Community mourns loss of Mt. Carbon mayor, KU student

'What a tragedy'

MT. CARBON, Pa. - When young Brandon Wentz was first elected mayor of the small Schuylkill County community of Mount Carbon, adjacent to Pottsville, one of his first orders of business was to help a local business.

"We sat and talked a little bit concerning the national recording bands and offered his full help and cooperation, and he said he'd help with traffic control and all of that," explained Michael Glauda, co-owner of Goodfellas, a bar and entertainment complex on the edge of town.

According to Glauda, politics ran in the Wentz family.

"His grandmother, his mother, his uncle. They've been helping the community for years, decades, really," Glauda said.

Just like many others in Mount Carbon, Glauda was shocked to hear of Wentz's sudden passing under yet-unknown circumstances.

"What a young tragedy," Glauda said.

In addition to politics, Wentz had studied writing at Kutztown University, which released the following statement:

"Kutztown University is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Brandon Wentz. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. We share in their grief at this very difficult time."

With Mount Carbon being such a small community in the shadow of neighboring Pottsville, one former councilman was impressed by the young man wanting to get involved in local politics.

"It was nice to see the youth come up and step forward. Both Mr. Dunkel and Mr Wentz step forward and try to keep their community going because we're struggling just to stay afloat," said former Mt. Carbon Councilman Bruce Ernst.

Ernst, along with the community, is stunned by Wentz's quick resignation and his sudden death.

"Whenever a young person dies, that's always a sad loss for everyone in the community," Ernst said.

How will the borough move forward?

"The council will probably appoint somebody, or since the election was just held," Ernst explained. "Somebody would have to be appointed."

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