Saturday, December 31, 2005

Two More Bite the Dust

In two weeks, most Allegheny County residents are going to forget that these offices ever existed. Many of them probably don't even know that they ever existed anyway.

I refer, of course to the Jury Commissioners of Allegheny County, which (along with Coroner, Prothonotary, and a few other row offices) was voted out of existence in a ballot measure this past year. The outgoing Jury Commissioners seem a little sad about it, based on an article in this morning's Trib. Sort of:

A jury selection system that had its roots in Colonial times faded into Allegheny County history on Friday, and longtime county Jury Commissioner Jean A. Milko bowed out with the change, saying she had "a heavy heart" but no regrets.

"It's the end of an era," said Milko, a jury commissioner since 1973.

Yeah, no more will you be able to spend long hours at your desk regaling visitors with tales of the time you met George Washington, then an up-and-coming surveyor in the employ of the Commonwealth of Virginia. But you predicted that he would go far, and by gum you were right! Just like you were right about the necessity of keeping your job:

"My office had to go. It was a foregone conclusion. It served its purpose," she said. "We accomplished a lot. We brought the office into the 21st century."
She wasn't done accomplishing a lot, so she thought, or she would not have run for re-election on the same ballot that eliminated her office. All the same, she is not going to go quietly into that good night:

Milko, 71, of Edgewood, said she will devote more time to her work as chair of the county Democratic Committee.

"This is a very crucial election year (2006)," she said. "There's an awful lot of work to be done in the political arena."

Milko said she isn't sure what the future holds as far as another paying job, but she doesn't plan to retire. "I'm going to die with my boots on," she said.

Hmmm, that sounds stinky. When you die, the last memory of you that people will have is that your feet smell of sweat and toe jam. I'd rather die while soaking my feet in cologne. Then people will say, "He smells pretty decent for a dead guy". It might be a nice way of distinguishing between Democrats and Republicans. And the highest-ranking Democrats will be the ones with the stinkiest feet.

On the other side, outgoing commissioner Allan Kirschman didn't even bother to run for reelection, nor did the Republican Party bother to run a replacement candidate. They knew what was going to happen. Remember that the next time some leftist calls himself "a proud member of the reality based community".

Kirschman, who served two four-year terms as a jury commissioner, was cleaning out his office yesterday morning. Kirschman, 60, a Bethel Park Republican, said he will retire.

Before he was elected, Kirschman had been a jury commission employee for 15 years. His last day on the job was bittersweet, Kirschman said. He will miss working with his colleagues in county government, but won't miss calls from people who are upset about learning they have been chosen for jury duty, he said.

"You'd be surprised how many people don't want to serve on jury," Kirschman said.

That reminds me of what it was like when I left my job in retail after ten years. I was going to miss the people I worked with, but the customers were a bunch of jerks and arseholes. Well, the ones you remember, that is. They subscribed to the Burger King "have it your way" philosophy of customer service. Keep that up, and you're going to have dolts charging through the front door demanding everything for free.

Good luck in retirement, fella. See what you can do to encourage your elderly colleague to choose the same path.

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