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Chosen By Lottery, Jeannette's New Controller Doesn't Want The Job

JEANNETTE, Pa. (KDKA) - When 30 individuals tied with one vote each for Jeannette city controller in the November election, a bingo-type lottery on Friday determined the winner.

But as KDKA political editor Jon Delano has learned, the winner has no intention of taking office.

Thirty names were written in for Jeannette controller, so the tie was broken on Friday at the Westmoreland County Courthouse when Jody Weightman, a long-time resident and retiree in Jeannette, was declared the city's next controller on the basis of a random drawing.

The winner was taken by total surprise, saying she had no idea that her name was written in.

Delano: "When did you learn that you were city controller?"

Weightman: "Saturday morning around 8:30, and the phone didn't stop all day."

Now she says she has no desire to serve as Jeannette's next controller.

"I was utterly shocked. Shocked. I thought there has to be another Jody Weightman," she said on Monday.

Delano: "Did you know that someone had written your name in for this job?"

Weightman: "No. I think it's wonderful, but they should have really picked a person who was really wanting the job."

Delano: "You don't want this job, I take it?"

Weightman: "I think it's too much for me."

Weightman, who has lived in Jeannette since the late 1980s, says the job requires more time than she can give.

"It would take a lot more time than I'm willing to give," she says.

City Solicitor Timothy Witt says Weightman has told the city she doesn't want the job and signed documents on Monday morning to relinquish the office.

"She's reached out to the city and actually come down to city hall to fill out the necessary paperwork to decline that position at the beginning of that term next year," says Witt.

That now creates another vacancy for city controller.

So is there another lottery or another election?

"On Jan. 3, the city council under the Third-Class City Code would be required to declare and deem that position to be vacant, and then the city council would have the opportunity to fill that vacancy," says Witt.

"Anybody that's interested, a resident of Jeannette, can put in an application for the controller position," says Jeannette Mayor Curtis Antoniak.

Antoniak says he expects lots of applicants.

"The way our city is moving up we'll have quite a few applications for this position, and this position will be named on Jan. 3 at the reorganization meeting," says the mayor.

Now under the document she signed, Weightman does have the right to reclaim her office until a successor is named, but she tells KDKA that she has no intention of doing that.

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