Crunch time

There are only a couple weeks left until Election Day.

That probably isn't sending chills down the spines of most of you this year, but maybe it should.

County and state judges will be on the ballot this year. Most people don't get passionate about voting for judges, though. Unless you actually make your living in a courtroom or have reason to interact with the legal system, judges are pretty boring. Lawyers are about the only ones who sit around discussing judicial candidates, which is even more boring for "civilians" than are the judges themselves.

There is at least one county race that everyone in the North Boroughs (except our Ohio Township neighbors) should be paying attention to, however. Our own Tom Michalow is challenging incumbent Matt Drozd for the District I seat on Allegheny County Council.

Even closer to home, there are big borough council elections in Bellevue and Ben Avon. But don't discount any of the other municipalities -- you just never know when a write-in candidate is going to pop up.

Bellevue residents had an opportunity to hear many of the candidates for council at a forum held Thursday evening. There were far more similarities among the candidates than there were differences when it came to their views on fiscal responsibility, public safety and code enforcement, which were the hot topics of the evening.

What bothered me personally about some of the responses heard last night was that some candidates actually thought it was acceptable to say they couldn't answer a question or form an opinion because they didn't know how things were done on council or in the borough. That tells me they haven't done their homework or educated themselves about the very important job they are asking to assume. Bellevue Council is not a secret society, folks. Everything they do is a matter of public record. All you have to do is go to meetings, read the newspaper, pick up a copy of the budget or other documents at the borough hall.

Bellevue Council has the problems it does now because too many people thought they could manage a business that grosses nearly $7 million a year without actually knowing anything about that business.

So that will be my criteria for voting this year, and I suggest you do the same. I don't care if people get along and agree with each other -- hey, the more opinions there are, the better chance that my opinion will be represented! I want council members who have shown me they realize this is an important job and have taken the time to prepare for it.

The Oct. 30 issue of The Citizen will include stories on the local races, a ballot overview, and information on where to vote.