Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ravenstahl's 11-Point Punchline

Not to sound like a broken record, but...

In the recent KDKA debate, once again Mayor Ravenstahl leaned repeatedly on his 11-point Plan for Pittsburgh's 3rd Renaissance when he was criticized, or pressed for specifics, or giving his closing statement -- at least he, unlike his opponents, has a plan! It's very focused! It's specific! It will help guide us to a brighter future!

You'll notice in his "plan", the most complex and important planks -- "Solve our legacy costs crisis", "enhance government services through efficiency" -- are not even hyper-linked to a little term paper. They are blank. They do not exist. There's no "plan" there.

It's nothing more than a list of stuff that would be nice.


  1. As Clemenceau commented on Wilson's 14 points: "Even the good Lord contented Himself with only ten commandments".

  2. "I simply remember my favorite things..and then I don't feel so bad" My favorite things about Pittsburgh:

    My father used to say that you can't fight city hall, but you still have to try. If you don't try, then there is no democratic process. Is there? Is the democratic process just big business or a money machine? My father was a Pittsburgher; one of my favorite things are the people. The real Pittsburgh people who despite everything, continue to be resilient. As I was driving through the city this morning, what I love about Pittsburgh, despite the current leadership is how Pittsburgh as a "big" little city, finds a way to make it work, despite it's leadership. Maybe that is to spite it's leadership, I try and believe that no matter what happens Pittsburghers will do whatever Pittsburghers need to do to make it work.

    I worry what happens to Pittsburghers when the city is bought up by non-profits, when they have no tax base at all? Where is the Pitttsburgh promise for the rest of us? Not that I am adverse to the colleges (all of them), or UPMC, but what happens when we are at 75% or more of what they own? Aren't we currently at 50% of property that is non-taxable according to the last census? of the 50%, half of that is rental property. Where have all the Pittsburghers gone?

  3. Looking this morning, all the points are hyperlinked now. Of course, I personally find some of the statements a joke, but that might just be me. The clean energy bullet point, under Greening the City, for example, contains statements that trouble me, but maybe I am overly critical:

    "Clean Energy. Replacing the City’s 800 traffic lights to LED efficient lights is saving taxpayers more than $325,000 per year. Clean-burning bio-diesel fuel is being used in most City diesel vehicles. City garbage trucks are using carbon-emission capturers. Pittsburgh is going solar. One of only 13 America Solar Cities encouraging solar energy in government and in neighborhoods. The Mayor announced the installation of solar panels at a City firehouse this summer."

    The traffic lights were a “Two Bid” contract that was one of the first of Ravenstahl’s troubling deal with local businesses. I would be interested in what the carbon capture technology is on garbage trucks (please tell me we are not talking about catalytic converters). And in saying Pittsburgh is going solar, all he is saying is one solar water heater is being put up? I mean, it’s more than other Mayor’s have done, but I am not sure it is more than other Mayor’s would have done in the same time period, if we had a different Mayor right now.

  4. Ed notices: "Looking this morning, all the points are hyperlinked now."

    Hey, look ma, I'm Bill Peduto!

    You know another thing makes the Mayor appear silly and a ripe target for humor? Not once, in all this time, has he come over in the morning and fixed me a spinach and feta omelet.


    Seriously, that "Issues Blueprint" had been frozen in the manner of my photo capture for three or four weeks.

    Looking at the "Solve Our Legacy Costs Crisis" term paper, it's mostly stuff that he's done or is trying to do, so it's still not technically a "plan", though maybe that's quibbling. Except for:

    "Understanding that the fund needs a one-time, large cash infusion to be solvent, the Mayor is looking into the possibility of leasing the Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s garages."

    Is that something to understand?