The land bank debate heats up:
Rev. Burgess, who tried unsuccessfully to pass land bank legislation a year ago, is a critic of the current proposal by freshman Councilwoman Deb Gross of Highland Park. Councilman Dan Lavelle of the Hill District also has raised concerns. Both fear that the bill does little to ensure input from the affected communities. (P-G, Brian O'Neill)
It sounds like there is an agreement that the goals of land banking are widely sought, but the question is whether a standard board comprised 4 mayoral and 3 Council appointees will sufficiently address community concerns per exploitation and accountability.
The Comet has not yet learned Councilman Burgess's notion of a superior and more equitable governing framework. His 2012 legislation authorized the creation only of an "advisory committee" comprised mostly of executive branch and Authority personnel.
But Pittsburgh shall work it out. Even more interesting in O'Neill's column was Rev's bit about planning revival from Homewood's "prosperous edges" rather than "heart."
For also in Homewood news:
"Normally in community planning, people who don't live near other people are making suggestions for what should happen there. We thought clusters was an easier, cleaner way to focus. And it's like the concept of how to eat the elephant -- one piece at a time." (P-G, Diana Nelson Jones)
Opportunistic corporate gentrifiers have several extremely positive roles to play in the next Pittsburgh. The Comet suspects however that to rebuild our neighborhoods properly, we may really have to "dive in" without these. It has not seemed to be their strongest suit.
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is conducting an audit of Pittsburgh Public Schools under the hospitable protection of Mayor Bill Peduto.
The office of State Attorney General Kathleen Kane, in case you missed it, asked six specific questions of the court-appointed August Wilson Center conservator to clarify the whole situation and the conservator's understanding of it before any determination on moving to a receivership. *-BREAKING: Judge is unmoved. Maybe we missed our cue to make a bigger stink, or maybe this is it.
State financial overseers are likely to approve whatever transition buyout and position eliminations schemata will emerge from City Hall, even though fundamentally, no one can know how many of which subsets of employees will take something before it is enacted. So we cannot say whether it is a huge budget saver or simply a wise and modest expenditure compared with the unpredictability of going without.
Finally, the large field of candidates for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania debated in Pittsburgh yesterday. Today slight and steady frontrunner Allyson Schwartz, a seemingly less-progressive candidate, picked up the endorsement of former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy.
Making Murphy potentially important, once again. Being the gentleman, scholar, player and technology enthusiast that he is, we cannot fathom why he is not engaging in one way or another on social media? Let's elevate the conversation.