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Mark Rauterkus

Having one-time mayors is NOT a bad thing.

This happens in life in many eco systems too. For example an old growth forest needs a forest fire every now and then. The saplings do NOT grow in the shade of the older trees. What grows in the shade is inferior to what is needed.

Then comes a big wipe out. Then the new forest comes to life and things rebound. But, there is major shake ups and major changes.

The hand-off of power in Pittsburgh from Murphy to O'Connor to Ravenstahl has not provided a shake up with any type of magnatude.

But, in 2007 -- a mayor with a 2-year appointment -- could make a serious suite of changes. Priorities could be adjusted. However, the cuts can't be dumb ones -- like Onorato has done. To cut PAT with a chain-saw gone wreckless is only to gain power for himself by spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). And, it is to save face for a temporary phase.

Cuts with a purpose make sense.

Al Arnold

From my cat bird seat, I can't even imagine the problems of Newark. It is good to read that someone is really trying to tackle them.

Go Booker, Go!

Mike Madison

In part because of his connections to Stanford and Yale, and in part because (as I understand it) Cory Booker is a helluva guy, the Newark mayor has a national and perhaps international network of good friends and advisors. Those folks helped him get elected and are now helping him run the city.

Sam M

He also has a helluvan organization. I got this e-mail the day after I wrote a blog post with his name in it:

"I am a Press Information Officer with the City of Newark, New Jersey, and have been tasked with reaching out and linking to bloggers that write about Mayor Cory A. Booker. Would you be interested in being added to our distribution list for press releases, statements, and press advisories?"

Probably a simple little search engine with an automated e-mail. But heck. It worked.

Ed Heath

I've been trying to follow Mr. Booker's progress in the NYTimes. He is impressive, and it gives you hope, that someone like that can get elected. Of course, like you said, Newark is likely to remain a disaster for a while.

Amos the Poker Cat

Mayor Booker's Wikipedia page is pretty chocked full of links, lots of stories in the NYT, NPR, etc.

The real interesting thing, at least to me, is his previous and first race for mayor that he lost. Probably one of the nastiest races I have ever heard about. The previous mayor for life, (or at least 20 years) Sharpe James, claimed to have caused (come on, all together now) a renaissance in Newark.

A documentary make about that race called "Street Fight". PBS showed it a couple of years ago on their POV program. There is actually a torrent out there for you non-baseball pirates types.

Actually fired feather bedded union thugs and other political cronies? I'd trade him for any of the past half dozen PIT mayors in a NY minute. Even young Lukie.


You know for city residents you'll have the chance soon. There probably isn't city anywhere in the country where someone as accomplished as Mark Desantis would be defeated by a someone like Luke Ravensthal who's only qualification for public office was his father's political connections ...

Except Pittsburgh.

This really shouldn't even be a race and wouldn't be if city residents put any thought into their votes instead of just pulling the lever.

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