It is with great enthusiasm that we offer congratulations to Jordan Norley, the new non-elected mayor of West Chester Borough. While many residents agreed with The Libertarian Party of Chester County when we objected to yet another mayor being appointed without benefit of a free election, we now have come to see the light. Elections, after all, are complicated, and require voters to make decisions about how they are governed. This causes undo stress on an electorate already suffering from economic fallout, particularly in the borough.
It is especially gratifying to note that Norely will serve for almost an entire year before demanding that the residents of West Chester are forced to make the difficult decision of choosing a mayor in a free and public election. By refusing to resign until the exact time to trigger a non-elected mayoral choice, Mayor Herrin follows the honored tradition set by her predecessor, Mayor Comitta. This helped promote the convenient system of automatic candidates, where a mayor becomes a state rep, then a state senator, before receiving instructions on further advancement.
We Libertarians realize that some in the community will complain that having a non-elected authority is undemocratic and unusual. But we beg to disagree. While this may not be a shining example of democracy, it is hardly out of the ordinary. Unelected officials are used effectively in many major cities, for example, lovely Havana, or exotic Wuhan. If it works for them, it can work in Chester County.
Certainly, some may suggest that having an unelected mayor for such a long length of time violates the spirit of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which specifically prohibits anyone from holding two offices at a time. Even the borough charter, some will complain, does not allow two posts to be held at once, as our previous mayors did. But again, we disagree. The charter wisely has loopholes allowing someone to hold both a borough and state job at the same time – and we admire this stroke of political genius.
Again, we will hear calls for West Chester to amend the charter to allow voters to choose a mayor instead of having a committee point at someone and saying, “You’re It…for ten months!”. This is a cynical viewpoint that we must reject. There is no reason to believe that voters can make better choices in public than a small group of politicians make in private.
Fortunately, Non-elected Mayor Norely and the borough politicians can rest assured that in time, these annoying complaints will fade. Independents, the Green Party, Libertarians and others need not apply when even the previous mayor stated publicly that only a Democrat is likely to win when an election occurs (should it ever).
Where, you may ask, are the Republicans in this? Surely, they would see this as a need for change and an important issue for the voters? Then again, perhaps they would like to use this kind of loopholes for themselves. If so, we salute them for their astute political perspective.
The largest community in Chester County now has the benefit of an unelected mayor, and they will enjoy this situation for the rest of the year. Not knowing much about Unelected Mayor Norely in advance only increases the chance of fun and surprise among the residents. And let’s face it, we could all use a little fun right now.
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