WEST READING, Pa. — West Reading is starting the year with a new mayor, and she is already making history. Samantha Kaag is the first woman ever to serve as the borough's mayor.

"It's pretty exciting, actually," Kaag said. "I'm very proud of it."

Originally from the Ithaca, New York, area, Kaag said she moved to West Reading 13 years ago. Her husband is from the area.

"West Reading has been the place I ended up staying," she said, "and I really got involved with different events in the borough, like the cleanups and stuff. The cleanup is one I was really interested in and excited about."

She served as a volunteer firefighter in Shillington before transferring to West Reading's department, and she went on to serve on the borough council.

"I've always kind of been wanting to be involved in the community and volunteering my time," Kaag shared.

Now as mayor, she wants to help others get involved.

"I want to make sure I'm getting into the community and saying, 'Hey, here's what you can do. Here's how you can help if you can't commit to being on a committee or commission, like there's some volunteer opportunities coming up, like let's utilize that connection to bring people together in the borough," she said.

Kaag said it is that involvement that will help build the future.

"So that we have people," Kaag said, "so when council members are ready to step out of the positions and focus on family, we have great people that are willing to come up and step in to take on those roles, so moving forward we are able to continue to have a positive, progressive, wonderful place to come visit, eat, play, you know and definitely work."

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