At the January 3, 2022, Lansdowne Reorganization Meeting, new council members Kellie Bowker, Robert Curry, Carol Martsolf and Jayne Young were sworn in as well as Magda Byrne as Mayor and Bill Smith as Tax Collector. Lansdowne Borough is excited to welcome Kellie Bowker, Robert Curry, Carol Martsolf and Jayne Young to Council. We also welcome Magda as Mayor and Bill Smith as Tax Collector. Each of Lansdowne Borough’s newly elected officials are excited to contribute to the Borough in a new way.
MAGDA BYRNE, MAYOR
Magda Byrne is no stranger to Lansdowne government. She has served 2 terms as an elected member of Borough Council, serving as Vice President of Council for the past two years. She was the committee chair for Community Relations, a committee member for the Lansdowne Farmers Market and in 2017 Magda was the recipient of the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation Volunteer of the year award. She hopes to use her vast array of knowledge from council to help advocate for the work that council is doing and the residents.
“Part of the Mayor’s job is to help build bridges and advocate for the work that council is doing as well as the wants and wishes of the residents. I am fortunate because I have great relationships with folks in town and so I think that gives me an edge for advocating for the work council does as well as the ability to have an ear to the ground within the community."
Magda has two main goals for her term as Mayor. The first goal is education. She would like to shine a light on the processes that the Lansdowne Borough government has to go through to do things. Secondly, Magda wants to improve accessibility. Her first step in this is to have office hours. She hopes that residents will feel comfortable coming to her with any issues or concerns.
“I want residents to know to please come to me and talk to me. If it is something that we can change and fix, I want the residents to know that I am here for them.”
Although Magda will be busy as Lansdowne’s new Mayor she also hopes that she can continue to volunteer in all of her previous positions. She wants to maintain the connections that she already has with the Borough and its residents and feels that this is very important.
We welcome Magda in her new role as Lansdowne Borough’s new Mayor!
Kellie Bowker fell in love with Lansdowne when she moved here 26 years ago. Driving through the Borough, she felt like there was a real sense of community and everyone took pride in where they lived. She and her partner raised their two daughters here, and now her love for Lansdowne has drawn her to serve on Borough Council.
Kellie feels that the Lansdowne Borough community is very important to her. She had done volunteer work prior on the parks and recreation board for 3-4 years. In addition to this she has volunteered at several community events including but not limited to the arts festival, park cleanups and many more. Kellie is also the representative for the 11th precinct on the Lansdowne Democratic Committee. Kellie currently is a PreK teacher at Friends Select School in Philadelphia.
Kellie has several goals for her time on Council. One of them is environmental concerns. She would love to see municipal composting in the Borough’s future. Kellie is also very invested in the fact that Lansdowne is an arts based town. She would like to further the town identity as based in the arts. In addition, she is the chair of the Community Relations Committee and wants to help with volunteer access.
“There are so many people that want to be active in the community. Everyone wants community and a way to feel connected. I would like to help get people connected with the part of Lansdowne that most speaks to them.”
Kellie is appreciative of the diverse and inclusive community of Lansdowne. She feels that Council should be representative of the people of the town and this is part of the reason why she ran for Council.
“My overall message is that Lansdowne is such a great place for so many different kinds of families. I feel very lucky that we are in a community where we all support each other. We are all pulling together for the same thing and we are made better because we have one another.”
Robert Curry has been living in Lansdowne for the past 15 years with his wife and 2 children. Currently an Assistant Principal at Pennwood High School he has been a part of the William Penn School district for the past 4 years. Robert was inspired to join council due to his drive to help others.
Robert feels that as a Black male representative on council, he would like to be involved in conversations that involve a wider and more diverse community, especially the African American community. Robert is the liaison for the diversity, equity and inclusion committee and he plans on making sure that all voices are heard.
“To be a part of those conversations is important. I feel like I can add something to the conversations whether it’s policy or procedure. I want to make sure all voices are represented.”
Robert also wants residents to feel comfortable when they go to Borough Hall. Whether they are going to conduct business or apply for a job, he wants to make sure that all residents feel welcome.
“I have an open door policy. If people have questions or concerns, I will always listen.”
Carol has been a Lansdowne resident for 27 years now. First attracted to the town by its multimodal transportation and walkability, she has come to love Lansdowne and wants to give back to the community by being on Borough Council. She is proud that she raised her adult daughter in this town, since birth. It provided a great community for growing up.
Carol is currently Chief Learning Officer at Urban Engineers, an engineering firm located in Old City, Philadelphia. She is a licensed professional civil engineer and she has 29 years of experience in engineering and education. She would like to use this background in engineering to continue to assist the town in its multimodal and Complete Streets efforts
“I want to make sure that we are responding to the residents’ desires for sustainability. That is one of the main reasons for my being on Council. I want to keep moving Lansdowne forward in being a clean, green and multimodal town. A multimodal town enhances equity, too.”
Carol also uses her background in engineering and as a former member of the Park and Recreation Board, to develop the Gateway Slope Notes. In these notes, Carol shares educational updates and some basic insights so Lansdowne residents can be updated on the project. Carol has an expertise in explaining highly technical topics in a way that is accessible for everyone to understand. You can view the Gateway Slope Notes here.
Carol’s number one priority is the sustainability of Lansdowne and she hopes that residents will feel comfortable coming to talk to her as a new Borough Council Member.
“I would like residents to know that if they have any questions or interests or concerns about anything regarding sustainability, clean energy, or keeping the environment healthy that they can reach out to me."
Jayne Young has been a part of the Lansdowne community for 38 years. She is no stranger to Lansdowne Borough and served as the borough Mayor for 12 years. Inspired to run by the caliber of the other candidates running for Council, Jayne hopes to bring her institutional memory and expertise from previous positions to her new role.
Jayne is currently retired but worked for an environmental organization for 10 years. After her years as Mayor she continued to serve the borough holding volunteer positions on the Zoning Hearing Board, for the Union AA and as a member of the Youth Aid Panel.
Jayne is the chair of infrastructure for the Borough. She believes that residents care about service; getting their trash picked up and their roads maintained. She spent years being accessible to residents and will continue to be in this new position. "I'm pleased to be the chair of the infrastructure committee. This committee deals with many borough resident services. I am eager to hear from residents who have questions and concerns".
“I would like residents to know that I take this new role seriously and plan to continue with the same commitment and integrity that I had in the past. I am so pleased to be back serving my community and the residents of this borough.”
Lansdowne Borough welcomes our new council members and Magda as our Mayor. Their dedication to Lansdowne Borough and their willingness to serve will benefit everyone who lives, visits or does business in the borough.