Teenage mayor begins first week on the job in Tamaqua
WOLF-TV (Tamaqua, Schuylkill County)--It's his first full week on the job.
Nineteen-year-old Tamaqua native Nathan Gerace was sworn in last week as the youngest mayor in the borough's history.
After beating out two other candidates in the primary, Gerace ran unopposed on the Republican ticket in November, and has spent the last few months preparing for his new role.
"I sat down with the previous mayor Chris Morrison and we had many great meetings...he passed down a lot of great information," said Gerace.
"He helped me understand the ordinances, or really just stuff as simple as the budget."
Gerace, a 2016 graduate of Tamaqua High School, has two jobs and is also starting classes at Luzerne County Community College in a few weeks.
So what made this busy teenager want to get involved in local government?
"It kind of started with me reflecting... I saw that politics was right for me..so I thought about it and figured out what the job details were, and I felt like it was something I really wanted to do and felt I could excel at."
One of Gerace's biggest hopes as mayor is to strengthen the police department's relationship with the public, and he plans on organizing ride-alongs with officers to learn all he can about the borough.
"It's something I intend to keep doing, to really get familiar with what their day-to-day looks like," said Gerace.
"I want to understand what happens when they go out in the community, what kind of challenges they face, and what we can work to improve."
"I hope for the best, I think it will be nothing but good for us because he is young, and maybe it offers a new outlook on things," said Sean Quinlan, who owns Straight Eight Tattoos on Broad Street in Tamaqua.
"Hopefully he can make some changes in the town....changes for the better," added Tamaqua resident Donna Laughlin.
"Maybe get more businesses in, get the town cleaned up a little bit."
The mayor stressed the positivity he has for the future...
"I may just be a citizen, but I'm a citizen that loves this town, and I want to do my best to help grow this town and help make it a better place to live for everybody."