City Council Race Gets Another Challenger In Mark Shaffer
WILKES-BARRE — A second challenger has entered the race to represent District B on city council.
Mark Shaffer, 24, is running for the Democratic nomination for the seat held by incumbent Tony Brooks, a Republican. So far, Shaffer’s competition in the primary election comes from Democrat Eugene Wallace.
District B encompasses southwestern downtown and the Mayflower, Iron Triangle and Rolling Mill Hill sections of the city.
A program analyst at CareerLink, Shaffer said in a news release that he’s running for the post because he believes Wilkes-Barre is “a city of promise.”
“I chose to make my life here in Wilkes-Barre because it is a place with a diverse population with two major colleges, great entertainment venues, a rich history and a richer future. The bright future of Wilkes-Barre can be achieved through proactive legislation and intelligent leadership, which I hope you will let me provide,” Shaffer said.
Having lost a family member to opioid addiction this year, Shaffer wants to make the epidemic a key focus, calling it “a health crisis.”
“We cannot jail away the problem of drug addiction,” said Shaffer, who wants to increase the availability of naloxone and expand services available to addicts to help them to get clean.
Shaffer said he would work to promote high-paying jobs, workers’ rights, and on-the-job protections for citizens through overtime enforcement and prevailing wage ordinances.
“To promote new job development, we must ensure that we utilize state grants for community development that broadens the tax base and ensures sustainable growth, rather than help special interests,” he added.
Potholes are a problem, and “for too long the city has underfunded road maintenance. With a competent and efficient administration, I look forward to tackling this issue through significant investment rather than just throwing temporary patches in politically significant spots,” Shaffer said.
He said past leaders have tried to balance the city budget on the backs of families. “As an elected council person, I plan to focus my efforts on examining the local tax system to find ways to shift the tax burden off of citizens,” he said.
“The old boys’ network has played far too great of a role in our city’s administration,” Shaffer said. “We must bring transparency to our city government by videotaping city council work sessions, requiring the mayor to come to city council meetings, and increasing disclosures in the hiring process of top officials.”
If elected, Shaffer promised to constantly be open to feedback from constituents who can reach him through his “Mark for WB” Facebook page or email email@example.com.
Wilkes-Barre council members are paid $13,199 per year, except for the chairperson, who is paid $14,699. All five council seats will be on the ballot this year.
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