Steubenville has its share of issues and challenges but one of them is not having an experienced mayor.
We believe Domenick Mucci remains the right man for the job at this point in the city's history, given his knowledge and his working relationships with state and county officials to keep the city afloat.
He has been mayor since 1993 and he has been involved with city government continuously since 1982 when he was first elected to City Council as a ward councilman.
By the city charter, the mayor serves as acting city manager in the absence of the manager, and Mucci has become proficient at the job, having done it several times. During the past several months, as the city continues to search for its next manager, Mucci has provided leadership that led to a trimming of the projected deficit by about $900,000.
He has gained experience of negotiating with the city unions and working with the city departments during crucial budgetary times.
The city is undergoing a transition now where a new manager will be coming in at roughly the same time the next term of mayor begins. Mucci's experience will be important during that transition.
The challengers, Republican Lou Arrico and write-in Dawud Abdullah, both bring strengths to the race. Arrico has energy and the interest and his leadership would be welcome in city government, though we strongly suggest he spend some time as a ward councilman first, to hone his knowledge of how the government works.
Abdullah has strengths as a community organizer who gets people interested in being involved in the city's life. Again, we think that with a bit of experience at a level lower than mayor first, he would hone his skills to make him into a tougher mayoral candidate.
For now, in this election, at this point in the city's history, we side with Mucci's experience and recommend a vote for Domenick Mucci for his sixth term as mayor when city voters go to the polls on Nov. 5.