Think of it as CPR to be administered while the cardiologist is tied up in traffic. Why walk away and let the patient die on the sidewalk when there are still perfectly viable options to be pursued?
And now, the big news:
But by yesterday afternoon Mr. Ravenstahl said a hybrid of those approaches "would be a reasonable solution, and one that, on its face, I would be supportive of. But the critical piece of that, that I would need in order to not make cuts this year -- significant cuts -- is getting that tuition tax passed and out there into the court system." (P-G, Rich Lord)
Um, if the bureaucratic pruning and the patchwork of revenue generation is sufficient to fill the budget hole (I won't even address the latest revival of the symphony "GAH! Police and fire cuts! Your homes will be burned and robbed!"), why would we hold out to levy the Student Tax?
But Mr. Ravenstahl said that without the "threat" of a tuition tax, they'll feel that $5.5 million over three years is enough. "There's nothing that compels them to do anything more, so they're able to get away with that." (ibid)
A-HA! So it is that we're playing chess!
I would be on board with maneuvers such as this -- have been begging for them, in fact -- but why not be up-front about them to better mobilize the rank-and-file support of the people? And related to that, if we're trying to alienate the non-profits, was taxing tuition optimal? There had to have been ways to apply the squeeze that were more appealing -- and did not involve impugning the civic worth of some constituents.
Finally, this business of accusing the ICA of being controlled by shadowy, conflicted, greedy forces, is starting to sound like -- well, like me. And my schtick has a spotty record of success.
Related: hopefully this means County Council is sticking to its guns. Its plan, though its legality also remains a mystery, seems a lot better targeted. (P-G, Rich Fitzgerald)
Aiming to stop Pittsburgh government from subsidizing "poverty-level jobs," a coalition of labor, environmental, religious and community organizations joined City Council members yesterday to propose wage floors for certain workers on city-backed development projects and contracts. (P-G, Rich Lord)
Good start! The "prevailing wage" is actually kind of a crummy wage, and this doesn't address the issue of additional obligations that might come with public subsidies, but this sets an excellent baseline. I knew the 2009 Council had it in'em.
In what officials said would be the largest grant ever made directly to the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has offered the district $40 million for sweeping initiatives to maximize teacher effectiveness. (P-G, Joe Smydo)
Here's an uncomfortable question if you're me: would the Gateseses have consented to this "intensive partnership" had our School District not set off on this noteworthy campaign of closing beloved schools and ruthlessly reorganizing them? (If that's what impressed them, we could say it was a real blessing in disguise that Schenley had that asbestos emergency, huh?).
"It's going to be a year of frustration" between the Penn Circle work and the construction of the Target, but "it's really all towards the future progress of East Liberty," Hogan said. (Trib, Matthew Santoni)
It's been half a century worth of frustration at Penn Circle as it is. Besides which, straightening that infrastructure nightmare strikes me as a "community benefit". Celebration time, come on!