Last summer, before the American economy sank, Mr. Lamb faulted the water authority contracts and said they were far from transparent. "Why are we participating in these complex deals, when the board members don't understand them, they've caused huge losses in other communities in Pennsylvania and they've led to criminal [probes] in other jurisdictions?" he told the Post-Gazette.
On Thursday he said that even if the economy had not soured and even if the deal had gone well, "it still would not have been right." (P-G, Edit Board)
What is the Water Authority's stated excuse for sweeping this swaptions fiasco under the rug? That they don't appreciate how Patrick Dowd highlighted the issue while running for mayor? Maybe he would not be running for mayor if he were not discovering all these cow patties lying around.
One thing you cannot take away from Patrick Dowd is that he is a man of action -- who knows how to get things done in a world full of complex and recalcitrant institutions.
This is the guy who replaced a School Superintendent and drew up a whole new performance-based contract. This is the guy who forced the URA to surrender ill-gotten grant money. This is the guy who wrestled with the ICA until it consented to make conservative, transparent investments on our behalf. This is the guy who successfully protested the GSTC billboard permit, for crying out loud.
Show me a pious statesman without any political calculation or cunning audacity, and I'll show you Bill Peduto. I'm thrilled to live in a city in which Bill Peduto is a bona-fide progressive leader, but as we've discovered Peduto only gets us so far. We need something extra. We need a Hercules. We need a Shaft. We need someone who knows how to (ahem) get 'r done.
I bet you the Water Authority winds up reconsidering within a month.
OMG, the Citizen's Police Review Board is perking up. Did they pick the right fight, I don't know, but it's good to see. (P-G, Jonathan D. Silver)
Dan Onorato appears to be accomplishing a fair bit in the way of efficiency, given that few other governments are cooperating with him in this regard. (P-G, Karamagi Rujumba)
Something about calling A+ Schools a "community group" doesn't sit well. The Riverlife Task Force also perpetrates like it's some kind of community group, but they're both more like government authorities -- with a bunch of heavies sitting on their boards and very significant funders. Just sayin'. (Trib, Bill Zlatos)
Now read this:
Few were more closely involved in the North Shore Connector than Mr. Biehler.
He helped conceive the project as a Port Authority executive, then left the agency in 1996 for a private firm, Frederic R. Harris Inc., which got a multimillion-dollar contract to serve as the authority's consultant on the connector. Mr. Biehler headed the consulting team for Harris.
Still later, as Mr. Rendell's transportation secretary, Mr. Biehler actively supported the Port Authority's efforts to secure federal and state funding for the connector. (P-G, Jon Schmitz)
Now we're getting somewhere. There are always jokers finding ways to make careers out of these atrocious boondogles, influencing events around the periphery.
Lady Elaine posts questionnaires for each of the District 2 candidates. (View from the BurghChair)
Run your own Patrick Dowd Field Office out of a box. A virtual box! (Thoughts on Schultz)
Actually ... um, do that!
Ruth Ann Daily be drivin' Ed Heath up the wall. (Cognitive Dissonance)
Luke Ravenstahl: Impenetrable Fortress of Solitude. (Busman's Holiday)
Does your family or do any families that you know need a little help right now getting food on the table? Because there are resources for that. Really, it's alright. (PghLesCorr)
She thinks about problem-solving a way politicians either don't or won't. (PGH is a City)
Once again, a stand-alone link to my Mary Beth Buchanan piece is right here. (Pgh Comet)
And now, one of my favorite posts from the old TWM has been reprinted in the Chadical Middle (ha!), because it is still extra-relevant.
Recall the North Shore Connector, the resourceful Mr. Biehler, and how projects won't die? Well, this triply redundant amphitheater won't die, and I think it's time to break out the wooden stakes and cloves of garlic.
What if I really wanted the state to pony up $4 million of a $12 million business venture? And what if my primary business were worth, at least according to Forbes magazine, about $929 million? Would my request, my attitude, my sheer freaking audacity make any sense to you whatsoever? Would you, living in an overtaxed city in an overtaxed county in an overtaxed state, think that would be a fine and fitting investment of your hard-earned, too-easily-taken money? Or would you laugh in my face, tell me to use my own damned money, and remind me that the last people in the world who ought to feed (once more) at the public trough are rich, arrogant, always-thinking-you're-entitled people like me?(P-G, Radical Middle)
As it happens, the Pittsburgh Scribblers actually made Gov. Rendell blink for half an instant. Now he says he's only prepared to give Continental Real Estate / The Steelers $2.5 million instead of the full $4 million they originally had earmarked for themselves.
How much do you want to bet Our Commonwealth will wind up giving them at least $6 million by the time this dance is over? The one great thing about zero is, it's a nice round number.