By Jodi Bogert
Brandon Wentz, a professional writing major at KU, was recently appointed mayor of Mount Carbon, Pa.
“I saw it as an opportunity to do something around my community and get a foot in the door,” Wentz said.
Mount Carbon is a small town with a rich history. According to Wentz, the borough has been around since the 1800s. “I don’t think the population has ever topped 400, to put it into perspective. Right now our population is a little bit under 100 residents.”
After inquiring about the position, Wentz sent a letter of interest and attended a council meeting, where he announced his intent. The borough secretary, Susan B. McCord, administered the oath of office. His term will last until the first Monday after the next municipal election in November 2017.
Wentz’s main objective is to help the community. His goals range from improving road conditions to issuing states of emergency. “The first thing I’d like to accomplish would have to be roadwork right now. We’ve got a couple nasty potholes in the borough. Eventually I want to tackle the low voter turnout and do more fundraising, but I’m going to take things one step at a time.”
Politics is something that Wentz feels should be improved in terms of conduct, starts with him. “I only recently got into politics and I’ve noticed that on the whole it’s an unsettling arena. There’s a lot of corruption because money is at the center of so many issues.”
Wentz has already gotten to work. Recently, he and members of the town’s fire company held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new firehouse.
The former firehouse was destroyed in a fire two years ago.
In the early 1980s Wentz’s grandmother, Veronica Wentz, served as the first female mayor of Mount Carbon. “I’m proud to say that I’m a part of her lineage. She is very level-headed and intelligent and I feel like those traits rubbed off on me, if only slightly.”
Wentz acknowledges that being mayor at a young age can be a challenge, but he is excited for the opportunity. “I’ll need to buckle down and keep things in perspective, as far as school and being mayor goes. We have a great group of people on council and working for the borough.”