MILFORD, PIKE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – There’s a new face in Pike County government.
Businessman Ronald Schmalzle was sworn-in Monday afternoon in Milford as a county commissioner.
He hasn’t even unpacked his office yet but he’s already hard at work.
The Hawley businessman, who has never run for political office, has just been appointed to the job of Pike County commissioner.
“I threw my hat into it and here I am!” Commissioner Ronald Schmalzle said.
Schmalzle is known in the community as the co-owner of Costa’s Family Fun Park near Hawley and Ski Big Bear in Lackawaxen.
He expects his business background will help him in his new role.
“Obviously owning a business, the most important thing is the people that work for you and I’m looking forward to getting to know all the people that work for the county,” Commissioner Schmalzle said.
Schmalzle will join fellow republican commissioner Matt Osterberg in helping to drive county policy.
Osterberg says there won’t be too much of a learning curve needed.
“He understands the importance of tourism in the community so when it comes to economic development, he has the tourism part of it down!” Commissioner Matt Osterberg said.
Schmalzle replaces former commissioner Rich Caridi who decided to retire after 15 years serving in county government.
Commissioner Schmalzle says some of his goals include coming up with new ways to tackle the opioid crisis as well as tick-borne diseases in Pike County.
As a member of the Board of Trustees for Wayne Memorial Hospital in Wayne County, Schmalzle would also like to bring more healthcare services into Pike County.
“I think that Pike County is underserved in its services so I’d like to utilize that relationship to help Pike County have more services,” Commissioner Schmalzle said.
Schmalzle will fill out the rest of former commissioner Caridi’s term.
If he wants to keep the job, he’ll be required to run in the next election for commissioner which is set for November 2019.