The mayor of Forest City is looking towards the future, and he believes things are headed in the right direction for his community. Christopher Glinton was elected mayor of the borough last year and he jumped right into the role with a positive, can-do attitude that he hopes will lead the community into a future where progress improves the quality of life for residents of the town while tradition retains the small-town charm and attitude that make Forest City a welcoming place to live and visit.
“I wanted to be mayor because I wanted to make some changes and I wanted to help the people of the town of Forest City,” explained Mr. Glinton, who, along with his partner Paul Daugevelo, is proprietor of RosAl Floral, Antiques, and Events.
The skills Mr. Glinton has perfected through the years of planning, networking, and organization required by that business are now being utilized to help Forest City look towards a brighter future with growth in the business sector, a renewed sense of community, and more opportunities for both residents and visitors to experience the cultural and recreational offerings of the borough and surrounding area.
The motto of Forest City has long been “A Mile of Hospitality” which reflects the length of Main St. Mr. Glinton acknowledges and appreciates the sentiment associated with that motto, but his vision looks beyond the confines of the borough.
“We’re still and always will be the ‘Mile of Hospitality,’ but I also like to think of Forest City as the town ‘Where Three Counties Meet.’ We’re the first town in Susquehanna County, and Wayne County and Lackawanna County all meet right here at our border,” said Mr. Glinton, who would like to see a monument or sign put in place near the meeting point of the three counties.
That sentiment is indicative of what Mayor Glinton believes will renew and strengthen Forest City, allowing it to move into the future not as a sleepy reminder of the past but as a vibrant community which not only provides for the needs of its residents, but which also serves as a destination for people from the surrounding communities for work, shopping and services, and recreational opportunities.
An example of such an opportunity is an educational one. Mr. Glinton believes that one means of strengthening the community is to enable people to attain the skills needed to earn a living locally, which helps to maintain a vigorous economy as people live and work, as well as earn and spend, in area businesses. To that end, the mayor worked tirelessly to convince the president of Johnson’s College to start offering classes in Forest City, a move that he feels will benefit people in the borough as well as in the surrounding communities and farmland.
“I wanted to create an educational opportunity in Forest City because so many people want to get into trades but don’t have a way to travel to Scranton,” explained Mr. Glinton, adding, “I’m really pleased to announce that Johnson’s College will be starting classes in the near future up at the high school.”
For a small town, Forest City already has an admirably large array of commercial ventures. A grocery store, a bakery, several hair salons, two funeral homes, several providers of insurance and medical services, a pharmacy, banks, nursing homes, restaurants, florists, tobacco shops, churches, a car dealership, a liquor store…the list goes on and on. As a gateway to rural Wayne and Susquehanna Counties, the borough bustles with commerce and activity during business hours.
Obstacles, like a devastating fire that last year destroyed Mr. Glinton’s business and heavily damaged the Lesjack Funeral Home, are seen by Mr. Glinton not as catastrophes but as temporary setbacks that open the door to improvements as evidenced by how quickly he and Mr. Daugevelo were able to set up shop again, and by the beautiful new facility that the Lesjack family built to house their funeral parlor. Other recent improvements include removal of the old gas pumps at Allan Hornbeck Chevrolet, and new businesses in town such as Maria’s Restaurant & Deli, the Barking Cupcake bakery, and Jessie’s Salon.
Mr. Glinton realizes that it takes a community to build and maintain a community, so he tirelessly advocates for the involvement of borough residents, encouraging their input and participation in civic and social groups such as the Greater Forest City Business Alliance, the Forest City Historical Society, the Parks and Recreation committee, and the Forest City Area Rotary Club, among others.
Because of a thriving spirit of volunteerism and community-mindedness, numerous events take place in Forest City annually. Among these are fishing derbies, parades, Winter Fest, Rail Fest (slated for August 3 this year), concerts and events at the Historical Society, and dinners and fellowship events hosted by the town’s churches.
“I would like to see a quaint, tourist attraction town. With the Rail-Trail right here and the windmills on the mountain, it creates a unique setting. I want to see people walking, riding bikes, horseback riding, and using snowmobiles on the Trail. We’re working with the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau to put together a brochure showcasing Forest City,” explained Mayor Glinton.
Other positive changes that have taken place or will soon occur in the borough are ongoing renovations to the former Coalminer’s Inn with the intent that it will serve as an event center, the continued presence of Zazzera’s Supermarket in town thanks to its purchase by the Trichilo family upon Chauncey Zazzera’s retirement, Dr. David Tomazic’s new medical offices on the site of the former American Legion building, new LED streetlights for the borough, and the planned installation of a new gazebo at Kennedy Park.
Mr. Glinton is confident that the more that happens in town, the better it will be for everyone. A bustling Main Street., involvement of townspeople in the functioning of the community, new businesses and improvements to existing businesses, new educational opportunities, events to create a sense of community and to draw visitors to Forest City, and upgrades to the borough’s infrastructure are all important to the mayor’s long-term plans for the community.
“I don’t believe in obstacles. People say ‘You can’t do that, Mayor’ and I say “Watch me.’ Every day I look for different ways to make improvements and to meet my goals for Forest City. I will do whatever I can to continue to promote the town, just as I have done wherever I go,” said Mr. Glinton.
To keep informed about events in the borough, as well as to read minutes from council meetings or to contact borough department and officials, the mayor encourages people to visit the updated borough website at https://forestcityborough.com.