Mr. Reidbord, an appointee of the late Mayor Bob O'Connor, could not be reached for comment on his whereabouts during that part of the seven-hour meeting, which wrapped up after the arena vote shortly before 8:30 p.m. (P-G, Rich Lord)
This new version of the story now has the Mayor "shooing away" Reidbord from the basketball game, and back to the vote.
"It's my personal policy not to comment to the press," Reidbord said, refusing to say why he attended the Monday night game or precisely how long he stayed.
"I don't think it's appropriate to come to my office without an appointment," he said. Reidbord ignored phone calls from the Tribune-Review on two recent occasions. (Trib, Jeremy Boren)
This account provides the original version, in which the Mayor took Reidbord's appearance at the game in stride, and simply "understood" he made it back to the vote.
UPDATE: Mayor Ravenstahl clarifies things in a press release:
I ran into Mr. Reidbord, a member of the Pittsburgh Planning Commission, by chance last night at the University of Pittsburgh. Knowing that the Planning Commission meeting was still going on, I strongly suggested that he return to hear the residents' concerns and fulfill his duties as a commissioner. When I learned that he had no immediate transportation available, I provided him with transportation, as I felt this hearing was important to the business of the City.
At any rate, Reidbord is not yet interested in answering your questions. Which is fine. One way or the other, he'll be compelled to testify eventually.
Meanwhile, bloggers are offering some commentary, as they do.
Matt Hogue says:
Todd E. Reidbord should have been at the entire Planning Commission meeting yesterday. There was no excuse for him to be in attendance at the Pitt/Georgetown game at the Pete. This was a huge vote with huge implications for a lot of people and he failed to deliver. Shame on him. "I don't think it's appropriate to come to my office without an appointment," said Reidbord. I don't think it is appropriate for you to miss such an important meeting.
Mark Rauterkus says:
It is still a free country, pal. To show up to an office to ask a question and get a quote is not a crime.
The problem is that the developers morph into politicians as politicians encroach the tasks associated with that of developers. I'd like to get it straight. I'd love for developers to develop and stay the heck out of the way of matters of governance. And, I'd love for those in government to not play the role of 'developer.'
The last line of the article asks: "The public's voice should be heard every step of the way," he said. "Who do the commission members serve, the public or special interests?"
The commission members serve the needs of the special interests. Well, some of them do. Some may not.
Give this guy the boot!
Since he's in the news, we'll give you our quick rundown on Todd Reidbord's performance at the Planning Commission.
When matters of procedure or process arose among the public speakers, Reidbord would sometimes launch into what we call his "Todd Reidbord routine", waving his hands in front of him and cutting off the speaker with, "We can't ... there's really no back and forth."
On one occasion he delivered a more lengthy lecture defending the honor and authority of Board Chair Watson, insisting the room must silence itself and stop asking questions of her. This despite the fact that Watson on numerous occasions has demonstrated she is capable of making extremely clear when it is time to shut up, and she was not yet there.
As previously reported, Reidbord got up to leave the hearing shortly after the second batch of city residents were given the go-ahead to speak. The representative of the Mayor took that opportunity to confer with Reidbord in the antechamber, as may have occurred on one or two other occasions throughout the hearing.
After all the testimony, including that of Sidney Kaikai, the Chair opened the floor to the Commission for discussion. Reidbord instantly motioned to approve the Master Plan, and was seconded. The Chair did insist, however, that the commission give itself the opportunity to deliberate.
When Watson ultimately called for a voice vote, Reidbord voted aye, counted the votes, and immediately left the room once again -- without waiting around to witness any of the changing votes, the Chair's late vote, or the adjournment of the hearing.