An article in the Local News section of the paper today highlighted the three candidates that are vying for the two seats that will be available in the November election for Downingtown Borough Council on the East side. I know each of the candidates and they all have their strong points, but I feel one of the candidates has been given less of a chance to have his voice heard and has had less “press coverage” than the other two.
Matt Zaun while a very quiet young man, and is also a very dedicated and caring individual. When I first met Matt I had no idea that he was on the Historic and Parks Commission for Downingtown until we encountered him helping out at the Log House Craft Fair the first year we participated. It’s not widely known that Matt has assisted in building homes internationally, has helped feed the homeless and will truly hear what you have to say. I have often wondered why that is and now, having worked with him on various projects and really getting to know him and his lovely wife I have found that these things are not known because Matt is not willing to blow his own horn for accolades. It has been said that the gentle shall inherit the earth and if that is so, then Matt is the go to guy.
When I read about the other candidates for the seats on the East side of D’town, the main topic is revitalization. Matt has been pushed aside and given an “also ran” status because his ideas do not rely on revitalization that really would be difficult to accomplish, but smart growth which will help fill store fronts on Lancaster Ave. and give the small businesses in town that have managed to stick things out a helping hand. Matt wants to set up a business committee that will help the small businesses in town with issues that only come with being a small business owner, which in turn will make it more attractive to have a store front in Downingtown on Lancaster Ave rather than the Main Line or somewhere else.
I have had occasion to speak with Matt about things in Downingtown and what he sees as the best assets and what can be improved. When a resident has that opportunity to speak with Matt he/she gets the feeling that he really is listening instead of thinking up the next campaign point that he/she is going to bring up. One gets the feeling that even if he disagrees he will find a way to come to a compromise that works for both of you and if not he will tell you why it doesn’t work instead of ignoring the idea all together or simply saying, “No.” This innate ability may have been cultivated by his and his wife Courtney’s involvement in their church Cornerstone in West Chester. It’s not a usual occurrence to see the dedication and deep caring that Matt possesses and I believe it will serve him well as a Downingtown Borough Council member.