Corey O'Brien...will NEVER, EVER receive my vote. Never. He likes to spend money on "stuff" but then claims poverty when the discussion turns to the much needed county reassessment. Sorry Corey, I'm not buying it. Not all of us are idiots, and in fact some of us realize that you and other politicians simply don't want the reassessment completed precisely because it will point out many properties that are either not on the tax rolls or which are assessed at dramatically low rates. Hmmm, might these properties belong to the well connected? Too slick Corey, way too slick.
Speaking of slick, nice move on Attorney O'Brien's part in naming Ms Jeanette Mariani as his running mate...well nice move if this were 1980. I get it: he needs to "balance the ticket" with someone having a different ethnic last name. Being a woman is a plus too. But Ms Mariani's only real claim to fame is that she is the mayor of Blakely, a town containing about a 6,700 people (reference HERE). Are we to believe that having an Italian surname and being a small town mayor from "up da line" is qualification enough for county commissioner? Certainly I can argue that being mayor of Blakely isn't. I have nothing against Ms Mariani, other than the seemingly cynical choice of having her as a running mate for Corey O'Brien.
Jim Wansacz is also on my list of people to NEVER, EVER vote for in ANY election. Why? Mr Wansacz was part of the "self-service" state legislature in Pennsylvania that was remarkably good at taking care of themselves, but remarkably poor at taking care of state business. I'm sure Mr Wansacz is a personable enough guy, but what other work experience does he bring to the table for the county commissioner position? As previously noted, I hold his experience in the legislature AGAINST him.
Other candidates include various current and former Scranton School Board directors. Anyone who believes that the Scranton School Board was/is an efficient, effective governmental body that managed tax money well and always put the education of children first needs a pre-frontal lobotomy. Do I sound angry? Good, because I am. The Scranton School District suffers from a bloated administrative staff and places far too much emphasis on sports. What's more, the board gleefully accepts the fact that their solicitor is also the head the Scranton Democratic Committee (as I have noted before, this is a blatant conflict of interest). So Mr Jeffers, Mr O'Malley, sorry, you are disqualified in my book.
So where does this leave me? Well I actually found a candidate that I am reasonably excited about: Ms Liz Randol. Why? Just a few reasons:
- She is well educated and has professional (as opposed to school board hack or self-serving legislator) experience in government
- She doesn't seem connected to the "politics as usual/right sounding last name" crew
- She (is obviously) a woman, and it's about damn time our county commissioners consist of more than just middle-aged white guys
- She has an extensive resume that includes countless volunteer activities...clearly she is dedicated to giving back to our community
You can find a link to Ms Randol's webiste HERE. You an also hear her being interviewed by Steve Corbett on this WILK link.
By way of disclose, I am not related to, nor have I ever met Ms Randol and I do not plan on contributing to her campaign. I do think, however, she is the breath of fresh air that Lackawanna County needs in a county commissioner's seat.