DANVILLE, Pa. — Mayor Bernie Swank was all smiles as members of the Danville Police Department surprised her with a birthday cake.
"She works her tail off for this community, and she is phenomenal with the police department," said Danville Police Chief Jon Swank.
Bernie celebrated her 80th birthday this week. She was first elected mayor of Danville in 1989 and is serving her fourth term. Bernie also served three terms as a Montour County commissioner.
"You heard people say about the different things in the community that they did or they didn't like, or how could they do this. I thought, well, it's time for me to maybe get involved to find out what's going on in the community and see how I can help," Mayor Swank said.
Bernie has been the only female mayor of Danville, a title she doesn't take lightly.
"If I can do it, there's a lot of other women out there that can do it. If they think they can't, then go for it."
Bernie was born and raised in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania as the youngest of eight children. She moved to Danville in her early 30s and opened a hair salon, which she operated for more than 40 years.
"I knew how to appreciate what I didn't have, and now that I have it, I appreciate it more."
Bernie says she likes being mayor so much that she wants to run again when her term is up next year.
"When you stop communicating, you kind of get stagnant. I don't want to do that. I'm not going to do that. I'm going to keep going," said the mayor.
"She's always out here meeting with people and trying to help the community and trying to get things done," Chief Swank added. "She's great."