Peter Urscheler

Peter Urscheler

Peter Urscheler is the pleasant, energized and capable Mayor of Phoenixville. This coming January will mark one full year in office.

Originally from Tavares, Fla., Peter came to the area after being recruited by SEI in Oaks in 2006. He graduated from Stetson University in DeLand with a degree in business administration.

Peter is the only child of Norma and Emil Urscheler. He grew up in a diverse household. His mother was from the Philippines, and his father from Switzerland.

After Peter moved to Pennsylvania, this family of three traveled to Switzerland every year for several weeks, leaving for the trip the day after Christmas as his mom worked Christmas Day. Norma spent 32 years working as an OB and pediatrics nurse. Emil was a gentleman of adventure.

Upon returning to the states, Norma and Emil would spend a few weeks with Peter. In 2012, Norma fell, hitting her head, and was taken to the hospital. It was during that stay it was discovered that she had stomach cancer. Needing more room for the three of them as well as their furry children, Ian and Ina, they moved to Bridge Street in downtown Phoenixville.

Norma and the family fought a valiant battle for 14 months before she left this earth. It was decided that his dad would remain living with Peter.

It was a very sad time when Emil unexpectedly passed away the morning after Peter was sworn in as mayor after he held the Bible during the ceremony. Peter said he believes his 90-year-old dad felt he could let go as he saw the love of the Phoenixville community surrounding Peter.

His parents were real go-to people. Their volunteerism reached far and wide. They instilled in Peter a strong example and drive to do service when and where he could. Peter’s first love is community action.

As a private citizen, as well as being mayor, he has had impact on all that he undertakes. His involvement is deeply rooted. Asked if he had any hobbies, his answer was, “To volunteer at events that serve the community.”

Being mayor is a part-time job, so he needed a flexible job. He left the corporate world for his passion for the community. He opened a growing communications consulting firm, 235 Bridge.

Television spots produced by called “The Mayor’s Kitchen” are taped from Peter’s kitchen. The videos cover general features, as well as cooking, and are shown on Facebook. He finds it a learning process as Peter claims to not be into cooking.

Peter shared with me several of his mom’s recipe written in her handwriting. Here is her recipe for her Pancit. It is a Filipino noodle dish that was introduced by the Chinese.

Norma's Pancit

½ lb. pork

¼ cup olive oil

Chicken broth

2 medium onions

6 cloves garlic

½ savory cabbage, shredded

Hand full of carrot strips

8 oz. sliced mushroom

Soy sauce

Black pepper

1 package of rice noodles

sesame oil — optional

Sauté onions and garlic in ¼ cup olive oil. Add pork. Cover and cook on a low flame for five minutes. Add mushrooms (they may become watery) and cook for 10 minutes. Stir constantly so it does not burn. Add chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Add carrots and cabbage. Soak rice noodles so they soften and come apart. Add noodles into mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for another five minutes over a low flame. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste. Mix in 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Combine everything. Cover and continue to cook for five minutes. Mix through before serving.


Let Bette hear from you: Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.

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