Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pittsburgh's Trafalgar? Waterloo? Thermopylae?

I've spent the day deep in thought about whether what happened yesterday in Harrisburg is good for the City.

House Bill 1661 would prevent any Pennsylvania county from carrying out a court-ordered property reassessment until June 30, 2011. (P-G, Tom Barnes)

Not that. That's just silly. I mean, why not vote to delay elections until everybody in the Legislature qualifies for a pension?

I mean this:

The Senate amended a House bill, proposing a state takeover of (public pension) systems with less than 50 percent of the assets needed to meet liabilities. Pittsburgh has money for 28 percent of $899 million in liabilities. (Trib, Bumstead & Brandolph)

Together with this new caveat:

Allows "severely distressed" plans to make reduced payments toward pension costs. It would mean a first-year payment under the bill of $36 million instead of $56 million for the city, Ferlo said. (ibid)

There are some mixed signals between the two articles as to whether or not that package is minimally tolerable for the City. Jim Ferlo seems to think so, whereas the Mayor seems far less enthused. (Jim Ferlo by the way has been getting a crazy amount of ink lately, he's like the authority on everything.)

But what really jumped off the page was this:

Referring to the proposed parking leases, Senate Majority Whip Jane Orie, R-McCandless, said, "I give this mayor a lot of credit for the way he has addressed this issue." (ibid)

Well that sounds -- what's the word I'm looking for -- unholy. But impressive. This could absolutely become one of the pillars of Ravenstahl's reelection bid (the others being: bringing the G-20 to Pittsburgh, his statement about PittGirl, and "look at those two chumps go at each other". Actually that's an attractive package.)

Finally, I'll just throw in this here at the bottom:

Finally, some direction! (pa2010.com)


  1. Hoeffel should run for Senate. That way the more slothful Dems will have bumper stickers that make sense again.

  2. If Luke wants to run on bringing the G-20 to Pittsburgh, let him. He may very well beat himself that way.

  3. Note to Luke Ravenstahl: If Jane Orie is praising you actions, you have made a poor decision and have selected the wrong course of action. Clearly, The woman hates the City of Pittsburgh and would like nothing more than to see it fall to pieces.