"Let's say you want to oppress a people," Mark DeSantis hypothesized to me once. Sounded like a fun game.
"The first thing you'd want to do is lower everyone's expectations of what is possible."
"I think we've made some significant advances," said Operations Director Art Victor. "The city's cleaner. I think we've gotten more efficient." (P-G, Rich Lord)
Well. Cleanliness is next to godliness, right?
It would be genuinely interesting to see data on whether or not Pittsburgh city government has gotten more efficient. Too bad there's not some kind of overarching director of all city operations whose job it is to be in command of those very facts, instead of relying on intuition. Oh wait.
"All in all, I'm relatively happy," said Public Safety Director Michael Huss. "The number of homicides concerns me, obviously."
The deadliest year in 15 years, and our Public Safety Director is relatively happy? I hope for Pittsburgh's sake that means he usually suffers from clinical depression.
I know Mike Huss is a professional guy and that everyone respects him, but this is no occasion for somebody in his position to be blowing rose-scented smoke.
The very best case for Pittsburgh 250, I think, is that it was a giant sleight-of-hand: While the region was off enjoying fireworks shows, movers-and-shakers were working behind the scenes, where few of us could see what's really going on, to shore up the economy. No one really wants to see the sausage being made, so we got to watch the cotton candy machine instead. So where's the beef? And why the secrecy?
I know the answer to the second question. Pittsburgh's leaders don't like the sunshine. (And you thought that our cloudy days were a product of nature!) I think that I know the answer to the first one. Pittsburgh is still on a sugar high, with little protein in sight. (Pittsblog 2.0)
Pittsburgh's former development chief has refused to cooperate with an audit that could shed light on how a politically connected firm won a $425,000 city contract. (Trib, Jeremy Boren)
NOW WE'RE HAVING SOME FUN!
But Lamb said Ford refused to help because his "separation agreement" with the URA prohibits him from making "disparaging or negative comments" about the city or the authority.
Providing facts to a city office does not constitute making "disparaging or negative comments". I can appreciate how certain facts might seem inherently disparaging or negative, but as long as one doesn't spruce up one's account with, "all of which constituted a culture of corruption," I don't see what the problem is.
Lamb this week told [Ford's attorney Lawrence] Fisher that city and URA officials cleared Ford to cooperate with Lamb's audits, but Fisher said he hasn't seen that agreement. He plans to talk to Lamb again Jan. 12.
Lamb wants to give Ford one more chance to talk. "I don't want to create an adversarial situation," he said.
They're stalling so the band can get back together one more time and get their stories straight.
After eight months of paid vacation plus another six months in gratuitous bonus severance, Pittsburgh doesn't owe anybody further courtesies. Out with it already.
UPDATE: Ruminating on the timing of that and this.