Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, it's time to do the right thing. For your son. Be a hero in the young boy's life. Cement your legacy and his future now.
For Cooper's sake, step down from the city's top post immediately and focus your attentions on family matters.
It's almost always sad when a family is destroyed—no matter what ideas special interest groups might twist to fit their agenda—a child is vastly better off with a two biological parent home. This is your chance to assure that your son has not only a normal life, but an exemplary one.
Staying Mayor one day longer is self-indulgent, and wrong.
Clearly, your wife Erin is a strong, intelligent, compassionate women who—more than anyone else—assured your victory for a four-year term on November 3. Had she portrayed “the woman scorned,” Dok Harris might be salivating about his corner office on the 5th floor of the City Council building downtown. Instead, she was the dutiful best friend who assisted you in claiming your dream. It never was hers. This is assured.
Let's call a spade a spade. You are the luckiest politician this city has seen since Sophie Masloff. Had it not been for the tragic, untimely death of Bob O'Connor, you'd still be a member of city council, representing the North Side. Spouses of city councilors are anonymous (it would take significant searching to see who is married and who is single, let alone correctly name spouses), so Erin could have happily continued in her role as a neighborhood hair dresser, and now mother.
Let's step back even further. Had it not been for your well-heeled parent(s), you'd be working some non-nondescript downtown job for a third of your taxpayer salary and a thousandth of the perks. If it hadn't been for your parents, you wouldn't enjoy the pampering, there'd be no tailgate parties with military-grade SUVs and certainly no swanky trips to New York City. Their combined vested interest guided you to be the man you are today.
You won your brand-new four-year term because the symbol for Incumbent was next to your name on the ballot (and the love of your wife). In city-wide races, if you have Incumbent and Democrat next to your name, that's the equivalent of being named Pope. You only leave office on your own terms; the rubber-stamp Democratic machine never wavers. It has no conscious and the machine doesn't think. You can.
This is your opportunity to be a true leader, an exemplary father, and perhaps even a standout husband.
Your value as Boy Mayor is negligible. The city all but runs itself until a mayor frequently adds or increases taxes. People grumble, call the Mayor “brainless,” and watch businesses and neighbors alike leave. It's a thankless job, except for the perks. As a jet-setting bachelor, you'd be free to attend even more galas, balls and sports events, most on the city's dime. It isn't real.
What about Cooper?
Money and faux prestige might be lavished upon him, but there will absolutely, certainly be times in which the Mayor will be away on business and the young lad will just be pining for Dad.
Don't chose the job of Mayor over your son.
Step down today.
Instantly, top corporations in town would be bidding on your services. Continue with marriage counseling and become an advocate for Family. You will become a folk hero in a town that adores folk heroes.
You've been a placeholder Mayor. There's no evidence that you will be anything but a passable office holder. Chances are you won't be a game-breakingly horrific leader like Tom Murphy, but if your proposed college-student levy is any indication as to your effectiveness as a Mayor, the statue of Richard Caliguiri won't be razed anytime soon for your granite likeness.
Instead, become an excellent father.
This separation reeks of self-importance and selfishness. You won't be County Executive and you'll never be Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Let's get those crazy notions off the table right now.
It's been reported that you nearly quit politics over this family crisis.
You should have.
You've been compromised. Your duty is with your family. Your sacrifice is to give up this job of status for your son. Get out of the spotlight and take care of your family. Don't sever your Christian marriage and abandon your wife. Take care of your son.
The good thing is, you are very young. You can come back into politics when you are prepared to make a difference. That is obviously not now.
If you stay one more minute, you are doing a grave disservice to this city, a city that deserves better. You deserve better. Your wife and son deserve better.
Lead. Do you have it in you? Do you have the faith, the courage, the strength?
Pittsburgh loves a winner. Be a winner. Go out a winner now.