Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday: ZAP!

"Having neither question on the ballot is fine, too," Onorato said. "I thought it was interesting both questions were thrown off for the same reason. The power rests with the legislative body to set policy." (Trib, Justin Vellucci)

Agreed, and we can all thank the framers for doing that for tax policy.

Now can we please roll back the Council's troubling assertion that it can place any old binding ordinance on the ballot all by itself? That is a power reserved expressly and exclusively to the people. Fair is fair.

"That's [FACT's] prerogative," he said. "I felt their question was illegal from the beginning. I will not let Kevin Joyce or anyone else use the courts to raise property taxes. I think a few people out there would like nothing better than to see me raise property taxes."

Maybe we can make up the difference by cutting our expenditures. We know you cut three hundred jobs or thereabouts. Fantastic. Let's move on to the next thing.

Let's rebuild a major department, or agency, or authority (or two or three). Leaner and meaner. From the ground up. No sense waiting for the city-county marriage to happen.

In the meanwhile, let's give the overage from the drink tax to the Port Authority.


-Here's our first question. How much money does the RAD board get to dole out exactly? (P-G, Mark Belko)

-This story went through some changes. (P-G, Sadie Gurman) If somebody has a link to the mid-day updates of yesterday, fire them over.

-Taser absue? "Let's start a conversation." Encroachments upon the First Amendment? This means war. (P-G, Edit Board)

-By the way, some of us? Not so much fans of the police getting to shock us with electric stun guns. (KDKA, Marty Griffin)

Not if shocking leads to random crazy hospitalizations and worse.

The protesters are calling for an immediate ban on Taser use, and for prosecutions of (presumably) certain police officers. That seems a little ambitious.

The Comet would settle for an immediate, meaningful, temporary curtailment of Taser use, while we scrutinize this policing tool more carefully than we all have up until now. We also call for any officers who are accused of taser abuse to go through no more than the standard police department disciplinary channels, during which some of us will follow along.

We're still working on what "meaningful temporary curtailment" means.

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