takes to see changes in this town by voicing my opinion and being there for the people."

Artman said she will stand up for what she believes is right and in the borough's best interest, even if it means she will be standing alone. "A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. Someone doesn't set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of their actions and the integrity of their intent," she said.

Artman said she is concerned about the number of blighted houses and the garbage and junk that is piled on people's porches, sidewalks, yards and in their entry ways. "This is what gives this town the appearance of substandard living conditions," she remarked. "I feel we need to come up with stricter ordinances."

Artman said it is important to find ways to bring more revenue into town. "Establishing more locally owned businesses will build a strong community as a whole. This will result with the locally owned businesses bringing a much larger share of their revenue back into our community," she noted.