Governments' Lighter Side

(Don't) Vote for Wiser!

It’s an odd platform, for sure, but one small-town mayor is running on the “Don’t Vote for Me” ticket.

Bob Wiser, incumbent mayor of Port Matilda, Pa., is running unopposed for his second term, but according to the AP, he doesn’t want the job.

The 70 year old missed the August deadline for taking his name off the ballot, and is now encouraging his constituents to write in the name of qualified alternative candidates, according to his hometown newspaper, the Centre Daily.

“I really enjoyed doing it,” Wiser told the paper. “I just lost interest." 

During his time in office, Wiser helped solve disputes over garbage collection, pet regulation, parking enforcement and other issues, according to the paper. He considers his greatest accomplishment to be the construction of a memorial to local veterans.

But Wiser is tired of butting heads with the Borough Council – specifically over a “weed ordinance,” which would force homeowners to care for overgrown properties. Wiser told the paper there are several lots in Port Matilda that are in shambles, reflecting poorly on the town. He says the council won’t take the problem seriously.

Wiser was also publically chided by the council on two occasions over administrative practices, incidents he told the paper were “demeaning and embarrassing.” 

“At my age, I don’t need to be stressed out,” he added.

Some hope that Wiser, despite his request to bow out, will reconsider if he is re-elected, according to the paper. But Wiser is resolute. He encourages his neighbors to vote for “any good candidate” but himself.

If Wiser is re-elected against his will, he could retire before his new term starts, according to the AP. This would force the hand of the Council to appoint an interim mayor.

But Wiser hopes it won’t come to that. “I hope somebody with the qualifications steps up, puts their hat in the ring and decides to do it,” he told the Centre Daily.

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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.


Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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