Within the Platform.For-Pgh.org there is mention and support of the creation of ombudsman positions in local, county and state government. That role is one that is absent in our political landscape. I think we'll hear more about the ombudsman in the seasons to come and it would make for a great voter driven ballot question, perhaps as soon as this fall.
15 May 2005
My personal perspective on the upcoming elections.
I expect there may be confusion regarding the District 2 City Council elections, because there are two elections, and all the mailings I've seen have made no clear effort to inform voters of the distinctions:
A. The Special Election to complete the term until November 2005, for the seat vacated by Mr. Hertzberg when he was appointed a judge by Gov.Rendell.
There are only two candidates, each selected by the committees of the recognized political parties:
Samuel Berninger of Sheraden = the Republican committee candidate
Daniel Deasy of Westwood = the Democratic committee candidate
B. The Primary Election to select candidates for the November General Election
6 Democratic candidates
1 Republican candidate (Samuel Berninger)
Samuel Berninger of Sheraden is the only one of the six City Council District 2 Candidates and the three District 42 State Senate Candidate who responded to my request for written commitments for the few simple concrete actions noted on the website at www.pauljsentner.com/no_wehav
Additionally, Samuel Berninger of Sheraden also indicated YES to all three commitments should he be elected in the Special Election.
Thererfore he is my choice in Tuesday's City Council Special Election.
In no way do I support the national Republican agenda, nor the gang of nazis in Washington, but if ethical behavior is to ever become inherent in our political parties, those individuals who seem to be so, should be given the chance to participate, and perhaps change the Parties from within, while others may work to establish additional national USA political parties as alternatives to the two major parties which now seem to be far too often mirror-images of each other.
My reasoning is to give Samuel the chance to keep to his stated intentions, if he's elected and does so, then I will vote for him again in November.
The others had the same opportunity to accept the challenge to go on the public record with these few specific actions; there has been much braying of generalities, none of which a candidate can be held to. Because of their non-response and absence of specific accountable-for commitments, I'm not going for anyone in the Democratic Primary. Too bad we don't have open primaries.
Incidentally, I do not support cutting Council members to 5 - heck, why not 3? -- or how about none, and then we can designate the Mayor to be Feudal Lord?
I'm for MORE representation, not less;
-- guess who would be under-represented if there were only 5 Council members?
-- there's too much of a buddy-system going on among the present members of Council, let alone cutting the club down to 5;
-- and that's too much power to concentrate, rather than expand.
I do think that some Districts might be re-configured, decided by referendum of the residents.
For instance, -- it seems to me that Mt.Washington (with the possible exception of Duquesne Heights?), Arlington and Mt. Oliver might have more in common than Mt. Washington has with the present southwestern neighborhoods;
-- and that Banksville might have more in common with Beechview?
I believe the area encompassed by Mt. Washington-Banksville-East Carnegie-Esplen-Temperanceville is -- too vast an area to be responsibly and knowledgeably represented by one person,
-- too easy for one representative to be unaccountable to the residents,
-- too vast to permit residents to exert their cohesive influence upon a
I have friends and relatives in Mt. Washington, but local community-wise, Mt. Washington may as well be on the Northside.
Given the deluge of bad-mouthing political junk-mail from the Parties, the absence of any assistance with the WE-HAV scheme, and conversations with Mark Ruterkus, I am going for Rauterkus for State Senator, I'd like to give him a chance and see how he does for two years.
As for the Mayoral Primary, their WE-HAV actions render it impossible for me to accept O'Connor or Peduto, and so I am going for Lamb; to see how he might do, given the chance.
I prefer to have some public control via election of officials, rather than patronage-ridden appointed officials, and thus I do not support the Row-Office reform question.
I do accept the "Greening" question for State funding of environmental matters, etc.