Sunday, January 30, 2005

Flaherty won't run for mayor

PG: Tom's not running. Friday, January 28.

Because of his opposition to efforts to merge some Pittsburgh and Allegheny County services, City Controller Tom Flaherty announced yesterday that he will not run for the Democratic nomination for mayor.

Flaherty has said for weeks that he was seriously considering a run but yesterday said he did not want the job.

The announcement leaves one official candidate in the race -- Allegheny County Prothonotary Michael Lamb -- as well as former Council President Bob O'Connor, who has not yet made a formal announcement.

City Councilman William Peduto likely will make some kind of announcement next week, and others could still get into the Democratic race.

Republican Party officials also are seeking a candidate.

Flaherty, oh where to begin? I hope that the people in the controller's office and who have been part of the fight of opposition will come, in due time, to join my true struggle. Sure, the 21-year controller has been a big part of the problem. But sure, he has stood up to some of the ills as well. Some good. Some bad.

Flaherty does not need a resume building campaign like Lamb and Peduto do. Flaherty doesn't want to be mayor and have the city in a worthless, weakened, stalled condition. Without the WAM, Flaherty crams. (WAM = walking around money)

I could take some of the "opposition efforts" of Flaherty and recast them into more principled counter attacks that have more purpose. And my points of opposution isn't to prevent progress, as was the case with the machine. But, we've had recent progress in the wrong directions.

In the entire SABRE Systems saga, Flaherty attacked. But, the Flaherty attacks were leveraged against the wrong points and only landed on the person of Jim Roddey, R. Flaherty didn't attack the "unified tax plan" that Bob suggested and Tom Murphy had to embarace as well. No, the baby went out with the bath water and Flaherty was a front row witness.

I had agreement with Flaherty in that the city should not have celebrated 'distressed status.' The city's leaders should NOT have given up their control of the city to overlords. The power to the people has evaporated. However, I feel that the struggle from Flaherty should have materialized for much more meaningful justifications. And, now that the oversight board is here, as well as Act 47, I can live for a new day and new rules.

Take the good and use it. There is good and bad in each decision. We can't turn back time.

Those in the controller's office can be very independent. That's good. There is hope that they'll join in the campaigns I'm associated with in the future.

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