Just like death and taxes, elections are an inevitable life event. In Pittsburgh, primaries will be held on May 17. As a registered Democrat, I will attempt to share my opinions and some facts about the Democratic candidates for office.
This is a special year for the county. Why? After his drubbing in the state governor's race, Dan Onorato, our beloved County Executive, has decided against running for the esteemed office.
As an especially informed voter this year, I had the pleasure of listening to the canned speeches of 2 of Dan's potential successors. Unfortunately, they both seem about the same to me - going on and on about their grand plan to subvert the court's fair decision to re-assess property in Allegheny County and praising themselves and the county for avoiding property tax increases over the past 10 years while back-handedly calling our unfair tax paying residents suckers under their breath.
Both of the candidates seem to be riding the coattails of Dan Onorato's successful avoidance of property tax reassessments, their untarnished names, and pretty much nothing else, but they both showed up to my neighborhood association to campaign and give their spiel, so I have to give them credit where credit is due.
Mark Patrick Flaherty - Allegheny County Controller. Lives in Mt Lebanon with his wife and 1 daughter. Wants to study Marcellus Shale drilling further and then profit from it. Will go along with the court's wishes (against his wishes) to reassess property and attempt to insure it is done in a transparent easy-to-appeal manner. Wants light rail to the airport and all suburbs, doesn't think that the drink tax was the right solution for funding Port Authority, but says: "we have to go back to the drawing board and find a solution, because the town cannot function without public transit."
Rich Fitzgerald - Allegheny County Council President. Lives in Squirrel Hill with his wife and 8 children. Wants responsible taxed Marcellus Shale Drilling. He "opposes any effort to implement the court ordered tax reassessments." No mention of Port Authority on his election issues page.
Of these 2 candidates, I'm leaning toward Mr Flaherty. His highlighting of Port Authority on his campaign website and his willingness to follow the court's orders endear him to me.
On the Republican side, Raja, the Mt Lebanon commissioner, appears to be the favorite, which should shape up for a competitive election come the fall. Raja's running against the scoundrel we all love to hate, County Councilor Chuck McCullough.