"You'll hear from him again," hinted Stoffa, with a wry smile on his face.
Yes, we shall. Mazziotti is by far the most effective Fiscal Affairs Director I've ever seen. On top of that, he's one of the most genuinely decent and interesting persons I've ever met. He can discuss complicated financial statements and quote Summa Theologica and Thomas More. But he's even happier when he talks about his grandchildren, whom he and his wife adore.
In a future post, I'll detail just some of Vic's many accomplishments. He really has saved the County millions during his tenure. But right now, I think it's more important to take note of the ripples left by his departure.
Although Mazziotti has been uncharacteristically coy with me about his future intentions, he's running for office. He has to resign because he's bound by the Hatch Act.
As an Allentown resident, he could run for City Controller and would certainly be the most qualified candidate. But Vic is a Republican, and they fare poorly in the Queen City. Even Charlie Dent has trouble winning there.
But being a Republican in a Lehigh County-wide race is a plus, and he cold run for Controller or Commissioner.
To me, the logical choice for someone with Vic's background is Controller. He has all the right skills. But I'm told he'll instead join an already crowded Commissioners' race. Incumbents Dean Browning, Gloria Hamm and Andy Roman are going to have plenty of company in four at-large seats up this year. Scott Ott, Dawn Berrigan, Bob Smith, Brent Labenberg and Norma Cusick are names I previously mentioned. I've since heard that attorney and fellow blogger Dave Najarian has decided to run.
Once Vic's name is added to the mix, some of these Republicans might change their minds.
Of course, there's that other party. They're called Democrats. I'll be telling you about their hottest prospect next week.
Vic's departure is sending ripples among possible Commissioner candidates in Lehigh County. But in Northampton County, a tsunami warning is in effect.
Who will replace Vic?
Think about that. Who in Northampton County has distinguished himself with his knowledge of finance? Who has an easy-going personality shared by Stoffa cabinet members?
That's Bruce Gilbert. I believe he's already being groomed as Mazziotti's successor. Now I've asked Stoffa all about this, batting my eyes and everything, and all the bastard does is smile at me. I've asked Gilbert, too, and he just asked me if something was stuck in my eye.
The ripples do not stop here. If Bruce Gilbert is tapped as Mazziotti's successor, the next question is who will succeed him on Council?
Gilbert has been an Angle ally, but will Peg Ferraro, John Cusick, Tom Dietrich and the Democrats team up and work out another deal?
Vic's departure is bad news for Stoffa and Northampton County residents. But it's also bad news for incumbent Lehigh County Commissioners, who have to be looking over the shoulder. Finally, it's bad news for Ron Angle, who will lose an important ally on Council.