New Castle News

John K. Manna

November 26, 2011

John K. Manna: Election results reflect little interest in change

NEW CASTLE — Anyone who wanted significant change in Lawrence County or New Castle in this month’s election is undoubtedly disappointed.

County voters elected one new person as commissioner — Bob Del Signore — and re-elected two incumbents. But that was inevitable going into the general election since three of the four candidates in the general election were incumbents.

Any change voters may have wanted had to come in the May primary, which had a low voter turnout. And that’s true not only for the commissioners’ race, but any contest that was on the ballot.

Del Signore may be able to have some influence on the two current commissioners, Steve Craig and Dan Vogler. However, when voters re-elect officeholders for three consecutive terms, those officials tend to interpret from the results that the majority of voters basically agree with what they’ve been doing.

That isn’t necessarily a valid interpretation, because people vote for any number of reasons.

New Castle voters — at least the majority — wanted no change in their city government.

Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo was re-elected by a comfortable margin, winning 54 percent of the vote. As with the commissioners’ race, it could be argued that not everyone who voted for the mayor did so because they endorsed the work he had done the first four years. Nonetheless, he’ll take it as an endorsement that he is on the right track in dealing with the city’s financial problems.

Even if one new person takes one of the city council posts next year, it isn’t enough to make much difference on a five-member body. Unless he is able to get pardoned for felony convictions in the next several weeks, Gary Mitchell, one of the three elected to council, will not be able to hold office.

If the seat becomes vacant, council will appoint someone to the position. The possibilities range from Councilwoman Karen DeCarlo, whose term expires this year, to anyone else who may be interested and submits an application.

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