Friday, December 14, 2012

Bill Peduto campaign themes & vision: Courage, Efficiency, Collaboration and Clean Up

Brooklyn Bridge Park

* - UPDATED below with VIDEO from Announcement

To me, those four seem to be major themes on Councilman Bill Peduto's own new mayoral campaign website.

Bill Peduto was the first elected official to call on the city to seek Act 47 status and was criticized for his stance at the time. Bill understood that the only way to balance the budget was a complete restructuring of city government. In 2003 Bill proposed a series of cost-saving measures to the city budget aimed at restructuring how the city spends money — although these measures were rejected by other city leaders at that time, these amendments eventually became part of the City’s Act 47 Recovery Plan. (Issues)

That includes courage and efficiency right there. It's a strong argument for leadership chops, if you happen to be enthused about a city on an upswing.

Bill Peduto has also been directly involved in over $2 billion in transformative redevelopment of the city’s East End. Through his 16 years of work representing and working in Council District #8, Bill Peduto has had more experience in transforming Pittsburgh’s economy into a Med/Ed New Economy than any other politician. (About)

This could be trickier. Get ready to see Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's forces raise concerns about gentrification. No, I'm not kidding. Don't click away.... expect the Ravenstahl team to find exceptions in and reservations about how Peduto applied a "growth" philosophy, maybe through strong surrogates and a fair number receptive to that argument in the community. If there's one thing that's always more controversial than development, it's redevelopment.

There is even more material in the "Blog" section: the post on the parking lease is particularly strong. It alleges a $2 billion projected leak in the lease deal bucket that frankly is news to me.

Okay, enough. Own words. Enjoy.

UPDATE: Announcement video:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ravenstahl Themes and Vision: Growth, Etc.

Andreas Munzer via rbbgear

Available freely as updates on the City of Pittsburgh mayor's office news page:

[W]e must view these accolades as a challenge to keep improving.  Through partnerships that nurture innovation and job growth, and balanced budgets that hold the line on taxes and invest in programs to keep our neighborhoods safe and clean, together we will make sure that Pittsburgh stays on top. (Luke Ravenstahl)

There follow several recent examples and stories.

Growth, and the minding of the environment for it, continually emerges as a key theme.

Community is alluded to obliquely under responsibilities to provide for safety and cleanliness. Civic process, justice, data-based decision making and efficiency as well as key known hurdles did not make it into this one edition of the news.

Read it if you're just getting started, and want to learn about the Ravenstahl administration in its own words.

Budget '13: Serene and Satisfied

KushinagarOnline: A heritage of India

It's almost too exquisitely quiet.

With little discussion, Pittsburgh City Council today gave preliminary approval to the city's 2013 operating and capital budgets. (P-G, Joe Smydo; see also Trib, Bob Bauder)


So parking, pensions, development and vision aside, we of the many tribes are all agreed: this is a good game plan for running the City for the next year. Good!

We should thank Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, his Finance Department, the Harris Council and the ICA in that order if we seek to be perfectly appropriate. Yes? And the Controller. And labor leaders. Even the pension fund managers this year, who reportedly achieved about 12% returns!

And the Framers, and Providence.

The degree of unity is heartwarming. Onward into Fiscal Year 2013, Pittsburgh! Woo! Bugger your budget holes!

AND STAY TUNED:  For more on that riverfront situation.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Political Notes 12/10

TV Tropes

One mayoral contestant from each land mass might not be such a pointless endeavor for challengers, suggests Joseph Sabino Mistick at the Trib.

That idea presupposes there are a large number of people in the south who would be excited to vote for Controller Michael Lamb, but absent that possibility will go ahead and vote for incumbent Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Hmmm. Possibly. Just another reason that if we don't start seeing rich and publicly available polling data appearing by the early part of next year, I'm going to start vandalizing property.

He also writes:

Expect incumbent Ravenstahl to take credit for every good thing that has happened here since he became mayor. Couple this with blaming all the bad things on someone else and he has a pretty standard campaign strategy. (Trib, Joe Mistick)

But we are reminded today in an article lightly recapping Pennsyvlania Society festivities that this formulation leaves out the more-personally negative complement of any good strategy.

"Bill and I have been opponents now for six or seven years," Mr. Ravenstahl said. "Since the day I walked into office he was running against me." (P-G, Olson & Langley)

Expect a fair bit of this: "Peduto is a bitter and jealous man." Again it's been suggested that three challengers might make it harder for an incumbent to effectively go negative, but I don't know. We have noticed zero PA Society recaps mentioning Lamb, nor in order to draw a contrast did Lamb appear conspicuously in the community over the weekend. We shall see.

Meanwhile, Brian O'Neill at the P-G finds the mayor "never gotten over [the lease] defeat" and more importantly, "chronically unable to get five votes for anything".

It occurs to me. The only present Council member who was around back when Ravenstahl ascended is Bill Peduto. All the other names and faces have changed over the six years. Yet at each epoch in the archaeological record the Council has remained only halfway stocked with halfway, uncertain, situational Ravenstahl allies.

This mayor has made a lot of hay vilifying City Council. But at this late date, isn't this more or less the Ravenstahl Council? Love them or hate them, isn't this about the best Captain Ravenstahl has been able to manage?