DONORA (KDKA) – 91 years old, Donora Mayor John “Chummy” Lignelli is running unopposed for his sixth term.
Lignelli joined politics when a former mayor asked him to fill a vacant seat on council in 1977.
He served 15 years as council president before becoming mayor. Lignelli is believed to be one of the oldest mayors in the United States.
In an article by The Observer-Reporter, they talked with Mayor Lignelli, and broke down his busy schedule.
He gets up between 4 and 4:30 a.m to volunteer at the Meals on Wheels program. He drives a minibus to transport people with special needs. He’s at the mayor’s office by 2:30 p.m. for his daily business. He’s also the chairman of the Washington County Housing Authority. During Christmas season he even rings the bell for the Salvation Army.
All that, for a mayor who reportedly takes home $71 a month.
Donora Council President Karen Polkabla, has served with Lignelli for 25 years.
She told the paper, “Some people could be 100 and still active and able to perform. This is Chummy’s life. It keeps him strong.”
The Washington County Democratic Committee named Lignelli “Democrat Of The Year” in September of 2010.