March 28, 2003: Headlines: COS - Bangladesh: Politics: Reading Eagle: Bangladesh RPCV Thomas M. McMahon in race for mayor of Reading

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Bangladesh: Peace Corps Bangladesh : The Peace Corps in Bangladesh: March 28, 2003: Headlines: COS - Bangladesh: Politics: Reading Eagle: Bangladesh RPCV Thomas M. McMahon in race for mayor of Reading

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 5:04 pm: Edit Post

Bangladesh RPCV Thomas M. McMahon in race for mayor of Reading

Bangladesh RPCV Thomas M. McMahon in race for mayor of Reading

City mayoral hopeful seeks to improve his visibility
Democrat Thomas M. McMahon's campaign races along as he tries to meet voters. He says he will continue the hurried pace if he's elected.

By Jason Brudereck
Reading Eagle
Thomas M. McMahon

Seeking Democratic nomination for Reading mayor

Age: 64.

Family: Three daughters.

Career: Engineering consultant.

After serving in the Peace Corps in Bangladesh for two years, McMahon worked for Gilbert Associates Inc., Cumru Township, from 1965 to 1980, when he co-founded Entech Engineering Inc., Reading. He sold his portion of the business in 2000.

Education: Graduate of The Aquinas Institute, Rochester, N.Y.; bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology; master's degree in nuclear engineering from Penn State University.

Political experience: McMahon has worked on some political campaigns in Reading.

He also made a political statement by resigning from the St. Joseph Medical Center board of directors after the hospital chose to move to Bern Township.

Under Mayor Paul J. Angstadt, McMahon served as chairman of the Reading Means Business Team that established a billboard proclaiming “Reading, Pa., the future starts here” on top of the former Farr's shoe store on the southwest corner of Fifth and Penn streets.

Editor's note: This is one of a series of profiles on the mayoral candidates in the May 20 primary.

Soon after walking into his campaign headquarters, Thomas M. McMahon took a phone call from the nonprofit reform group Good Schools Pennsylvania.

After he hung up, McMahon said he's enthusiastic about the group's goals to make school funding more equitable.

Without pausing, McMahon started on a hurried tour of several local groups and businesses that he counts as his supporters.

That's how McMahon said he thinks he'll win the Democratic mayoral primary May 20.

“The plan is to become visible, to meet people, to know people and to know their concerns,” McMahon said as he walked upstairs to the nonprofit Circle of Friends Drop-in Center above his headquarters on Walnut Street.

Frances Cortez-Funk, the manager of the program that welcomes residents with mental illness, was happy to see McMahon.

“I see Tom McMahon as someone who could map out the future of Reading,” she earnestly told a visitor to the center.

After the brief visit, McMahon went to check on campaign materials being assembled at the house of a friend, S. Henry Lessig, a former city planning commission chairman who was dismissed by Mayor Joseph D. Eppihimer.

On the way there, McMahon said his hurried schedule will continue if he's elected.

“There will be more activity than you have ever seen I say unabashedly from the mayor's office,” McMahon said.

He said one of his first priorities would be to make sure city managers are professionals capable of pursuing his vision of Reading.

That vision includes plans for developing and beautifying Reading's riverfront, a task he has worked on with two nonprofit groups, and stepping up recent crime-fighting efforts under acting police Chief Charles R. Broad.

At Lessig's, McMahon reviewed proposed text for a campaign flier that will be hung on residents' doorknobs.

Lessig said McMahon's major challenge is improving his name recognition.

“A lot of people don't know who Tom is,” Lessig said.

So material that will be distributed early in the campaign will tell voters about McMahon's background and material later in the campaign will explain his platform, Lessig said.

McMahon said voters shouldn't support other candidates just because they've seen them around Reading.

“What we're trying to make people understand is that growing up with someone or going to school with someone is not enough qualification to elect them as mayor,” McMahon said as Barry L. Miller walked into the house with more campaign material.

McMahon commented that many of his supporters have a lot of experience working on previous campaigns, including that of Miller's wife, former Mayor Karen A. Miller.

After approving some campaign material, McMahon had to move on to visit others, including those he is working with to refurbish the Liberty Fire Company, a 148-year-old neighborhood institution at Fifth and Laurel Streets.

On his way there, he stopped his car at a crosswalk to let a woman pass, and she took note of a campaign sign in his car window.

“You have to vote for me now,” he joked.

Contact reporter Jason Brudereck at 610-371-5044 or

When this story was prepared, here was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: Reading Eagle

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Bangladesh; Politics



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