Goetz Dembowski appointed to fill Millvale Council vacancy
Millvale Council appointed Katie Goetz Dembowski to fill a board vacancy prompted by councilman Jason Miller’s resignation due to his relocation to another municipality.
Democrat Goetz Dembowski must run for re-election in November to carry out a four-year term starting in January 2020.
Goetz Dembowski, 36, a Millvale native, has strong ties to the borough with both sets of great-grandparents once hailing from the area.
“My grandma Betty Goetz, she still lives in the same house that she raised her 11 children in right on Stanton Avenue and a lot of my aunts and uncles and cousins still do live in town, and my husband’s family is also from Millvale,” she said.
The councilwoman said her grandfather, Jim Malloy, at one time had three businesses in town and served as auditor.
Goetz Dembowski and her brother, Kevin Goetz, are learning the family business their father has run since 1975: Cousins Lounge.
“Through Cousins, I’ve helped to set up quite a number of fundraisers for the (Millvale Volunteer) Fire Department and for the (Northern Area) Boys & Girls Club,” she said. The bar also hosts benefits for the Millvale Music Festival.
In 2015, she partnered with five women to form the Business Association of Millvale (BAM), which is dedicated to promoting local establishments.
Goetz Dembowski’s husband, Dave, also has connections to the borough. His grandfather, Jim Porter, was council president for 10 years, councilman for 17 years and worked for the Millvale Borough Police Department as chief.
In 2017, Millvale received a $40,000 Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant to develop Millvale Riverfront Park with a play area, handicapped access, signage and other improvements. Millvale’s Manager at the time, Amy Rockwell, said the borough wanted the area to honor Porter’s contributions to the Riverfront Park.
“I’m hoping that now that I’m on, (the board), I can give a little extra fire to that project … and I’m hoping that will come into fruition soon because that will be a really great play area for children, especially with the pavilion and the riverfront right there and the trail,” Goetz Dembowski said.
The councilwoman described the Millvale Community Library and Northern Area Boys & Girls Club as “near and dear” to her heart. As a child, she took dance lessons at the club, and worked her way up from an assistant teacher to a head teacher, instructing classes from 1999 to 2014. She also worked there as a summer camp counselor and now serves as a board member. The experience helped her realize that she “wants kids in the town to be able to have access to parks and playgrounds and activities that suit them.”
As a board member, Goetz Dembowski also wants residents to feel like they can get excited about Millvale’s developments, without fearing that they will get priced out of their homes.
“I would like to see some more easily accessible food come into town, especially for the residents of Lloyd McBride or single parents or parents that aren’t as mobile or drive because I want them to be able to walk around town and have the services available to them that would benefit them.”
“I believe that Katie’s strong commitment to Millvale where she was born and raised and is now raising her own children will be an integral asset to her and council moving forward,” Millvale Mayor Brian Spoales said. “I see Katie’s involvement and voice on the future of Millvale as a strong contributor and role model for the female teenage population that they too can grow into a leader and contributor of their hometown.”
The councilwoman earned her cosmetology license from the Pittsburgh Beauty Academy and worked as a stylist at Millvale’s Shear Timing for a decade.
She and her husband have two children, Hunter, 5, and Finn, 3.