Q&A with Mayor-Elect Fiorella Reginelli Mirabito
By Alice Wanamaker
We had the opportunity to ask the Mayor-Elect about her plans as Mayor. Here is what she had to say.
Tell me about your history with Bath.
“I came to Bath in 1968. My parents, Italian immigrants, were sponsored by my great-uncle Vincent Fantozzi, the owner of Mary Fashion Mfg. Co. to come to America. Both of my parents worked at the factory upon our arrival. As time went on, my father moved onto construction, while my mother, a seamstress, remained with our family at the factory. Growing up here, I attended George Wolf Elementary. I spoke no English upon my arrival there, although by second grade, I was fluent. I’ll never forget some of the people that helped me with the English language, who still today, live in my heart: Mr. Kermit Fehnel, Principal at the time and Mrs. Claire Keithan, one of my teachers. My husband and I purchased the property on East Northampton Street in 1988, which is where our restaurant, My Place Pizza Restaurant is located—this year celebrating our 25th anniversary in business. I was very active in many community committees over the years: Bath Youth Club, Bath Crime Watch, Bath Lioness, Sacred Heart Church Women’s Guild, Sacred Heart School HSA, and the Bath 275th Anniversary Committee.”
What will be your first order of busiensss?
“My first order of business is to work hand-in-hand with our borough officials to continue to take Bath into a positive direction. We have an incredible “hands-on” Borough Manager, Tom Petrucci, and a dedicated group of individuals on Bath Council. Even though our ideas and opinions will no doubt be varied, we must work together for the betterment of the community. All personal agendas must be put to the side. We were voted into office to work for Bath, not ourselves. As you know in a borough, the mayor is second to Borough Council, although, as in other aspects of my life, I try give 100% of myself. This will hold true of the office of mayor as well. Lastly, I look forward to working with our neighboring municipalities so that in many ways we can all help each other.”
How are you involved in the community now?
“Beginning in October of 2008, I was the Co-Chair of the Bath 275th Anniversary Committee along with Barry Fentermaker, which all came to fruition in August of 2012. I am happy to report that with the funds remaining, we purchased the “Welcome to Bath” banners on the poles at the entrances to the borough, and have purchased a holiday lighted decoration for Monocacy Creek Park, which should arrive soon. Presently, I have become a member of the Bath Business and Community Partnership Committee and look forward to helping out with some activities planned by the committee.”
What was your guiding force behind seeking the mayoral position?
“First and foremost, my love for this beautiful little town. It’s been good to me and my entire family since we came here in 1968. Secondly, the “story” begins way back then: We lived next door to Archie Leigh, who was mayor at the time. I, being very young, was impressed by all the people, the memorabilia, and the stories he told me. One day while looking through all of his things with him, I said, ‘Archie, maybe one day I can be mayor too!” His response, ‘I would be very proud of you, my little Italian girl!’ So, here we are. I’m tired of Bath getting negative publicity all the time. It’s a great little place, with so much to offer to so many. There are many dedicated citizens in this town that only want the best for where they live, work, and raise their families. Bath has its issues just like any other small town, although, with dedicated people at the helm, things can be turned around.”
Are there any special projects you are most looking forward to undertaking?
“At this point, a huge Christmas tree! All kidding aside, presently I really don’t have any concrete projects in mind. Although some ideas that I do have, I will bring in front of Borough Council for approval. My number one concern for the borough is the health and safety of our citizens. Also, I would also like to assist council in any way I can, to clean up many properties in this borough that have either been abandoned or just neglected by property owners.”
Any closing remarks?
“I extend my deepest appreciations to the mayors that have held the office before me. They, like me, no doubt had the best interest of the citizens at heart. A special thanks to Mayor and Mrs. Wunderler who have dedicated their time and efforts to this community. I look forward to making good decisions for all of us. We live in a small community, with problems and issues that many larger municipalities have, so we must face them together and with fortitude. I thank everyone who voted for me and instilled their trust in my decisions to make Bath an even more beautiful place to live. Endless thanks to my family who, without their continued love and support, I know I would not be the person I am today.”