The view from Jason Bobst’s third floor office in Borough Hall provides a glimpse of the work he faces every day, managing what is essentially a small city that has a small-town feel.
As Pottstown’s Borough Manager, Bobst oversees not only the typical activities of local government, but three other entities that are more often associated with cities and usually governed by separate entities. These are the Pottstown Area Rapid Transit system, the Pottstown Municipal Airport and the Borough Authority, which provides water and sewer to residents and businesses. That’s a lot of responsibility for any manager, but 28-year-old Bobst takes it all in stride and is already making his own mark on the position.
“One of my biggest goals is to get citizens more active,” he said. And the key to that is communication. By using technology more effectively and holding face-to-face meetings in every ward, Bobst hopes people are encouraged to get involved.
The Borough now sends out a newsletter three times per year, and there is a monthly show on PCTV about various aspects of local government. On the odd-numbered months, the program features Bobst and an elected Councilor. On the even-numbered months, a department head is featured, talking about what exactly their department does.
Another use of technology is the implementation of the Swiftreach Network, or Swift911. Residents and businesses can sign up to receive calls in the event of an emergency or for getting important information. More about this service can be found on the Borough’s home page and, if you’re interested, you can then fill out this form.
These communication efforts are coupled with the recently-instituted ward meetings, which take place in the neighborhoods and give residents a chance to get to know and directly address their elected officials, police, a public works representative and Bobst.
Jason is a 2004 graduate of St. Joseph’s University, where he majored in business administration and political science. He stepped up to Borough Manager a little over a year ago, after starting out as Assistant Borough Manager in September 2007 and serving as interim Codes Manager and interim Finance Director before taking the helm.
In view of the recently proposed amendments to the rental ordinance and the Pottstown Partnership coming to fruition, he said, “There’s a concerted effort now to get things done, being pro-active rather than reactive. We need to keep setting goals and benchmarks and have a plan of attack. I may not always have the answers, but I know where to get the answers.”
Eventually, he’d like to get his master’s degree in public administration.
“It’ll happen, but I’ve been kind of busy since starting this job,” he said with a smile.
What does he listen to on his iPod to relax?
“I like the whole range of classic rock. Chicago, Led Zeppelin, K.C. & the Sunshine Band, Phish. I grew up listening to WOGL.”
That’s 98.1 FM, an oldies radio station that plays a lot of songs that some of us – ahem – listened to when they first came out in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.
And Bobst admitted to being a Parrot Head, a commonly used term for a Jimmy Buffett fan. He hasn’t missed a concert since he was 15! So, we’ll let Jimmy wrap this up, tug on our heartstrings and carry us through the weekend. This is his 1974 hit, “Come Monday.”