01 September 2006

Mayor Bob O'Connor 1944-2006

I live out in the suburbs, but I do live in the same county as the City of Pittsburgh. Therefore Pittsburgh is our county seat, and has much influence (though, maybe not as much as Nashville, which apparently is a "merged government", which sounds to me like a county full of a city and a bunch of towns with severely curbed powers) . So, tonight was a big night that everybody was expecting. At 9:55 tonight, the city mayor passed on due to cancer, and had been on life support for several days. Quite honestly, I don't follow municipal stuff all that much, although as a kid, I did sit in on a City of San Diego council meeting once. Bored me to death. Everything was in code, and vague signs with people's names lit up every so often. I was impressed by the functional beauty of the place, with (as I remember) it's somewhat circular arrangement of councilperson's desks, the bigger desk for the mayor (I assume), and the seats for those of us who watched. Bored the daylights out of me, but somewhere along the line, I became much more aware of that sort of stuff. PCN sometimes carries borough or township (yeah it's NJ but their twps. are the same as ours, I think) meetings from anywhere in the commonwealth of Peannsylvania. I used to watch quite a bit, but after a while, it became like watching brain surgery (and I figured being a borough councilperson might be like being like a surgeon). Compounding that fact is that so many of these municipalities are so far away, like a Nashvillian watching an Oak Ridge or Knoxville board meeting. Like a Denverite watching one from Fort Collins or Montrose. Like an Annapolean watching a meeting from the Garrett County Amish Country.

Regardless of , and because of, all this, it's a big week here in our metro area. The mayor of the most influential city in our county has died. The news is all in a frenzy now, as our new mayor Luke Ravenstahl looks like your daughter's soon-to-be prom date. He is all of about 26 years old. He played football in college, making note of some field goal record or something at his college. Not sure how long he's been on council, but not too long. But, he's the prez of it, so he's therefore now the mayor.

You know what? I don't know why I'm even addressing the Pittsburgh's mayor's death. I do not live in that part of the county. I don't understand all the permutations of issues that faces it and Allegheny County. It's just, to me, one of those news stories that KDKA and the rest like to froth up about. "We interrupt this program so we can test out our snazzy new CBS2 Special Report Graphic". But in the end, stuff like that draws a person in. I just wonder how long it would have taken me to realize O'Connor had died if I didn't have digital cable, newspaper, or even Yahoo! And I wonder if I would have even cared.

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Hey, the important thing is you are aware of the major things going on in your world and that they may have some impact on events.

2/9/06 01:01  
Blogger Rae said...

How sad that he died. Our governor was recently sick and the media was all of the fact that if he had to step down an 87 year old guy would be the governor. What a disaster!!

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