This past Monday night Montgomery County Commissioners and the higher-ups in several County agencies were on hand at Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown to talk about what they’ve done since taking office and to answer questions and hear residents’ concerns.
Evan Brandt’s article in yesterday’s Mercury provides a nice summary. Public employee pensions, the state of Route 422, the potential for gerrymandering, the ongoing challenges of revitalization, the concentration of social services and the people they serve, and the effects of the concentration of housing vouchers in Pottstown were all up for discussion. The Commissioners were well-prepared and promised to provide follow-up information to numerous citizens.
One of the brightest moments of the meeting came when Shanae Roberts, the President of the West Campus student body announced the figures for the amount of community service provided by the College over the past four years. It was encouraging to see a young person at the meeting, participating in the give-and-take of democracy! Ms. Roberts reported the following:
Between 2008-2012, MCCC has reached out to the community with 3,695 volunteers putting in more than 33,700 hours with 117 partnering opportunities. This amounted to over $100,529 in monetary donations. In 2012 the College had the highest number of volunteers to date with over 918 volunteers contributing 15,500 hours of service to 28 partner organizations, including the Norristown Police Athletic League, Olivet Boys and Girls Club, Miller Keystone & American Red Cross Blood Drives, and Project Linues. An estimated $38,300 in monetary donations was raised.
Not only is the West Campus proving to be an important revitalization partner as it rehabilitates and re-uses historic buildings in town, but there is also a strong culture of developing and sustaining connections in the community. Thanks to MCCC for hosting this meeting, which had a very strong turnout, perhaps an indication of a new core constituency that believes in a better Pottstown and is impatient for change.