BRADDOCK (KDKA) — Things got heated inside the packed, cramped Braddock Borough Council Chambers on Tuesday evening.
Many people attending the meeting in which a new mayor was supposed to be selected, were actually there to speak out against the process used to select candidates.
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“The Borough seems to not do their research,” said former mayoral candidate Delia Lennon-Winstead. “They move the candidate ahead through the mayor procedures that wasn’t qualified.”
The pool of candidates in recent weeks went from seven down to two. The selection by Borough Council was finalized to include Isaac Bunn, a local community activist, but residents argued he was a registered voter in North Braddock, not Braddock Borough.
“I just hope that they do their due diligence next time; and hopefully, they can get a feel and get some input from the actual community,” said community member Chardae Jones.
The other final candidate, a Rankin police officer and state constable, is Pedro Valles. Residents argued he could not be mayor either and hold two offices at once.
One thing was unanimous in the borough’s quest to fill the mayoral vacancy, former Mayor John Fetterman’s role in revitalizing Braddock has been significant. Fetterman was elected lieutenant governor of the state last year. So with all the dissent to fill his big shoes, more time to vet out and interview candidates was sorely needed.
“I was aware that if I was constable, as long as I was appointed, it would be okay, but if I came into an election, then I would have to make a decision, because you can’t hold two elected positions, that was already known,” said Valles.
So what happens from here, more input from the community is certain, this is a vocal and involved constituency that wants to continue to see Braddock move forward.