Carlisle Borough Selects Dickinson Alum as New Councilwoman

During a Borough Council meeting, Cate Mellen ’94, was selected to fill a vacancy on the Carlisle Borough Council, the legislative body of the Carlisle government. The vacancy occurred after the resignation of former Deputy Mayor Sean Shultz. Mellen was sworn in during this meeting on Jan 27.

Mellen, in her new position, will push for funding to expand affordable housing projects and public transportation in Carlisle. This includes plans to ensure safety for bikers and fixing long-term traffic issues in order to make Carlisle less car-reliant.

Over the last decade, Mellen worked with the Bosler Memorial Library and currently works as a development director at the Carlisle YMCA. She also co-founded Cumberland Valley Rising, a grassroots organization aiming to inform residents regarding local politics and promoting diversity and inclusivity.

In August 2017, after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va,. orchestrated by far-right white supremacist groups, Mellen helped organize a rally in support of racial equality. The event included speakers from Dickinson College and the United States Army War College, along with elected officials such as Carlisle Mayor Tim Scott and state Rep. Stephen Bloom.

Mellen discussed in an interview how she persuaded others to run for public office, and that she sees  public service as an extension of the work she has done with community engagement and education. She also believes that it is important for the borough to effectively get their message out and inform people how the Council affects their lives.

In regards to working with the Dickinson community, Mellen stated that “I’m happy to consider any options and my door would always be open to anyone from Dickinson who has concerns or questions.”

Mellen was one of five candidates vying for the position, the others being Meghan Anderson, Ethel Carryer, David Sheridan, and Curtis Thompson. The vote ended with five members voting for Mellen, and Mayor Shultz voting for Thompson, where a majority was required to be selected for the position.

The Council is currently made up of seven members, all Democrats, who pass laws that affect the Dickinson community and greater Carlisle area. Councilwoman Mellen’s term ends in January 2024, and the position will be up for re-election in November 2023.