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Former Phoenixville CDC Director to Run for State House Seat

Barry Cassidy announced his candidacy on Dec. 12.

The former director of the Main Street Community Development Council (CDC) in Phoenixville is seeking a seat as a Democrat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Barry Cassidy, 62, announced his desire to run for the 45th District seat on Monday. He’s currently working for developer Manny DeMutis and serves as the project manager for Parcel O and other parcels on the former Phoenix Steel site. Cassidy served as director of the CDC from 2003 until his resignation in 2010.

During his time he brought in more than $9 million in grant funding, according to his résumé, with grants covering crime prevention, streetscapes, open space preservation and housing. He also served as head of the Phoenixville Parking Authority.

“Cassidy’s efforts in Phoenixville earned him Keystone Laureate status from then Governor Rendell as an ‘Agent of Change,’” according to a press release announcing his candidacy. “During his time in Phoenixville assessed real estate value increased at a rate of 20.25 percent with the addition of approximately $150 million in increased assessed value. The increase helped Phoenixville amass the most assessed value of any borough or city in Chester County, passing county seat West Chester.”

The seat Cassidy plans to run for is one moved around in the redistricting plan approved by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission Monday afternoon. The house district was formerly west of Pittsburgh but was moved to include the city of Coatesville along with Caln, East Caln, East Fallowfield, Sadsbury and Valley townships and the boroughs of Downingtown, Modena, Parkesburg and South Coatesville.

“When I looked at the boundary of the 45th district I quickly realized that this district was the Route 30 corridor. I have worked corridors doing commercial and housing development for the last 40 years and it seemed to be a perfect fit. After discussions with my wife concerning the implications on our family we have decided move forward and start the formation of a committee to seek to represent the 45th district,” the press release states.

The statement goes on:

Cassidy stated that his intent was to create prosperity in the district by helping to create jobs, work to improve the business climate in the district and increase the assessed value of property in the district through real estate development. He would look to work with the business community to identify and eliminate regulatory constraints that hinder development and repositioning of the corridor. He also places a priority in improving transportation in the corridor. ‘Everyone should be able to get to work easily,’ he said.

The candidacy was announced at a Democratic rally in Coatesville on Monday. Cassidy lives in Downingtown.

Edvard Roperkov December 13, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Great! I hope the wonderful voters of his district learn about the wonderful things Mr. Cassidy has done for Phoenixville, such as being censured by Borough Council for defamatory comments on his blog towards a private citizen, kicking people out of his office and making a fiasco out of the parking situation, insulting many community members, and many other things he's "worked on" for our community.
Lisa Longo December 13, 2011 at 05:54 PM
I have to wonder if this is a proper comment from someone running for public office, especially when that person is on the payroll of a real estate development company, "Cassidy stated that his intent was to create prosperity in the district by helping to create jobs, work to improve the business climate in the district and increase the assessed value of property in the district through real estate development"
Ike December 13, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Come on ,residents , let us know how you really feel about this fine man. Personally ,i hate them there benches.
Realist December 13, 2011 at 08:21 PM
Let’s be honest here and stop throwing sour grapes. There was never any real proof that Barry made those comments on the Blog. Our wondrous borough council president jumped at the chance to try and get rid of Barry. No one checked the IP addresses just biased accusations. Jealousy is a terrible thing. This town would still be stuck where it was in the 80’s if Barry hadn’t come along. How many grants did he write and procure to get the town where it is. Many of us have seen Barry personally clean up Bridge Street. He drove the drug dealers and prostitutes off the Street. If anything things have taken a step backwards on Bridge since he left the CDC. Kids running amuck and causing problems for business owners and heckling fine citizens. I wish Barry were still in the CDC, but I wish him the best of luck for all he has done for Phoenixville.
Ryan Joyce December 13, 2011 at 08:45 PM
Be careful what you say about Barry, Realist. He might send one of his pseudonyms after you! "People who place anonymous comments or comments under a “character” on the blog, are treated as such. People who comment with their real names are treated like humans." -Barry Cassidy
Edvard Roperkov December 13, 2011 at 09:24 PM
Hahah. What a joke. Go work on his campaign, you do a pretty good job of whitewashing the truth.
Lynn Jusinski December 13, 2011 at 09:27 PM
Hi Ed, I just want to clear something up for accuracy purposes. Cassidy was not censured by borough council for defamatory comments on his blog. -Lynn
karlub December 13, 2011 at 09:40 PM
I see where you're coming from, Lisa, really I do. But it is a pretty anodyne comment.
Edvard Roperkov December 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Umm, sorry lynn. But he was. I was there for the meetings:: http://www.pottsmerc.com/articles/2010/06/10/news/srv0000008500988.txt
Lynn Jusinski December 13, 2011 at 10:58 PM
Hi Ed, In the article I link to above from the Phoenix, it's the same issue you cite in this article. Censuring is a more formal process; council issued a letter of reprimand. He was not censured, and I just want to make sure it's accurate.
Mr. Ed December 14, 2011 at 02:45 AM
And does anyone remember the quote about the "girls" in Phoenixville vs the "girls" in Coatesville?
Lisa Longo December 14, 2011 at 02:23 PM
I disagree Karl, (shocking I know), there is nothing "soothing" about that comment, it is however very telling. When Barry was Main Street Manager I went to him, and met with several of the CDC Board members, and asked what was the Community Development plan, there was none. There were several festivals, and they act as a shell for the Farmers Market, but there was no interest in developing the community as a hole. I suggested opening Board meetings and inviting stakeholders from the community onto the Board to develop strategies for our community, I was told they were not a "public" institution and therefore, they did not have to share any info. When Barry was asked to leave he went directly to work at a real estate development company, this comment is the first honest admission I have heard Barry make that he is working for the profite of real estate development, not community development. That is not what I want in public office, that is exactly the opposite of what we need.
Obama Remorse December 14, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Jeez, did Barry himself write this article?
Ike December 15, 2011 at 07:23 PM
He did not drive anyone away.The one hooker that was allways down there when he came to town , moved.Her boyfreind was not a dealer but a user, died.The rest of them never left.They have allways been around.If the cops would run a sting like they did in Norristown , they would see.They will need some bilingual Police Officers and thats JUST a fact, before some start their card playing.The teens needed a place to hang out after school.I very much doubt that he would scared them away, and i like to see what would had happen if he try to. I know one who he try to get loud with , and that didnt work, all you have to do is get loud back at him, he really aint a tough guy just an actor.I am neither for or against him. I think he is kind of funny. From what i hear from the majority of residents is that he did some good .But , and there is all ways a butt.that they didnt like how he and his boss, which wasnt really his boss , but it really was, try make things look like one thing , when they think it was another. I wish him all the luck in the world , he did make things interesting and amusing.
Wendy December 16, 2011 at 01:43 AM
GOOD LUCK Barry, just hire a PR person to write on-line.
Lisa Longo December 20, 2011 at 02:34 AM
I'll be meeting with Joshua Young, who is also running in the primary, and I beleive has a very good platform and is worth our support.
Brian Peppel December 28, 2011 at 03:06 PM
People - just FYI if you didn't pick up on it. The 45th district is part of CHESTER County consisting of the CITY of Coatesville and the TOWNSHIPS of Caln, East Caln, East Fallowfield, Sadsbury and Valley and the BOROUGHS of Downingtown, Modena, Parkesburg and South Coatesville.Total population: 62,890 This is a new district in the county created via redistricting and does not cover Phoenixville. Phoenixville is represented by the 157th and also will have 3 precincts moved into the 155th. Regardless it will be an interesting race for sure!
Obama Remorse December 28, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Forget all that other bad stuff mentioned... Wait until those voters hear about that blue paint...
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