I don’t always agree with Steve Barron on every issue, but I think this line of criticism of him from Bill White is way off base:
My offense? Criticizing Barron’s grandstanding approach and the effect it has on the credibility of his office. You can read my terrorist manifesto here.
Of course, Barron never was more visible than in the fight to keep the Stoffa administration and County Council from privatizing Gracedale, ultimately achieved through a referendum. This earned him — and McClure –the lasting adulation of the county union people and others who were successful in keeping Gracedale in the county’s control.
If you don’t want the Controller to behave like a politician, then don’t make the Controller an elected position. If you force people to do politics to get the Controller seat – raise money, build a coalition of political actors and interest groups – then you can’t expect them not to deliver what that coalition wants. And insofar as Democratic politics in Northampton is dominated by labor, the Controller is going to behave like a partisan of labor. That’s what he has to do to keep the seat. That’s why I don’t favor elections for row offices. But if you’re going to have them, you certainly can’t blame people for doing what’s required get and keep the job.