Zack Stalberg, CEO of the Committee of Seventy, on Sunday offered the committee’s endorsement of David Oh’s ballot measure altering the city’s longtime “Resign to Run” rule, saying: “If it helps disrupt the status quo just a little, then it’s worth your vote.”
When the Committee of Seventy helped drive the adoption of the Charter in 1951, after decades of one-party, often crooked Republican control, good-government types argued that pols shouldn’t be allowed to advance their careers on taxpayers’ time – and probably with the help of their taxpayer-paid lieutenants. Opponents of a change in the resign-to-run rule still feel the same.
I am not siding with the politicians here. I have trouble sleeping when I do. But voters should consider the facts.
In the 63 years since resign-to-run was adopted, there have been very few truly competitive races for mayor. In part, that is because the rule discourages sitting officials from entering a bigger game, including somebody like Council Republican leader Brian O’Neill, who is one shrewd guy in a lackluster legislative body.
The question will be on the primary ballot next Tuesday, May 20. Philly Mag interviewed Oh about the measure last week.