3 hours ago
Saturday, November 18, 2006
CV: Luzerne County Commissioner Todd Vonderheid confirmed at a Friday morning news conference he will not seek a second term in office. He did promise to serve out the remaining 13 months of his current term.
The Yonk has his farewell letter. He notes some accomplishments but I give him and Skrep many incompletes plus some downright blunders such as the life transition plan, adding to the long term debt and still playing games with jobs.
But let's look to the future.
The heir apparent is Controller Maryanne Petrilla who took on and replaced Steve Flood when he started asking too many inconvenient questions. The Democratic Party owes her for getting rid of a loudmouth, dedicated and honest man. From what I hear she even shows up at the office once in while since Laura Bidwell was fired and can't sign Petrilla's name to official documents. Wilkes-Barre city councilwoman Kathy Kane is also looking to move up because of the uncertainty of surrounding the new districts but if she stays on council she is looking at positions with the Pennsylvania and National League of Cities. Such a tough choice when you want to be somebody. Other possible Democratic candidates are Pittston Township Supervisor Tony Attardo, Wilkes-Barre attorney Ray Hassey, and former Bear Creek Township Supervisor Ed Benkoski.
On the Republican side Steve Urban is being coy but will probably run again. Other Republicans considering a run are: Crestwood School Board member Bill Jones, Hanover Area School Board member David Shipula, Dallas chiropractor Dave Madeira, former West Hazleton Mayor Carl Puschauver and everybody's favorite Bill James. Out of this bunch Madeira is the most interesting candidate. He ran a surprising 2nd to Lisa Baker in the primary to replace retiring Charlie Lemmond in the 20th Senate District. I don't agree with him about many social issues but county commissioners aren't involved in arguments about God, guns and gays. He impressed me as a fiscal conservative who isn't afraid to speak his mind. Sounds like a good running mate for Urban.
To me the potential candidate that stands head and shoulders above the rest is former Controller Steve Flood. And I know my fellow Democrats out there will object because he is not a "team player." For four years the guy was a pain in the ass to the powers that be and we need that. Although things have improved somewhat the county government is still not run properly.
Not only the job situation but the sweetheart deals for the well connected such as the juvi jail lease. Steve Flood wants to do things not just be somebody. Flood, who lost the controller seat to Petrilla in 2005, said he is 60-40 in favor of running because “too many people” contacted him about concerns about the county’s long-term debt, management salaries and costly county real estate leases. I just hope he runs a better campaign than last time when he just sat back and let his opponents smear him.