Posted on Wed, Nov. 02, 2005
In Delaware County, a chance for diversity
With a $50 million budget and 3,000 employees, Delaware County government ranks as one of the major employers in the Pennsylvania suburbs. But don't kick yourself for not having heard of it.
The Republican organization that has controlled Delaware County Council for 30 years prefers a low profile. Indeed, quiet, status-quo government that doesn't ruffle or roil voters has been a long-term prescription for victory for the GOP. Notably, Republican incumbent Linda Cartisano has already vowed that there will be no county property tax increase in 2006.
Cartisano and running mate John Whelan, are, like most candidates the local GOP puts forward, well qualified. Both have held elective office at the school board and municipal level, respectively. Both now serve in a variety of solicitorships across the county, making them well informed on the nuts and bolts of local government. And both speak capably about carrying on the council's efforts to assist in enhancing urban, eastern Delaware County towns through the Renaissance Program - and to aid the more suburban towns in the county's western part through open-space preservation.
But there's one thing that's forever been lacking on the County Council that only an outsider can fix: diversity. This year, Democratic candidate John Innelli offers a strong choice to voters. He is not only able to take a fresh look at such issues as whether Delaware County needs its own health department but also can serve as a watchdog on spending. With two degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the last 23 years in securities law, he's well equipped to raise questions. His background puts him well ahead of Democratic running mate Nancy Baulis, a Philadelphia schoolteacher.
The Inquirer endorses LINDA CARTISANO and JOHN INNELLI for Delaware County Council.