Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another Not-So Random Memory

Do you guys remember this? Rich Lord was barking and running around in circles for like a week.

Pittsburgh is on the verge of awarding a lucrative consulting contract to a firm that could help cut the city's $8.4 million utility bill, but it is using a process that effectively excludes competitors and raises questions about fairness. (P-G, 3/28/07)

The RFPs were sent out just prior to, and the submissions due just after, the Christmas holiday.

Charles Zappala contributed $10,000 to the campaign of late Mayor Bob O'Connor. Though a political committee he funds gave Luke Ravenstahl's 2003 City Council campaign $500, he did not give to his campaign fund last year. He is an investor in the group that sought a slot machine casino for Station Square and is now suing to overturn a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board decision to allow a competitor to build it on the North Shore.

CLT has landed contracts to improve energy usage for Butler County, the city of Erie and various schools. (P-G, ibid)

They are good at landing contracts from Pennsylvania politicians. That seems to be the core and only business competency.

The lack of competition for the job can't be good, said Elaine Sadowski, a former city energy manager and later a consultant to governments including Allegheny County that were starting energy saving programs like the one the city is now launching.

"It strikes me as very odd because there are so many firms out there doing this kind of work," she said. "When we did the county, I believe we had seven" respondents. Ms. Sadowski was fired by the city in the mid-1990s and successfully sued for wrongful termination. (P-G, 3/29/07)

I think Rich was trying to tell us something! What's that, girl? Trouble? Down by the old mill? Let's go, you lead the way!

We'll have to add this material to this post, which I will be editing, updating, polishing and republishing periodically.


  1. I think Rich was trying to tell us something! What's that, girl? Trouble? Down by the old mill? Let's go, you lead the way!Rich Lord has been at it for quite some time. Check out this and thisMaybe he quit.

  2. I absolutely remember that piece of reporting. It was the first time that I noticed the Ravenstahl administration engaging in questionable behavior, as opposed to Ravenstahl himself being the one doing stupid things (I now know Pat Ford had facilitated some early behavior of this type at least, but I don't believe it showed up in a newspaper until after this Zappala had run). My personal favorite Rich Lord piece is ( It's just so obvious. But my favorite story is now obsolete. The Mayor can buy a Steelers or Penguins ticket with campaign funds and just shake hands with a few fans, and it is all perfectly legal (

  3. Plenty of loose ends are apparent -- from Ford and Wylie to Liberty and Lamar, from WSWA bonds and the water authority's substantial investment in Iron City Brewing's outsourcing (to Rochester) program to street lighting contracts and North Shore property -- and who is prepared to guess how many are less visible?

    I do not dispute that decades of experience with respect to City of Pittsburgh government counsel against most optimism, but I also wonder whether the lull at the southern end of Grant Street might be related to a logjam at the northern end.

    Too many loose ends are flapping, in my judgment, to be ignored entirely. Just as the Somali pirates should have been wondering why the United States stopped negotiating, it is reasonable to wonder why the swirling currents that surrounded the mayor's office have been still for months.

  4. Segway...

    "You know you're a redneck if your house has more wheels than your pickup."

    Has Mayor ever visited City Trailer Parks? Only one left...

    He's been to Homewood the Hill, how about Alpark Terrace? White trash don't count? Historical area, don't cha know...


  5. Bram..Elaine friend of mine.

    Cried when she was fired by Debbie Miskovich...

    Went To Pa Supreme Court, and Justice Nigro ruled in favor to overturn her dismissal.

    That you mention her, endears me to you...

    Tell her I said hey...


  6. Pay Union dues, and all I get is this lousy endorsement card.



    "The Court Is Incestuous."

    ...Do residents of City's last Trailer Park (Alpark Terrace)...

    now owned by Boilermakers Local 154...

    have any chance in Court that has Judges endorsed by Unions.

    I hate the current Injustice System...

    Alpark Terrace Resident

  7. Maybe he quit.I hope not.

  8. I hope you are okay and on vacation.

  9. Thanks, gang. One of those siestas. Be back I think tomorrow.

  10. One of those siestasIt is well deserved.

    Here is an interesting development.