*-UPDATE, 1:17 PM: Please notice the Hill District Development update below, or just read this City Paper article.
Mountain Girl was liveblogging:
7:48PM; Dowd: “This administration has undermined the department of city planning.” Mayor: “Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods.” Talks about the rehabbing of Market Square and smirks and says “oh yeah, by the way one of the persons that’s going to be living there is now in Boston and moving back to Pgh.” (15211.org)
So was Anthony:
Balancing a budget means NOTHING. You can balance a budget by over-estimating revenues, people!!!!!!!!! So shut up, Luke, with the budget balancing [redacted]. (T&A)
Mark Rauterkus provides an analysis of the debate that introduces the term "subjugation". Here is the link to his post, but here is the definition:
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin subjugatus, past participle of subjugare, from sub- + jugum yoke — more at yoke Date: 15th century
PGH Is A City is still blogging up a storm despite climbing the ziggurats of Peru. She offers four reasons to vote for Luke Ravenstahl and one reason (she won't) vote for him. Which one of those do you think we're going to show you?
Why I won't vote for Luke (again)
1.) Superficiality. Luke favors the superficial rather than the down-and-dirty. He'd rather pay millions for security cameras or buy $250,000 of trashcans to install on streets littered with relics of old trashcans than deal with major issues the city faces like PWSA bonds, the pension crisis and crime. Instead, we get witty press releases and manicured joint statements with Dan-the-tax-man. Voting for Luke is like voting for the football captain as the home-coming king back in high school.
Carmen Robinson, one of his adversaries, skewers the mayor on his stance on crime. A former police officer and current lawyer, she's someone who knows a thing or two about crime. She thinks security cameras are a waste of money and wants more better-armed beat cops walking our streets. Sounds good to me. Thanks to the Comet for his solid interview of Carmen.
Councilor Patrick Dowd, the mayor's other adversary in the up-coming election, wants to deal with the pension crisis and the PWSA. I could go on about him and why I like ideas, but I've already done that.
Councilor Bill Peduto has grand ideas that are well-researched like commuter rails and energy efficient street lights, but he's decided to stay out of the ring this time around. (PGHiSaCity)
And now. Councilman Dowd fired off a letter to several of the Act 47 coordinators -- the state oversight board which sometimes seems to have less power and perhaps consequentially falls under less criticism than the other state overisght board, the ICA.
Mr. Dowd requested that the next Act 47 "recovery plan" be guided by some principles.
At least one of them was a breadcrumb. It was #4 out of the 5.
As you well know, in 2009 "Non-Departmental Operating Expenditures" constituted 34% of the budget and offered no specificity relative to the costs for employee benefits by department. The single largest line item in the budget provides managers with no tools for understanding much less containing costs. The revised plan must contain an immediate resolution to this problem or we must all acknowledge that any other oversight efforts will fail. (Dowd office via PDF)
That will teach them.
*-UPDATE!! HILL DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT:
In an effort to find a consultant who can provide a comprehensive plan identifying community needs -- affordable housing, economic development, educational facilities -- the city's planning department issued on April 6 a "Request for Proposal" (RFP) to more than 300 firms. And the city is expecting lots of submissions.
(Editor's note: After this story was published, a spokesperson for the Urban Redevelopment Authority informed City Paper that the Hill District RFP was not released as scheduled on April 6. The city has delayed the release date until April 23.) (City Paper, Chris Young)
I wonder, in all honesty, at the need for consultants. Whats wrong with our residents, their leaders, and the good old fashioned expertise and public processes of the Department of City Planning? Someone remind me why the URA is involved?
Although the planning process is just beginning, the community is working against the clock: If advocates can't settle on their own development proposal, the Penguins can submit their own plans for the 28-acre site immediately surrounding the new arena after Feb. 19, 2010 -- without community approval. But Redwood says he's confident that the neighborhood will meet the 2010 deadline.
"We'll be able to do it," he says. (CP, ibid)
I sure hope so. Once the election is out of the way, we may need another scandal or something to put the final pieces into place.
P2PAC announced its endorsements last night. Drumroll, please.
NATALIA RUDIAK. ROBERT DANIEL LAVELLE. SUSAN BANAHASKY. HUGH MCGOUGH.
That's an encouraging lineup of Pittsburghers if I ever did see one.
The lack of an official endorsement in contests not addressed in these endorsements we are all told is not a reflection on yada yada yada, but rather has been guided by such practical and normal considerations as yada and yada. It's a good little lineup of four for a fledgling organization. Let's try to get at least 3 out of 4 of those in there and at least one out of another two, and we'll call it a good spring.
The Busman's Holiday: Ravenstahl: "I did a pretty good job of not answering it, didn't I?" (AUDIO)
The Radical Middle: Unpacks what had transpired to elicit that comment.
In desiring access to records of the Mayor's public schedule, I don't think we're talking about "campaign strategy", and we're definitely not talking about press conferences; we're talking about a record of 1) his public schedule of events as a candidate and 2) the meetings he takes as an officeholder and an employee.