SCRANTON, Pa. -- Sixteen people are being considered to oversee the city of Scranton for the next few months until a new mayor can be chosen in a special election in November.
Scranton City Council had asked those who wanted to be interim mayor to submit resumes to council after former Mayor Bill Courtright resigned abruptly before he pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.
A meeting is set for next Monday between the council and those candidates, which is open to the public, but no public input will be heard.
“We’ll have the candidates come in, they’ll give their pitch to council why they should be chosen, council will have the opportunity to as questions from the applicants,” said council president Pat Rogan.
Whoever is selected will serve until January when the new mayor is sworn in.
Among the candidates, downtown restaurant owner Joshua Mast, who owns both Posh and The Colonnade.
“The city needs somebody that’s going to lead it and that’s going to restore the community’s faith in city hall and local government and the mayor’s office,” said Mast.
Another candidate is Thom Welby, who serves as the top aide to State Representative Marty Flynn.
“There’s things in this city that I feel that maybe the ball has been dropped on that needs to be taken care of. I think there’s grant money that’s been left on the table and shouldn’t be,” said Welby.
City council says a 17th person applied for the mayor’s position but they can’t be considered because they live outside the city.
Bill Sheakoski owns Pizza by Pappas down the block from City Hall. He’s happy with the number of people applying for the mayor’s position.
“I think it’s great, the more people that are interested, that just means that there’s a commitment of many people to see this city succeed,” said Sheakoski.
"What happened to it? What happened to the decay? We have awful bad decay right now and what causes it? I don't know. Politics? Yes, yes. And I think we lost respect in a lot of ways," said one city resident.
The candidates will meet with council Monday afternoon. Council members hope to choose one by the middle of next week.
The next mayor will be in office until January when the winner of a special election will be sworn in.
"Hopefully we won't get anybody corrupt again. Somebody who will really take care of this city. I feel this city has really been going downhill and somebody that will really build this city back up," said Kathy Halko of Scranton.
The meeting next Monday will be at 1 pm and held at Scranton City Hall.
Council hopes to pick the interim mayor at its regular meeting next Wednesday.
Here are the candidates:
- Joseph Albert
- Dennis D’Augostine
- John Drobnicki
- Wayne Evans
- Bradford J. Foley
- Karin Foster
- Jim Freethy
- John J. Keeler
- Joshua J. Mast
- John J. Sheroda
- John R. A. Tarantino
- Paul R. Tomczyk
- Stephen Tunis
- John (Jay) Walsh
- Robert Weber
- Thom Welby