In the letter, Council members Harris, Kraus, Peduto, Rudiak and Shields make clear that they will merely be temporarily suspending expanded parking meter enforcement (sorry, Ginny) until such time as the Parking Authority comes around to Council’s way of thinking.
*-UPDATE: Mayor Ravenstahl and Finance Director / chief administrative officer on financial matters Scott Kunka each respond in short statements.
Further, the Harris majority is setting out to transfer $1.3 million from the city’s 2011 general fund balance [which we all hope will exist] to the pension fund.
That “further” part has us a mite confused. As part of its New Years Eve deal, Council already diverted money from the parking tax (which winds up in the general fund) over to the pension fund. The difficulty has been that this general fund revenue has not been replaced by Parking Authority revenue as Council had intended. Is Council here saying that the Powers That Be have refused also to move the parking tax money over to the pension fund to begin with? Because otherwise, why send more money over to the pensions than previously arranged?
The timing of the nastygram makes this all the more curious. The fact that Councilman Patrick Dowd, a leading architect of Council’s New Years’ Eve plan and critic of the Mayor’s alternative, did not cosign today’s missive is only mildly curious.
Meanwhile, just to stir the pot a little further, check out how folks from Harrisburg are seeing these machinations:
The City of Pittsburgh this morning submitted its new municipal pension shortfall estimates to the state, hoping to avert a state takeover of the fund. The submission was the culmination of a two-year battle between council, which wanted to dedicate future parking revenue to the fund, and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who preferred shoring up the fund through leasing the parking facilities. Council ended up getting its way; now we get to see if it actually worked. If it doesn’t, expect the mayor (after a hearty round of “I told you so”) to re-submit his plan to lease the city’s parking garages. (Triadvocate)
That ain’t necessarily so. But it ain’t necessarily not so.