Monthly Archives: September 2014

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Notes on the millage readjustment, or Taxes that is.

Once more:

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Monday proposed a 0.5-mill real estate tax increase to help cover a shortfall in the $505.9 million budget he plans for 2015. (Trib, Bob Bauder)

1) Allegheny County just underwent a once-in-a-decade property reassessment.

2) Due to generally rising property values, in 2013 tax rates were cut, so that by law the City’s and all other local governments’ total take would stay about the same.

3) The Ravenstahl administration said it was inclined to “err on the side of taxpayers.”  That’s a solid policy, given what we all knew at the time.

4) Once-in-a-decade property reassessments led to once-in-a-decade assessment appeals, Continue reading


Police Bureau Chief-Designee Cameron McLay at his introductory press conference. Good times.

C/o MBN, Don Carpenter

No, seriously:  isn’t this guy a little different than you would expect?

Policing, Cycling and Rebuilding: Your Latest Guide to ‘Burgh Drama

Pittsburgh is pulling a lot together slowly, questing for one key item after another. As those pieces assemble it could unlock a lot of potential.

Police Chief McLay drops into Pittsburgh with a background in community relations suggesting reform. But his approach to leading the Bureau sounds laid-back:

Asked whom he will keep and who will go, [McLay] believes it will become clear whom to keep as he tries to make changes in the bureau.

“I’m not worried about rooting out bad apples. They will make themselves evident,” he said, adding that he has a theory that the good people in the bureau will unite to change it while others will become loners. (P-G, Liz Navratil)

The Peduto administration is foreshadowing Continue reading

Apple should take serious look at Hill District

Hey, Apple. I herd you like office space. And Pittsburgh.

And that you Think Different.

Pittsburgh may be getting a bigger bite of Apple. The technology giant, the maker of iPhones, iPads, iPods and Mac computers, is looking to expand its presence in the city and has been searching for 15,000 to 20,000 square feet of office space. (P-G, Belko and Todd)

That’s not new. You like brains. That’s nothing different.

But y’know… you like to look at “other alternatives.”   Continue reading


Should Corbett fold, preserve dignity in lopsided Gov.’s race?

Last week, the Corbett campaign blasted a new F&M poll showing his opponent with a 25-point lead as “junk,” going so far as to call shenanigans.

An RMU poll today puts Tom Wolf’s lead over the Governor Corbett at more like 30 points.

And although political contests typically tighten down the home stretch, the incumbent administration has adopted a “La la la la I can’t hear you!” strategy against accusations of wasteful patronage in the Education department — so this contest continues to get more lopsided.

The Corbett campaign’s solution?   Continue reading

Mayor designates Chief Cam McLay

Pittsburgh’s next Police Chief will be Cameron McLay of Madison, WI, barring any major negative revelations over the next two weeks.

Mayor Bill Peduto emphasized McLay’s background as a student and teacher of community police-relations, and how he came across as heartfelt. His 35 years experience include 29 at the Madison PD, including SWAT.

Chief McLay will be busy in this City of Champions. Here are some notes on his cork-board:

City leadership has built a less diverse force over the past four years, since Continue reading

Labor Day unity runs deeper than Unions

No more bets! Our Labor Day ’14 edition begins with this story from PGHBIZTIME:

Rivers Casino employees [picketed] in front of the casino’s front entrance [last] Thursday to demand an end to what they refer to as “slashed hours and benefits.”

Workers contend there have been deep reductions in the number of full-time positions in favor of part-time positions that do not qualify for health insurance. (Justine Coyne)

For a working parent or other person, it can be hard or tricky to gain reliable access to preventative, non-emergency and rehabilitative health care — in this economy and in the present health care system.

Unionization is one way workers have acquired such stabilities, affording them the leisure to raise, educate and invest in their children and communities.

But worker solidarity is much more instinctive than that.   Continue reading