Monday, November 4, 2013
Awesome prose and poetry lately...
[Peduto's] proposal comes as city council embarks on a new effort -- one that has not been well-received in all quarters -- to bridge the chasm between city council and the Pittsburgh Board of Education with a 21-member task force that will bring together city and school officials, education advocates and community members to discuss alternatives to school closings.
Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith sponsored the resolution creating the task force. (P-G, Moriah Balingit)
Since Kail-Smith's police staffing legislation has gotten a teensie-weensie bit caught up in some political conversations in still other quarters, it's worthwhile for this blog to jump on the bandwagon consensus that this citywide task force is an idea whose time has arrived.
Turf is turf and it's natural to be a little territorial, but we have already closed a bunch of schools, shuffled kids around, struggled to incorporate some new ideas -- yet it all hasn't seemed to have purchased an ounce of stability. The School Board is confronted with the most serious challenges in the region, and these will ultimately require out-the-box thinking with all hands on deck. It's surely time to open up and raise the stature of the whole education conversation. So kudos for the courage to bust open the silo, and here's hoping School Board members will engage the great opportunity.
"They like each other; both have a good work ethic. That's a welcome change," [Jim] Roddey said. "But Fitzgerald has a history of wanting to control everything. Peduto is not the type of person who will take kindly to that if that manifested itself." (P-G, James O'Toole)
Now, see? Now, there is an interesting think. Is what that is right there.
Between Fitzgerald's scrapped resignation letters idea and the Port Authority directorship hiccup, or his enormous fracking drive or his more extensive engagement with the Downtown transit doughnut concept or even the BRT, it has become clear there are aspects of Fitzgerald's own strategy that are not entirely embraced by the, uh, what would you call it -- "The Greater Peduto Community".
These are two politicians with entirely different constituencies and facing entirely distinct political pressures. History shows a powerful tendency for the city's Mayor and the County Exec to think differently and then ultimately to drift resentfully apart. That pattern has not been helpful.
What these two gentlemen seem to have determined -- having bonded over confronting together a few common and worthwhile obstacles -- is to maintain an arrangement whereby they both as individuals and their respective governments can work together despite such inevitable differences.
I'm certainly far from privy to the terms of that arrangement, but if I had to guess, Step One seems to be, "Never embarrass one another." Step Two might be, "When all else is equal, joyfully help each other out." Step Three might be, I don't know, "Just be cool and focus on our respective governments' core capacities to cooperate."
This will be one of the main things to watch over the next two, four, six, eight years. It seems like they're building a sustainable, flexible, and mature foundation. Stay on it and look alive.
Born and bred in Pittsburgh, Peduto loves the city and has dedicated his life to its betterment. And he has not simply visions of how to get the city moving but concrete plans. Witness his continuing dogged efforts to convince Slovenian LED light maker Grah Lighting to build a manufacturing facility in Pittsburgh and make it Grah's North American headquarters. It's just one of many examples we could cite. And it is the stuff of leadership. (Trib Editorial Board)
"KUMBAYA, MY LORD, KUMBAYA..."
Given the state of the opposition in the race for mayor, and given Peduto's historic embrace of conservative anathema like community benefits agreements, prevailing wage, and even subsidies under certain circumstances, the Trib could have reigned up far short of making such a positive endorsement. They did not. I would be awfully proud of this one.
Tomorrow is election day. Break a leg out there!