Braddock Council appoints interim mayor
After weeks of dispute, the Braddock Council has appointed an interim mayor.
Chardae Jones, 29, was selected by the six-member council in a unanimous vote at a special meeting Tuesday, council President Tina Doose said.
“I’m excited to continue my work with the community,” said Jones, who has volunteered throughout the community and has co-chaired Braddock Community Day.
Jones will fill the vacancy left by former Mayor John Fetterman, who resigned earlier this month after serving as mayor for 12 years to step into a new role as lieutenant governor.
Jones is a 2007 graduate of Woodland Hills High School who grew up in Braddock. She received a degree in professional writing and communications from Carlow University in Pittsburgh in 2011, and went on to serve in Braddock as an Americorps member in 2013. She works as a business analyst.
As mayor, her main priority is to “break down the walls” between council and residents, and to be the bridge between council and public safety, Jones said.
“I want to ensure that there’s some degree of transparency within the way Braddock Borough is structured, government wise,” she said.
Jones is also interested in working with young people in the borough — both school-age children as well as those in their 20s — to get them engaged in the community and to keep them from moving away, she said.
“I want to use the energy that I’ve build thus far to energize the youth in the neighborhood to get them involved,” she said.
As mayor, Jones will be responsible for overseeing the Braddock Police Department, Doose said.
“She is going to be one of the key voices and faces of leadership in Braddock,” Doose said. “She and myself and the other council members – We’re going to work in tandem to move things forward.”
Jones was one of several candidates who submitted applications for the interim mayor position in December.
Braddock Council was scheduled to vote on an interim mayor at a Jan. 8 council meeting, but postponed the vote after residents questioned the application process and whether the two finalists selected by council prior to that meeting were qualified to serve.
Jones was not one of those two finalists.
A total of five candidates addressed the council and residents at the Jan. 29 meeting, Doose said. Each had five minutes to explain why they wanted to be mayor.
Jones has the option to run in the May primary and must win the November general election to keep the seat.
Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jamie at 724-850-2867, [email protected] or via Twitter @Jamie_Martines.