The Mayor's budget address can be listened to HERE (c/o WDUQ).
The Council President's response statement can be read HERE.
Words I feel like offering:
1) We haven't heard much from Council members Dowd or Kraus since before Thursday. Nor has Shields lately drawn any particularly deep lines in the sand.
2) Council's majority didn't find the lease to be at all acceptable. The Mayor and the Parking Authority didn't find borrowing through the Authority to be at all acceptable. I'm not sure why to some, one of those equates to "ridiculous" insistence on a "dead plan", while the other equates to "a workable plan that's before us on the table."
3) I guess Pittsburgh is never going to do any business with Wall Street as long as Sheriff Harris and Deputy Peduto are wearing their stars. (There's that categorical imperative again.)
4) Remember in the future, people, never outright sell a thing capable of generating revenue, because then you will literally forfeit an infinity amount of money forever. Nobody can afford that!
5) Although the messy rhetorical door again swings open with the President's assertion that the lease on the shelf would allow "investment bankers" to "drain the life out of our city" -- expect a more empirical, numerical fight to be waged over whose course of action actually drains what out of where faster. This is not something your average newspaper article is capable of conveying with sensitivity but I have some faith. Of course some might say as long as it's not Wall Street that is wounding either ourselves or our egos, whatever drainage we experience will somehow be more tolerable.
6) How about we lease the Downtown and Oakland lots and meters to Lazowski Morgan Draper Pryce, while retaining the rest of the city's community assets and taking out a revenue bond leveraged against those? First of all, Downtown and Oakland comprise the juiciest part of the deal for investors, so the dowry we negotiate should still be pretty good. Subsidizing parking makes far less economic development sense in well-established Downtown / Oakland than in gently percolating areas like Bloomfield / Garfield / Lawrenceville, for example, or the South Side with its myriad issues. Besides, space age parking meters might actually look impressive to visitors in Downtown and Oakland, whereas in Beechview and Larimer it's like, don't make things complicated. By the way there are valid city planning reasons to keep control of our fringe neighborhood meters, so we can alter their layout as needed in an unfettered way. But there are clearly a lot of good fiscal reasons to maximize and fully ensure capitalization on as much as we can obviously. And you know, you can really add Squirrel Hill and Shadyside to the lease pool as far as I'm concerned; they can afford it, are already well-established and thrive more on foot traffic than most -- but I'm trying to be nice here. Meanwhile tighten up the language and envelope on "compensation events" and attempt but don't expect terribly much on shortening the duration.
The only problem I foresee is the concern, "Oh, if you deviate from the bid proposal too much, people will sue!" People won't sue. These infrastructure world dingbats all know each other and work together, and don't want to get litigious amongst each other for years, and for what? To whine over spilled milk in a crumbum town? Let's split the baby as outlined above and compromise within reason, within our ability to collect at least