Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's administration does not intend to create a Stimulus Oversight Committee called for in City Council legislation, a spokeswoman said Thursday. (P-G, Team Effort)
Oh, sure! Why do that which is called for in legislation which you signed. Especially considering you have been doing such a good job collecting stimulus funds without any input from the rest of the government, or the public at large, or grown-ups of any kind.
[Doven] added that the mayor's Move PGH panel, announced this week, would help put the city in position to win more transportation funding. (ibid)
I have nothing but confidence in this brand new Move PGH panel, which just happened to be announced the day we were all surprised by bad news from the federal government. And Move PGH sounds nothing like Propel Pittsburgh, which as we know was another extremely productive endeavor that did not exist only on paper.
In fact, let me make a suggestion. If we combined the efforts of Move PGH with those of the New Pittsburgh Coalition, we might really unleash enough kinetic energy to toast a marshmallow. And then, if we combined both of those with the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime? We might well launch a paper airplane halfway across the room.
The stimulus oversight panel signed into law last year required each member of Council to submit some names to the Mayor, who would then select from among those, along with several names he himself chooses, to form a public committee to examine stimulus needs and opportunities. It wasn't even set up to be terribly powerful.
Why is this concept so odious to our Mayor? What is he keeping secret? Is it possible that -- more than inattention, more than incompetence -- maybe he just doesn't want to receive any federal stimulus money, because that comes with strings attached and strenuous federal oversight? Remember the threat which President Obama made that anyone caught misusing it would be made "famous"? Maybe spending money in a way that would withstand scrutiny is just too much work.
And don't tell me in this context that stimulus is a waste and we should save our money (ahem -- Marty Griffin). If we don't get our share of the money, it all just goes straight to Philadelphia or Cleveland. It's not like anyone would be getting a tax refund.
Yesterday's letter from Peduto to Ravenstahl reminding him of the existence of the stimulus oversight panel is here. It's not even remotely smart-ass this time. A similar attempt made in October to nudge the Mayor into activity is here. Not clear that there was ever any response.