Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Howard, Wagner Win Controller Nominations

It will be a manager at PPG versus a Pennsylvania State Representative for Controller of Allegheny County in the November general election.

Chelsa Wagner received the Democratic nomination for County Controller in a three-person race, but her Republican opponent Bob Howard was unopposed in the primary.

Wagner defeated County Real Estate Manager Valerie McDonald Roberts and Rivers Casino executive George Matta by taking 49% of Democratic votes.

Wagner says she thinks it was her stance that a controller should be both fiscal watchdog and policy advocate that gave her an edge over her Democratic competition.

"Being the fiscal watchdog is a baseline, but there's two parts of the equation: that you're finding the inefficiencies in government, but the other side of that is that you're someone who's ready to propose solutions and really work to fix the problems that we're facing," says Wagner.

Wagner has been an Allegheny County Representative since 2007, but says she would like to serve in a County role to focus on local issues. Wagner says she wants to work closely on local transportation funding issues.

The Republican nominee for County Controller is running his campaign on a platform of fiscal efficiency and fewer financial regulations.

PPG manager Bob Howard says he would work to make his office and the county as fiscally resourceful as possible.

“Through performance auditing and benchmarking, comparing what we do with other municipalities and counties, and even private sector companies that are providing those services, I would look for efficiencies and find ways to provide greater and better services to people in the county,” says Howard.

Howard says he disagrees with Wagner's opinion that the Controller should be a policy advocate; rather, he says the job should be only about financial matters.

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