SHAMOKIN - Bill Milbrand has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Shamokin. He is a member of city council, serving as director of parks and public buildings.

"I feel that if I am elected as mayor, I can be much more effective in the fiscal affairs and the overall operation of the city government," he said.

"The main reason for my seeking the office is my deep sense of pride in the community that I have called home for the past 53 years," Milbrand remarked. The owner and operator of Catawese Coach Lines, Milbrand said he is proud to to carry the words "SHAMOKIN, PA" on the sides of his buses.

"I would love to see our downtown revitalized and turned back into the shopping district that I knew as a young boy," Milbrand said. "I believe that with cooperation between the business owners and the city government, this can be accomplished. We, as city officials, must support the business owners, listen to what they have to say and provide them with the resources they need to operate here in the city. With the price of fuel today, wouldn't it be nice to be able to go downtown and shop instead of driving 25 miles to the mall and back?"

Milbrand said another priority is the renovation or demolition of blighted properties. Demolition would allow for new homes to be built in the place of the blighted properties, he noted. "This has been done in other communities, and there's no reason it can't be done here," Milbrand said. "But we, as city officials, can't accomplish this alone. We need help from you, the citizens of Shamokin. It has always been said there is power in numbers, and just think what we may be able to accomplish if we just all stick together."

Milbrand stressed the importance of community involvement. "Let's forget the negativity and let's all try to be part of the solution and not part of the problem," he suggested.

"I could go on and on about what I've done for the community in the past 30 or so years, but for those of you who know me, know that I have and will continue to work hard for the City of Shamokin and, God willing, we will come out of this distressed state that we are now in," Milbrand said. "I won't make false promises that I know I can't keep, and not every decision will make everyone happy, but I will assure you that every decision will have the best interest of the city and its citizens as its bottom line. I urge you as a voter to come out to vote and please consider me as your candidate for mayor.

Milbrand concluded, "Some folks ask me, 'Why would you want to run for mayor?' It's very simple, I love this city. I also believe that being a good leader means doing what's right even when no one is watching."