Pick Graham over Dean in Warren

The Tribune Chronicle Editorial Board endorses challenger Jim Graham over incumbent Robert L. Dean for the Democratic nomination for Warren City Council president.

Early voting for the May primary began last week. No Republicans filed.

When putting together City Council’s economic development committee, Graham said that he would include successful private sector business managers to mentor the council members. That’s an idea that could be instrumental in helping the city recover from terrible losses in population, businesses and housing stock.

Of course, Graham must hone his leadership skills to get committee members to accept the mentoring. Or, he could use his powers and appoint only members who are willing to accept the mentoring.

While the president does not have a vote, except to break ties, and does not introduce ordinances, Graham’s willingness to use the position to influence legislation could help fill leadership voids that exist in many of Warren’s key elected offices. One of his priorities would be to sell the Old Avalon Golf Course property, ”in parcels if necessary,” for development.

Dean, who did not seek the Tribune’s endorsement, is in his first term as council president. During this short tenure, a wide rift has developed among council members who have discussed stripping Dean of his authority, censuring him or taking a vote of no-confidence in him.

A change is due.