Ithaca Blog

Monday, March 28, 2011

Race For Mayor Begins

The race for mayor of Ithaca began today with the announcement of her candidacy by Pam Mackesey.

Ms. Mackesey is a county legislator who previously served on the city council.

Local electoral news has been dominated by lately by incumbents declining to run again, including the current mayor, and 4 council members, or maybe 5.

In the wake of the mayor's announcement, we thought about what kind of person would want to be mayor. There are two, maybe: professional politicians (or semi-pro, at least); and renegades.

For any other kind of normal person, the job would be a drag. You would never be able to shop peacefully at Wegman's again.

For a professional politician, the job of mayor probably looks pretty good. You don't have any peers. You have a certain authority and autonomy. You will get a certain amount of blame for things, but also praise, when things go well; you can work at spreading the blame around, while keeping the praise as yours-all-yours. So if you like that kind of thing, and are convinced you can do more good things than bad, you might want the job.

The renegade is the other type who might want it. If you believe in change, revolution, foment, or just progress of a marked nature, being mayor would get you heard.

Our sense is that soon, right soon, there will be 4 or 5 more candidates, and you'll be able neatly to divide them in these two categories. It will be an interesting race.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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