Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mayor Leo Scoda - Candidate for Phoenixville Mayor

Greetings to all my friends in Phoenixville!

The good people of our town may know me due to my 12 year tenure as your Mayor in Phoenixville. Others may know me because of my 35 years as a Phoenixville Area School District biology teacher. Even more students, parents, and grandparents in the area know me for serving as their tennis coach at PAHS for the last 46 years!

I am both proud and humbled by the results of my service and work in the community and I would like to share with you the wonderful experiences before and since my first year at Phoenixville High School.

I grew up in the coal regions in a small town, Pittston, a town very similar to Phoenixville in size (approximately 12,000), and similar in it's ethnic diversity.

Both sides of my family had a history of working in the coal mines. My Mother and and my Father both had brothers, two Uncles I never knew, who were killed in the mines.

My Father was the first in his family to secure a college degree as an accountant and later as a business manager. Both Mom and Dad graduated in 1932 in the depths of the Great Depression and both found it difficult to find a job. My Mother worked for a short period until my brother and I were born but then became a fulltime houswife for nearly 20 years.

I graduated Pittston High School in 1959 and then enrolled at Penn State University where I attained my B.S. Degree in Zoology(animal biology). I hadn't planned on becoming a teacher but took my education credits. My senior year I opted to do my Student Teaching and it was this experience at Brentwood High School in Allegheny County that made me opt for a teaching career.

Before graduation at PSU I interviewed for and was offered a Biology teaching job at Phoenixville Area High School. I began my teaching career in September, 1963, and taught Biology in grades 9 through 12 before retiring in 1998 after 35 years of teaching. I have never regretted my decision to become a teacher. In fact, my career was challenging, interesting, and personally very rewarding.

In my first year of teaching, 1963-64, the high scool entered a tennis team in the old Ches-mont League. Although a novice at the game, I had started playing tennis at PSU. I was appointed Boys Tennis Head Coach in 1964, and 46 years later I am still coaching the boys tennis team!

The tennis team has won many league championships, District championships, and two State PIAA doubles titles.

Dozens of my players have gone on to play tennis at numerous colleges and some have won college championships. From 1987 to 2009 my teams set a phenominal record of not losing a league match for over 22 years in the Pioneer Athletic League (196 - 0).

I am a single parent, but I adopted and helped to raise 3 boys that were in the foster care system. Charles, an American boy who grew up in Kentucky, and two Vietnamese boys, Loi, and Canh, who immigrated to this country. I now have seven grandchildren, and they are the lights of my life.

Charles has four children 16, 10, 8, and 6.

Loi has two children 4, and 2, and Canh has just had his first child, a 4 month old.

Loi and Canh both graduated from Philadelphia University. Loi earned his MBA at Penn State and works for PNC in Finance. Canh works also in finance at Blackrock in Wilmington, Delaware. Canh also earned an Associate's Degree at Keystone College where he won a college tennis championship.

In my political career, I have been your Mayor for 12 years, from 1998 to the present.

Previously, I was a Councilmember for 8 years, from 1972 to 1979. I also served Phoenixville on the Zoning Hearing Board for 2 years.

As a former Councilmember and your Mayor, I am extremely proud of our Phoenixville Police Department.

We have made many advances, and during my term in office we have increased the number of officers from 19 to 28. Our Bike Patrol, a program instituted during my first term, has 6 officers, and we also have a canine officer, school resource officer, and a drug enforcement officer.

Three members of the force are certified DARE officers who work in the program at Barkley School and Holy Family School.

Progressive action by the Mayor's office has resulted in top equipment and training for our officers, a change to a 12 hour shift program, the first gun buy-back program instituted in 2007, and many officers who have now earned college degrees including two who hold Master's Degrees.

Some of the many activities I have been involved in include the following:

I worked to reestablish the Tree Commission,

I worked with Chester County to have a local Hazardous Household Waste pickup,

I have developed an excellent working relationship with Valley Forge Christian College,

I serve on the Social Concerns Committee,

I served on the Gay Street Bridge committee,

I have made dozens of visits to area elementary, middle and high schools,

I have attended over 18 Eagle Scout Honor ceremonies and other Scouting events,

I have married over 150 couples,

I have supported many area non-profits and various churches,

I created the Mayor's Community Service Awards which have honored over 125 volunteers who give so much of themselves to make Phoenixville a better place to live.

I believe there are many areas in which Phoenixville can improve, and my experienced contributions and dedicated service to the people of Phoenixville will continue with your support!

Please vote for Mayor Leo Scoda on November 3, 2009.

Thank you!

If you have any questions or comments, please call 610-933-1727 or via email at


Anonymous said...

Plus Leo hates the library expansion plan. He's got my vote.

Anonymous said...

Do people know that there are other (bigger) issues than the library expansion? Just sayin.

Anonymous said...

The library expansion is now at a very important stage of decision-making. Mayor Scoda has come out against it, for which he should be commended. I think it is relevant to bring it up on this thread.

Anonymous said...

I think it's especially noteworthy that Leo doesn't get too fired up about things, but he is so totally against the library plan. What does this tell an intelligent person? Bad idea, bro.

Anonymous said...

If he was so against it, why didn't he veto it?

Anonymous said...

The plan has not been voted on yet.

A Phoenixville Taxpayer said...

I don't think that Leo is against the expansion of the library, just in the way that it is being done.

The plan itself will require a number of zoning changes or reliefs. Enough that it could be classified as 'spot zoning'. This could lead to many legal battles.

It is my understanding that water and sewer lines will also have to be re-routed in order to build over Second Avenue.

So, yes, he and I, and many other public minded citizens ARE against the existing plan. NOT against the expansion or possible relocation of the library.

The library is needed in Phoenixville, but the proposed expansion must be defeated!

Anonymous said...

The prposed zoning changes drafted by the library are as follows:

1.Min. lot area 20,000 sq. ft.
2 acres are required

2.Min. lot width 100 ft.
stays the same.

3.Min. front yard 35 ft.
30 ft. required

4.Min. side yard 4 ft. 30 ft, for corner side yard.
15 ft. required 30 ft. corner
stays the same.

5.Min. rear yard 2 ft.
30 ft. required.

6.Max. Impervious surface 80%
50% is required.

7. Parking (i) Libraries having a total floor area greater than 34,000 sq.ft.: 1 space per five seats or, where no seats provided, one space per 250 sq.ft. of total floor area and (2) Libraries having a total floor area of 34,000 or less : parking requirements may be met by available onstreet parking within a walking distance of 1300 hundred ft of an entrance regularly used by patrons to enter the proposed building.
Current Zoning: 1 space per 5 seats or 1 space per 250 sq. ft. of total floor area.PARKING SHALL BE SCREENED WITHIN 50 FT OF LAND ZONED FOR OR IN RESIDENTIAL USE.

Per PA. Municipal Planning Code :
#4. The such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the appellant.

#5. The variance ,if authorized , will represent the MINIMUM VARIANCE that will afford relief and will represent the LEAST MODIFICATION possible of the regulation in issue.

If these changes are adopted by planning commission or council to circumvent the zoning process the Boro deserves to get sued by the neighbors and should go to Court for SPOT ZONING WHICH IS ILLEAGAL in the state of -PA.

If the library thinks that patrons are going to park in the Pesbyterian Parking lot and walk ,I say hogwash.People that use the library now seem to always be in a hurry to get in and out quickly.

Council better do their homework on this one and be advised properly by their attorney.


Anonymous said...

Mayor Scoda, You have been involved at most meetings regarding the HUD housing at Starr and Bridge Streets. You were in attendance when petitions from over 400 business and residents was presented to Mr Wagner against the project on this site.

How do you feel about the reversal of the zonging change, for this parcel from DCOMM back to Historic?

Do you feel, HUD Housing on this corner is good for the town; particularly after applicants refusal for traffic light, and other suggstions you made for safety of residents of HUD and town folk crossing the 5 lane road proposed on Starr Street & Church Street were ignored?

In your next term, IF THE lawsuit won twice by owners of record, is reversed, would you support the borough proceeding with HUD at this Historic district entrance into our revitalized area of Phoenixville?

Anonymous said...

Mayor Leo Scoda is one of the most receptive people in Phoenixville.

New Resident, New Republican and a New Voter for Mr. Scoda


I ihave only known Loe Scoda for 2 years and in that time he has come across to me as an honorable man that really cares about the people of Phoenixville and its schools.