Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014: Morning in Midlandish Appalachia!!

The overweening issues are twain in number:

To the bafflement of some of his colleagues on council, Mr. Peduto wants to remain in the program, even though it means continuing to answer to state overseers. The incoming mayor believes the city is still in a precarious financial position. 
"It's not a question," he said. "We must stay under Act 47." (P-G, Moriah Balingit)

Raise your hands if you're baffled.

As the city moves forward, though, city Controller Michael Lamb warns that the opportunities to put money typically used for city operations into capital projects will diminish, as expenditures rise faster than revenues[…] 
Mr. Lamb warned that the city will continue to struggle to fund infrastructure maintenance and predicted that operational surpluses will diminish as expenditures outpace revenues. (P-G, Balingit Deux)

City Controller Michael Lamb is a lot of things, but he's never baffled.

Mr. Ravenstahl, a Democrat, hopes that the Republican takeover of Harrisburg increases the chances of cities moving to defined-contribution plans. This is bigger than party loyalty. 
"The system needs overhauled entirely,'' Mr. Ravenstahl said. (P-G, Brian O'Neil, 3 yrs ago)

That's one idea.


And then there is this:

Urban Affairs Officer Valerie McDonald-Roberts said all subcommittees on her team emphasized the need for changes stemming from the grassroots. 
“It needs to come from the ground up, from the people, from the residents,” she said. (Trib, Melissa Daniels)

That old thing.

First let me say this about municipal park rangers: true, I was a little amused at first.

But the more I think about it, a limited professional interdisciplinary team amongst the Departments of Public Works, Public Safety and Innovation and Performance could be just the thing for those "sticky situations" in this heavily forested city and to develop knowledge bases that could prove creative and constructive down the road. Perhaps during disaster relief operations we'll even be able to send them north of the Wall.  *-UPDATE: More accurate description of team recommendation from John J. Chapman, Comet FB.

Second, the full-bore version of the Office of the Mayor-elect's City Ethics Hearing Board transition team recommendations are archived here:

UPDATE / CORRECTION: Under Transparency, while the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics annual report is a good one (pdf) the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission annual report (pdf) we thought particularly boffo.

There is not any stopping us now! We're on the move. We do believe the worst is behind us.