A Village of Montgomery election is coming up in March, and longtime area resident Randi Picarello has formally stated her intent to run.
The executive director of the Business Council of Greater Montgomery made the announcement in early January and since has dedicated a lot of time to her campaign. Picarello, a Village of Montgomery resident, is known for her constant hand in community events and supporting new businesses.
Picarello’s decision to run stems a lot from the community.
“I’ve been attending a lot of these meetings and paying attention [and] trying to kind of work as a liaison whenever I can between boards, trustees and council people. So I think people have just gotten used to seeing me navigating some of that stuff,” said Picarello.
Picarello has long advocated for small businesses as a business owner herself. In 2012 she opened Eat This Bakery, a bakery operated fully by Picarello herself. She is a self-taught baker and for years offered different baked goods to the community. While Eat This Bakery stopped operating out of its Union Street location in March of last year, Picarello continued to do wholesale, contract work and teach classes.
“I’ve seen the way the business community and the municipality interact. I’ve [also] seen ways we can definitely improve and do different or more events, and really get our business owners to have a sense of ownership of that business district,” said Picarello.
Although people may think Picarello knows the ins and outs of the board, she mentions she’ll be learning it as new. While she often speaks at board meetings and is knowledgeable of current events, she states that she’ll need to learn their processes.
“If I’m elected, the first few months are really going to be about learning the inner workings of the board. We think we know because we sit and make comments and stuff at these board meetings, but I’d really like to see the work that goes on behind the scenes and how that’s going; what I can do there to kind of streamline and be as effective as possible,” Picarello stated.
Some of Picarello’s other accomplishments include establishing the Village Preservation Committee, securing a $600,000 Community Benefit Agreement, being a TOMSTRONG Community Response Team board member, founder of the Town Wide Small Business Saturday event, Main Street Makers participant and more.
Starting February 16, Picarello will be holding “Coffee with a Candidate” at Java Blue Coffee & Market from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. for casual conversation or questions. She has also been out and about, meeting new faces and walking through neighborhoods.
“I feel like I’ve seen this village in the last 12 years in every single lens you could and I see a lot of people’s perceptions and a lot of people’s concerns. I understand them and I think that I could really bring a great compromise to what most people want to see go on here,” said Picarello.
The election will be held on March 21, 2023. On top of Picarello, Incumbent Trustees JoAnn Sheels and Darlene Andolsek are also running for re-election. Mayor Stephen Brescia will run again as well.