Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Way Too Much Wednesday!

Overseers approve city's budget (P-G, Rich Lord)

Council President Doug Shields noted that the city has fixed its finances largely by leaving positions empty, freezing salaries and cutting benefits. Now it must fill posts, and it faces new contract negotiations with several unions in the next two years, which could alter the picture.

The city's revised budget includes money to hire outside legal help for labor talks.

We hope he means ninjas.


New county tax plan put on hold
(P-G, Karamagi Rujumba)

"This is probably the biggest test this council has had," [Committee chairman Bill Robinson] said. "I'm suggesting that we don't give too much nefarious intention to what the administration has done."

Nefarious? Who said anything about Dan-O being nefarious?


Alcosan to raise rates 10% in new year (P-G, Don Hopey)

But a summer budget review determined the rate increase was needed to do flow studies and planning required by Alcosan's May consent agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to control wet weather sewage overflows by 2026.

Studies and planning -- imagine when the actual work starts. Thus begins the Great Water Wars of the 21st century.


Pittsburgh considers gender wage gap study (Trib, Jeremy Boren)

"We know that as a city we have one of the worst wage gaps in the country" among women and minorities, said Heather Arnet, president of the Women and Girls Foundation of Western Pennsylvania.

Doug Shields: the first female Council President?


Peduto: Take politics out of road paving plan (P-G, Rich Lord)

A computerized system "makes it easier for me to be able to go home at night and look my neighbors in the face and say, 'You have to wait,' " if paving their streets isn't warranted, he said.

His timing was never stellar. Still, why would anyone vote against this?


The P-G's Dan Simpson: Ruling Pittsburgh

President Mobutu Sese Seku of Zaire used to requisition the planes of the national airline, Air Zaire, for personal trips to his vacation homes around the world. For him there was no distinction between public and private property -- what was his because of his position and what was his personally. No party but the ruling party in a one-party state would dare put up for election such a candidate.

This is the argument that too often gets lost in the shuffle. He doesn't quite extend it to the deeper issue of colossal hereditary cronyism. UPDATE: Actually, he sort of does. Not quite sure where we were at.


  1. Re: Alcosan to raise rates 10% in new year

    Why is problem this not federally funded? This is clearly a national infrastructure problem not isolated to the Pittsburgh region.

  2. Pave Management System, also known as "PMS".

  3. That same article about the ICA approving the budget - it says we go into deficit in 2011?

  4. thetruth:

    because it's a multi-trillion dollar problem, nationwide.

  5. Truth,

    The (local)cracked, crumbling and too-small-for-today's-sewage demands sewer pipes which are causing our (local) groundwater and (local)rivers to be polluted are not owned by the federal government.... they are owned and operated by our local government and authorities. So it seems logical to me, at least, that local governments should pay for their local messes.

    Its only a "nationwide" problem in that some of the larger cities across the country have cleaned up their act and others, like Pgh, have not. And its not like we haven't had time. This is part of the Clean Water Act which was passed back in 1986 (I think). Alcosan and PWSA have known of this looming problem for decades and have done nothing about it. Period.

    We here in Pgh only see fit to use our local tax dollars to build stadiums for the wealthy owners of our sporting teams. Or to give development handouts to PNC or other "struggling" national concerns.

    Clean drinking water and streams? Bridges safe for the traffic load they bear? Water mains that burst only once a decade instead of 3-4 a month? Nah. Just not a priority for this city.

  6. Hummm! Doug says they fixed the finances by freezing wages, but it seems they forgot their own! Council just got a 2% raise this year, is due for a 10% raise next year, and is set for a 20% pay raise by 2011. Actually, in 2003 when the ICA manadated that all departments were to cut expenses by 15%, council went so far as to give themselve a small raise to 53G's in 2004 before leaving it at that until this year. Motznik wants to send a message to Harrisburg that council is being fiscally responsible, well then perhaps he should consider a moratorium on pay raises until the city is out of oversight. Even US Airways & Enron execs don't give themselves this much of a raise!

    This is so amusing, it's sad!

    Dave Schuilenburg,
    Independent-Democrat for
    Pgh Council District 1