Just got back from a noon press conference. Mayor Ravenstahl's "Blueprint for Renaissance III" contains eleven points, each of which states a fairly vague goal or principle.
Item number one on the to-do list is, "Solve our legacy costs crisis".
The full plan will be available shortly on Luke for Mayor. *-UPDATE: Issues.
After an extended opening statement, the first two media questions pertained to a Patrick Dowd campaign blitz launched earlier this morning.
Dowd accused Ravenstahl of supporting risky variable rate bond swap deals at the Water & Sewer Authority, which are exposing city ratepayers to "enormous and unconscionable risk", the only apparent beneficiaries of which are the "hand-picked firms that made the transaction possible."
When asked for comment, former City of Pittsburgh Finance Director Jim Turner said, "When I was a young man in my 30's, I too was impressed with Wall Street and the corporate jets and the wining and dining that goes along with bond issues -- but I quickly learned that far too often, complex deals like this are driven by investment banking fees which is why I have become a strong believer in simple fixed rate bond issues..." (Dowd press material)
Ravenstahl said in response that this is a very "complex issue" that will be addressed in a separate press conference today at 2:00. In response to the 2nd question, he just said curtly, "Two o'clock". The remainder of the press inquiries had to do with his "Blueprint" and other matters.
The P-G's Rich Lord asked about Blueprint Item #5, "Enhance government services through efficiency and ultimately a City/County merger". What examples did the mayor have of his "getting it done" in this regard, and what is the time frame for getting it done?
The Mayor's response was that he is working diligently with Harrisburg to get the question of full-on City/County consolidation on the ballot. He did not hold forth on any topics related to increased service efficiencies or functional, intergovernmental collaboration. It was all about the Hail Mary.
MORE ON THIS STUFF: Post-Gazette, Tribune-Review, Tribune-Review, Post-Gazette, KDKA, KDKA.
THIS IS ALSO GOOD: Tribune-Review.
THE HARRIS ROLLOUT: KDKA, P-G, WTAE, WPXI.