"I come from a blue-collar family that always encouraged public service. We need leaders who make the service of others a priority now more than ever. Especially throughout the last year, I've worked to protect the health and economic well-being of our community. As we emerge from the pandemic, I plan to target our efforts to rebuild in a way that provides opportunity for all, addresses continued racial inequities, and bridges us to the modern economy."
ON THE ISSUES
THE POST-PANDEMIC ECONOMY
During the past year, Sean worked to make Carlisle Borough government flexible and responsive to the needs of residents and local businesses. As a fellow local business owner, he convened a meeting of Carlisle small business leaders and used that to help shape policy on Council. He led the effort to provide grants to local businesses that were hit by the economic repercussions of the pandemic response.
Moving forward, Sean sees an economic recovery that continues to provide the supports to local businesses and residents who were struck hard by the economic freefall. His plan includes allocations of Carlisle's American Rescue Plan Act funds and Community Development Block Grants to aid our businesses and make sure basic needs like housing are met for our residents.
Sean knows we must also use the opportunity to focus economic recovery efforts on the empowerment of the underserved and under-represented residents in our town. We know from Census data that people of color in particular, continue to lag behind in income, housing, education and generation of personal wealth. Economic recovery can provide a catalyst to bridge the gaps.
For instance, Sean proposes use of economic stimulus funds to create a business incubator that provides start-up opportunities for entrepreneurs, especially from our under-represented community. But that's not enough. The plan calls to give opportunities to students of color to be mentored by successful business owners of color and the very entrepreneurs supported by the incubator initiative.
Deputy Mayor Shultz organized, presented and led the first-ever Carlisle Town Hall on Racial Equity in response to the strife seen throughout our country. From the Town Hall came the effort to form the Truth & Reconciliation Commission that will help to heal wounds of racism and to examine and recommend reforms to address local forms of systemic racism within the jurisdiction of Carlisle Borough. Sean will support the efforts of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
He has also worked persistently over the years to reform Borough hiring practices and the Carlisle Police Department's policies, training and resources. Sean successfully worked with a fellow borough councilor to ban the box on criminal history on job applications to government positions because he knows our criminal justice system has disparate impact on people of color. Banning the box allows such people a better opportunity to get an interview and make an impression before later background checks are done. He also drafted the Human Relations Ordinance that provide local protections against discrimination.
Sean proposes and is working to implement a social worker co-responder program for the Carlisle Police Department. Programs like this have been shown to more compassionately address individuals who need mental health and drug and alcohol services. These programs have also been shown to be effective in reducing police violence against people of color.
The economic recovery plan Deputy Mayor Shultz proposes is aimed at alleviating the economic disadvantages people of color face in our society. For instance, his proposal to use stimulus and grant funding to empower people of color in our community to start their own businesses and build personal wealth through better income and housing opportunities will work to close the gap along racial lines. This not only aids underserved residents, but it expands and improves the tax base and economic prosperity, which is a benefit to all of our residents.
SMALL BUSINESSES AND DOWNTOWN
Sean plans to reimagine the way we support our Downtown. But first, he is going to work hard to make sure those local job generators have a steady glidepath to recovery. He played an integral part in the grant investments from the first round of CARES Act funds. Carlisle has been granted another $9.6 million in federal stimulus funds, and Sean is committed to making sure we use that in a way that resuscitates our small businesses to both preserve jobs and stabilize our tax base. The economic development generated from the use of those funds will help avoid heaping greater tax burdens on our residents. Our Historic Downtown is the keystone to our community. It's where we can walk into a restaurant or shop and feel like we're at home. It's a gem worth investing in.
DELIVERING VITAL SERVICES AT HOME
From water and sewer to trash and leaf collection, these everyday essentials are often taken for granted by many of us. Sean loves talking trash. Really. The upheaval in foreign markets caused a less-than-desirable trash collection contract. Sean plans to make sure we're positioned to do better next round. We will explore ways to encourage reduction of our trash output. This is good for our home expenses and our environment. The current pay-as-you-throw bag system is great at encouraging recycling and reduction of waste, but it can be inconvenient. Sean will seek solutions that provide alternative options using bins and will make sure the Borough is in a position to seek the best bids we can get on our next contract.
Sean has supported investment in our water and sewer infrastructure, and he is working now to bring broadband internet and cable options and competition to Carlisle.
All the services a local government needs to provide are costly. Sean has worked to see that those services are delivered cost-effectively. The nature of state tax law means that most of the revenue needed for vital local services comes from property tax, and property tax is measured against a person's ability to pay. So, Sean understands that we have to be particularly mindful of the local tax burden because Carlisle has residents across the the socio-economic spectrum. He will also continue to advocate for economic development efforts that broaden our tax base in the long run.