A rite of passage takes place in Clarkdale Tuesday night for the last time. Well, maybe.
It’s been tradition in Clarkdale that the top vote getter in the spring election takes over as the town’s mayor at the first meeting in June.
It’s been a tradition, however, that’s been side-stepped before. Current Mayor Rennie Radoccia turned down the invitation when he was first elected in order to allow former Mayor Jerry Wiley to continue as the town’s chief elected official. Radoccia has since become one of the most well-received mayors in Clarkdale history.
Which leads us all to Tuesday night. Should Radoccia remain as mayor, or should that distinction be passed on to Michael Bluff, who was the runaway winner in the spring Clarkdale primary?
Bluff is a former mayor who held true to Clarkdale tradition two years ago. It was Radoccia who was the top vote-getter in the spring elections. It was Radoccia, Bluff reasoned, who should rightfully succeed him as mayor.
A new wrinkle in the mayoral equation came from the voters in March. Clarkdale voters, by an overwhelming 598-241 margin, said they wanted to directly elect the mayor beginning with the 2002 elections. The voters no longer wanted the decision to be made by council members themselves, or for it to simply be a rite of traditional passage.
So how do we handle this decision Tuesday? Well, already the voters have decided that they want to make this decision themselves, but they can’t until the year 2002.
They still, however, can show up to Tuesday’s meeting of the Town Council and voice their opinion on who should be mayor. Let’s hear it from the public. Should Radoccia remain in the mayoral saddle, or does Bluff’s strong showing in the spring election dictate that he should be mayor for the next two years.
The community should speak its collective mind on this one ... and then the council should act accordingly.