Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roberts vs. Cogdell: Tale of the tape

Most years, we wouldn't spend much energy contemplating who might be the next chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. It's largely a ceremonial gig - the chair leads commission meetings, smiles at the most public appearances and is usually the first person the cameras and notebooks turn to for quotes.

But in 2012, ceremony is a little more important, with the Democratic National Convention coming to town. That kind of potential exposure might be why we have a battle for board chair on our hands. Current Chair Jennifer Roberts, who announced she won't be running for a commission seat in 2012, would nevertheless like to remain chair before a likely run for a higher public office. Fellow Democrat Harold Cogdell, who briefly made a run at Roberts before backing down last year, wants the job for real this year.

In a letter to his fellow commissioners this week, Cogdell touted his pragmatism, communication skills and willingness to compromise - all traits that might convince Republicans on the board to throw their support his way. Roberts says she and Cogdell aren't much different in approach or policy, and she hopes Republicans remember that she got more votes than Cogdell in the 2010 election, which often is how the board chair is decided.

How do Roberts and Cogdell compare? Here's a brief breakdown of three critical roles of the job, plus what we think the commissioners will decide when they vote next week.

First up: Cheerleader.


Todd said...

I hope he left Big Brothers Big Sisters abruptly to free up time so that he could campaign for the chairmanship of the County Commissioners. Seems he wanted that job as well, going against 170 other applicants, only to leave three weeks. Now he wants this role, curiously, with the DNC rolling into town next year.