GIRARDVILLE, Pa. -- One Schuylkill County community that's fallen on hard times will have a new leader who's looking to bring "youthful" energy to office.
With his maturity and class, you'd never guess that Michael Zangari is only 23 years old. But those characteristics are a big reason why at the turn of the new year, he'll become the youngest mayor in Girardville's history.
"I was raised on hard work and dedication. I think that's what this town needs. It needs someone who's going to believe in it, push for it and fight for it and put its best foot forward to bring back what we had. To make this a nice place for people to live,” Girardville mayor-elect Zangari said.
Zangari is the son of Frank Zangari, the president of the Schuylkill County Fire Chiefs Association. He ran unopposed in this week's election. He's lived in Girardville his entire life and admits, his work is cut out for him. But he hopes to restore some glory to his hometown of a little more than a thousand people.
"Our borough has been going backward now for the past 20 years. The borough is ready to turn it around and get back on our feet and take our town back,” Zangari said.
Zangari sees three challenges he'll have to face. Negativity among borough residents, fighting blight, and also addressing the opioid crisis.
"When you have a safe environment, people want to come here, they want to stay here. Good people want to move in and take care of their homes because they care. That's our biggest problem right now. We're fighting a town that has ran loose, so we have to reel it back in, get police on the street, and cut back on crime,” Zangari said.