Seven years ago, Paul Bially and his wife chose Pitman as their home. Drawn to the small-town charm, strong sense of community, vibrant Uptown district, and neighborhood schools, they knew this is where they needed to set their roots.
As Paul reflects on this decision today, he remains proud of the people who have shaped the community he calls home, a place he wants to serve on Borough Council. “When I walk through our community, I am inspired by our dedicated workers, first responders, small business workers, teachers, artists, faith leaders and volunteers. There are very few issues that divide us and I am optimistic of our future,” he shares.
For the past five years, Paul has served as the president and board chair of the Pitman Little League. He’s also been one of their coaches. When Paul assumed the position as president and chair in 2018, there was an overarching concern that the League might eventually disband. Like many small towns, Pitman was struggling to attract players and keep some from leaving for more competitive private clubs. They were in need of new equipment, improved fields, and more volunteers and sponsors. Under Paul’s leadership, a core group of dedicated volunteers set forth on a path towards growth and renewal and has been able to reinvigorate life into the program. Today, the Pitman Little League is a town staple and a bright spot in the community, one thriving with players, coaches, sponsors and volunteers. And, it is this dedication to growth, commitment to teamwork, and strong ambition that Paul aims to bring across the entire Borough.
When we asked Paul what issues he wants to address immediately should get elected this November, his response was clear. Paul’s intention is to make Pitman a safe, affordable, and accessible community for all residents. He plans to work with his colleagues to invest responsibly in the town’s infrastructure, parks, venues, gathering spaces and sports fields. He will facilitate effective communication across all work groups, committees, schools, and other organizations to have a forum for sharing success and working together across disciplines. He also hopes to encourage scheduling of town events and activities in a way that minimizes conflict and competing interests while maximining participation and engagement. Paul’s motto ‘work together and we’ll achieve more’ is certainly something we can all get behind.
And, he has the gumption to do it.
Paul is a formulation chemist, inventor, product developer and entrepreneur. What that means is that he brings a unique skillset that makes him most capable of strengthening and diversifying Pitman’s governing body. Having enabled the growth of several businesses, balanced budgets, built robust teams, negotiated deals, and solved complex real-world problems, Paul is more than qualified to take the reins and drive Pitman into the best future it could hope for.
While Paul is inspired by the bold and vibrant future he sees for Pitman, he’s also aware that the town hasn’t quite met its full potential. That’s something he plans to overcome as a member of the Borough Council. His idea is to build a community that leads from the front and dreams big, making sure to look beyond the status quo. The two greatest concerns he sees holding the town back are Pitman’s numbers and the fact that the town is often overlooked by the State of New Jersey and Gloucester County interests.
From a numbers perspective, Paul is striving for a robust community with enough participants and volunteers to have the associations, activities, sports, etc. to keep the town thriving. Externally, he sees critical decisions and special interests outside of the town’s borders limiting Pitman’s residents from implementing a vision and strategic plan that makes sense for the community. The impact of the School Funding Reform Act and S2 legislation on the closure of Kindle and Walls Schools, and the states’ funding formula to bring equity to all learners, are not serving Pitman’s children or our educators’ needs. The proposed GCL, which will run directly through Pitman in order to connect Glassboro and Camden, will forever change the social fabric and physical landscape of Pitman’s beloved community. These state and county initiatives are powerful and Paul plans to work with the Mayor and Council to help make sure Pitman’s voice is heard outside of the Borough so this small town is never overlooked again.
That said, don’t think Paul is an all work – no fun kind of guy. He’s also an avid runner, having just completed the Philadelphia Marathon and the Broad Street Run this past year, and a country music junkie. And, rumor has it, he bakes a mean sourdough bread. We think we speak for all voters when we say we hope he’s planning on bringing a few loaves to share at the next town council meeting…one where we hope he’s taking a seat at the front after being elected into office.