Fumbling County Government

When the sitting County Executive announced last week that he will not run for reelection (under the Home Rule Charter an Executive can serve a maximum three terms) the President of County Council noted that the Executive’s decision is "…almost like the Steelers losing Troy Polamalu.".

Steeler fans know all too well the effects of missing its starting strong safety: as of the 2011 season the Steelers posted a losing record (5-7) without Polamalu in the lineup. Backups have not gotten the job done. Hard to do for Pro-Bowl players.

So what is the Council President saying? Surely he meant to praise the current Executive, but in so doing he seemed to be demeaning candidates running in the spring and all subsequent holders of the office. It becomes all the more curious when one realizes that the President is likely to be one of those candidates. It makes one wonder if anyone is worthy of the office going forward.

Should the Council President run and win, should he be viewed as a lackluster imitation of the current Executive? If he does not take the office (either by opting not to run or running and not winning) will he treat the successful winner as stepping into shoes they will never be able to fill?