Monday, December 04, 2006

Mayor Ravenstahl will seek full term -- hardly. This election isn't for a 'full term' -- thankfully

Luke's in the race. Everyone knew he'd run for the job that he now holds. But, let's get the headline straight.
Mayor Ravenstahl will seek full term in office next year - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Mayor Ravenstahl will seek full term in office next year
Luke runs in the primary with a vote in May 2007. If Luke wins the D primary, he'll be able to advance to the general election in November 2007.

The winner of the November 2007 general election will take the oath of office shortly after the election is certified by the department of elections. That should occur a week or so after the general election, in mid-November.

The victor in the general election of November 2007 gets to serve as mayor for two years, the good lord willing. A full term of four years isn't going to be granted until after the election of 2009. Yes, another election and set of campaigns for Pittsburgh's mayor will occur in 2009 with its spring primary and fall general election.

I'm glad that voters get to choose who will be the mayor for the remainder of the term that began as Bob O'Connor was sworn to uphold the constitution and city charter in January 2006. I welcome the arrival of a full and robust election cycle in 2007, with both primary and general votes.

Come 2009, we'll do it again for the same office. That's great too, in my humble opinion.

We need a more robust system of self-government and democracy in this region. We need to supercharge all aspects of our self-reliance. That occurs, in part, on the campiagn trails and at the voting booths.

When the overlords arrived in the City of Pittsburgh, (i.e., Act 47 team and I.C.A. czars), I suggested that terms of service for all elected officials be cut in half. The mayor, controller and city council should come up for re-election every two years, not four years, when overlords are in town doing the jobs of the mayor, controller and city council.

We can talk about cutting the size of city council, from nine members to seven or five. We can talk about cutting the size of their budgets and perks too. But, perhaps we should cut the lenght of their time in office. Let's double-up on our democracy and vote more often. I want to better leverage the issues of the day with a match of the candidates.

The city's finance troubles of recent times came because of the poor jobs of the mayor, controller and city council. In these times of crisis, we need more accountability -- not less.

With oversight and its distressed status should come an automatic reduction in the length of terms.

Sure, some of those people have since departed. Let's keep them honest.


Matt H said...

How can you expect Council members and the Mayor to have any time to family and various other things if they are forced to run every two years?

Do you understand what that would mean? That means they would be campaigning every single year without a break.

That's a horrible idea and one that will NEVER work or happen.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Members of the PA House and Members of the US Congress run every two years, by design.

And, neither the PA House nor the US Congress have overlords doing their jobs for them.

In my world, campaigns need to change in a dramatic way. Spending $1-million to get 30,000 votes, (O'Connor / Murphy) or $1-million to get 19k votes (Fontana) -- is not what I mean either.

I hate to see candidates (and I've seen a good bit of this in recent years) run around to various groups with promises out the ying-yang.

I don't think it will happen. But, if it did, we'd be better for it.

Finally, public service isn't about a life of comfort.