Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Port Authority’s board of directors voted today to fire CEO Steve Bland after efforts broke down to reach a settlement under which he would resign.
The dismissal was engineered by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. He has not commented on the matter but sources who asked not to be identified have said friction developed between the two over Mr. Fitzgerald’s desire to have greater control of day-to-day operations at the agency.
The vote to dismiss Mr. Bland was 5-3, with four members recently appointed by Mr. Fitzgerald all voting yes, along with board member Jeff Letwin, who was appointed by the prior county executive, Dan Onorato. The others voting to fire were Joe Brimmeier, Connie Parker, John Tague, Tom Donatelli.
Voting no were Mavis Rainey, Amanda Green Hawkins and Eddie Edwards Jr., all of whom are board veterans.
Dan Onorato may have lost the Pennsylvania Governor’s race to Tom Corbett, but when his job ends as Allegheny County Executive he will start a new job in the private sector.
Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato will join health-insurance giant Highmark Inc. as one of its top executives when he leaves office next month.
His multi-part title will be executive vice president, chief external affairs and communications officer. He will begin his new job Jan. 3, the day Rich Fitzgerald will succeed him as county executive.
Mr. Onorato will report to Ken Melani, Highmark’s president and chief executive officer.
This is an interesting article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about Dan Onorato’s unsuccessful bid for governor and what went wrong for him in Allegheny County, where he should have won handily over GOP rival Tom Corbett. I found this article insightful.
Now that the dust has settled, we have some new elected officials and hopefully those annoying phone calls and all the junk mail is over until the next election!
Some interesting facts about the election and maybe something Democrats need to think about for the future. Winning an election in Pennsylvania can’t be done by concentrating on Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties. Corbett carried Allegheny County, not by much, but he did. Can’t say that Onorato should feel too good about losing the county he is Executive for. Onorato lost Allegheny County by 649 votes. Another reason everyone should vote! Toomey didn’t lose by much in Allegheny County and he carried most other large counties. He did take a beating in Philadelphia as expected.
Pennsylvania is a diverse state. There are other heavily populated areas that are or lean Republican. Lancaster County has over 500,000 people, York County has over 400,000 residents, Chester County has almost 500,000 residents, Berks has over 400,000 residents so I submit these counties more than make up for Philadelphia. Bucks County with its 600,000+ residents swung Republican for governor and the US Senate races. Can’t put all your eggs in one basket and win in PA.
We congratulate the winners. We expect big things. We will be watching and reporting in our usual no-nonsense style so don’t screw up!
In other political news, several major newspapers have endorsed Tom Corbett (R) and Dan Onorato (D). The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is endorsing Corbett while Onorato received the support of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Scranton Times-Tribune and the Easton Express-Times.
Who said this election wasn’t important? Arlene Specter’s career has taken a giant nose-dive after losing his bid to be the Democratic candidate for the US Senate to relative newcomer Joe Sestak. Specter was soundly defeated 54% to 46%. Specter was seeking his 6th term in the US Senate. Sestak (D) will face Pat Toomey (R) in November. Toomey received the highest number of votes on either side of the aisle. 666,870 vs. Sestak’s 564,169.
This loss sends a message to the White House. Obama endorsed Specter and was unable to persuade Sestak to bow out. Look for more sweeping changes in November folks.
The other very important race was for governor. Rendell’s term is ending and his replacement will be either be Dan Onorato (D), Allegheny County Executive or Tom Corbett (R), PA Attorney General. Both candidates held large leads over their challengers. Corbett received the largest overall number of votes of any candidate, including Onorato. Corbett garnered 584,606 votes and Onorato received 459,530. Local candidate Joe Hoeffel (D), Montgomery County Commissioner received the least number of votes of the Democratic candidates with 129,379 votes.