Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Braddock Manager Wants to Make an Impact

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Braddock Manager Wants to Make an Impact

Article excerpt

After more than a year of searching, Braddock has hired a borough manager to guide the financially distressed community and help it recover from the crime of a former manager.

Eric Leslie Powell, 52, of Lancaster, will relieve Paul Leger, who came out of retirement to act as borough manager for the past 14 months.

Mr. Leger stepped up after Braddock's former borough manager, Ella B. Jones, was charged with stealing from the community.

Ms. Jones, who stole nearly $170,000 from the borough, pleaded guilty to the charges in March and was sentenced to probation in June.

Mr. Powell said he hopes to continue the stability built by Mr. Leger and revitalize the community's blighted business district.

He plans to move in or near Braddock before he begins working in the borough next month. The post is a full-time position and pays $45,000 a year.

Most recently, Mr. Powell was executive director of the Lancaster County Republican Committee. Prior to that, he spent six years as manager of Mount Hope in that county and worked for almost two decades with the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority.

"While it wasn't directly a borough manager's position, I worked with a lot of borough managers," he said of the post with the redevelopment authority.

Mr. Powell said that when he graduated from college with a degree in government and history, he wanted to work on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., or in Harrisburg. But that changed as his career progressed.

"As I learned more about government in the working world, it became apparent to me that it might be a boost to your ego to work there, but where you're going to have an impact on people's lives is on the local level," he said.

"It's where you can have the biggest direct impact on the lives of people."

ERIC LESLIE POWELL

AGE: 52

HOMETOWN: Born and raised in West Chester, Chester County; lives in Lancaster but plans to move to the Braddock area before beginning his new job Dec. 5

OCCUPATION: Braddock manager

EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree, Franklin & Marshall College

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