Promises to keep for Chester's new mayor

With the New Year comes a new mayor for one of the most troubled cities in the area, Chester, Delaware County.

"We have not done well with protecting them," said Mayor-elect John Linder.

Chester mayor-elect John Linder is talking about the children of Chester, and the poor education system and crime that plague them.

He hopes to change both.

"As soon as I get sworn in, we're going to meet with the top administration in the police department. We're going to talk about strategies to give policing a new face here in Chester," Linder said.

Last year, Chester had 24 homicides and Pennsylvania's highest murder rate.

"We can't completely eradicate crime, but we certainly can reduce it significantly, so that we can make sure our citizens feel safe here," said Linder.

In 2001, the city's schools ranked last among Pa.'s 501 districts. Edison Schools was hired to temporarily run the district.

Linder, who has a Masters Degree in mental health counseling and higher education, thinks there's a better solution.

"As an educator, I really understand the intricacies involved in educating urban children, and it is not just moving things at the top. It is putting quality intervention between the teachers and the students," said Linder.

Linder says he will also focus in 2012 on continued revitalization that has already brought jobs to Chester.

"Prison, casino, and race track and stadium, and he say the Wharf at Rivertown and Power Home Remodeling have ushered in nearly 100 new jobs to the area.

"With the promise of approximately 100 or so each year that they are here," Linder said.

But when asked about his top priority for next year, he said he wanted to fulfill a promise to a Chester resident.

"She said, 'I want to feel as safe when there is no soccer game, as when there is a soccer game.' That's my charge," said Linder.

Chester Mayor-elect, John Linder recognizes the huge challenges ahead of him, but vows to do everything in his power to make some big improvements.

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