My dad also has a 311 story, one that he has been agitating for me to relay to you all for some time. He called to confirm what he thought he had heard on the news: that the casino parking garage was charging $80.
“Please stay with us, your call is very important to us”, a computerized voice told him. “You are the sixth caller in line.”
So he waited five minutes, ten minutes, close to twenty minutes.
“Please stay with us, your call is very important to us,” the voice returned. “You are the seventh caller in line.”
He hung up. Never called back. Hasn’t visited the casino either.
Me? I once called to figure out whether my street was due for a recycling pickup the present week or the next. My call was answered in under one minute. I was expecting to get transferred to Public Works, which would keep me on hold for an hour and eventually send a team out to my house to give me noogies and a wedgie. But the guy at 311 told me instantly, “Yup, looks like you’re due for recycling tomorrow!” I guess it was an easy question. I wonder if it wound up in the “resolved” or “completed” file.
If you ask me, the policy question ought to be whether we retain our parking garages and hike parking rates ourselves, or lease the garages and let private companies hike them for us. Driving is anti-environmental, regressive, and done largely by suburbanites you know.
“That we would plug a hole in the pension fund by making the city even less attractive to developers, shoppers, business, etc., is simply incredible to me,” wrote David Paul Gleason, senior pastor at Downtown’s First Lutheran Church and chair of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Transportation Committee, in an e-mail. (P-G, Rich Lord)
There are no legitimate ways to fill the pension fund. All means of generating revenue are incredible, awful, immoral and fattening.
If this was The Old Days, you all would already be commenting on this article by now (P-G, Diana Nelson Jones
It occurred to me a little while ago what is the real purpose of Allegheny County’s brand of home rule government. Not only does it vest a ton of power in one person, but instead of calling that person “The County Commissioner” or something equally commonplace, we call it “The Chief Executive”. You know, as in Chief Executive Officer, as in Executive Power — something that sounds real good when running for statewide office. It’s a governor-building device, and we’re about to see if it works. (P-G, Karamagi Rujumba
Don’t get me wrong — we should be celebrating. There was a lot accomplished this year. I do wonder whether we will be needing to revisit either campaign finance or ethics reform just to tighten the bolts, and make the limits, you know, limiting. And I wonder whether “friends” will be needing to register as such on 222.openbookpittsburgh.com
, and whether every hour spent providing friendly “advice” to a politician or simply hanging out at a sporting event will be logged as “lobbying”. But we made our statements and put something on record and that will be very helpful for years to come. (P-G, Edit Board
And of course! Thanks to the G20, Pittsburgh is on the tip of the tongue of influence makers halfway around the world. No publicity is bad publicity! (NYT’s The Lede, Robert Mackey