Capozzolo: I'll Represent Palmer/Forks Better
Former Bangor Mayor Joe Capozzolo is challenging State Rep. Joe Emrick to represent the 137th legislative district.
Editor's Note -- This is the second of two parts on the candidates running Nov. 6 to represent the 137th state legislative district.
Joseph Capozzolo believes he is the right Joe for the job.
"I think I can do the job better than it's being done," he said.
The 49-year-old former Bangor mayor is taking on State Rep. Joe Emrick on Nov. 6 in the 137th legislative district race.
Capozzolo, having served as a two-term mayor, says he's more of a people person than Emrick.
Another area the Democrat says he has sufficient experience in is job creation. Capozzolo, who has four daughters, is vice president of Windjammer Inc., his family's business.
"I want to make this a better place for my children and other children," he said. "I want to make a difference. I want to keep my children here."
Capozzolo said job creation is the top priority in ensuring that children don't have to leave the communities they've grown up in to get a job.
He believes repairing infrastructure is the best way toward this goal and that local municipalities like Tatamy and Forks Township are starting to see their roads deteriorate.
That means focusing on smart growth.
"My opponent is into 'cut, cut, cut.' But that's backwards thinking. Now is not the time to cut," Capozzolo said. "The legislative district is growing. People need houses. We need to strengthen our zoning ordinances to plan developments."
Capozzolo isn't sold on "fracking" for natural gas to revive the economy either.
"We need our natural resources," he said. "With natural gas, we need warmth. But we need water and air much more. Fracking is going to pollute our water and air."
He did say that if fracking does develop, then government needs to charge more fees to oil companies so it can also reap the benefits.
The key as a legislator to foster change, Capozzolo said, is taking an aggressive approach.
"Don't react, be proactive," he stated.
One area for improvement Capozzolo said is that the state representative for the 137th district needs to serve all the constituents.
Capozzolo said he would focus more of his efforts on Palmer and Forks townships.
"I love Bangor and the Slate Belt," he said. "But Palmer is huge. How could I not be involved in Palmer and Forks townships. I want to try and establish an office that's more central to that area."
The 137th legislative district includes: Forks Township, Palmer Township, Stockertown, Tatamy, Nazareth, Upper Nazareth, Bangor, Upper and Lower Mount Bethel, Washington Township, Roseto, East Bangor and Portland.