Last night on network television, our own “office-type” Mayor donned a wig and camouflage to show off the progress of our City, cavort with some of his employees, almost saw off his fingers, deliver a few Aesops and make a few dreams come true, Hollywood style, to much rejoicing.
Who could possibly find fault with that?
The show typically includes the boss helping out his employees in need when he reveals himself or herself, though Peduto noted he didn’t have the personal resources of a corporate CEO.
Instead, money to help the four came from donations by private companies and individuals, said city spokesman Tim McNulty.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority was authorized to handle and disburse up to $155,000 for the employees. Peduto, using donors’ money, pledged to help Nasiadka go back to school and make up for his lost overtime; get Allen a promotion, a scholarship for her son and money for law school and a house; help with Amend’s animal shelter, caring for his mother and his mortgage; and provide money so Smith could start his dream of becoming a minister, along with help for his foster kids and a program in which he would teach young Housing Authority residents carpentry.
“We said from the beginning, we wouldn’t spend one dollar of city money,” Peduto said after entering Cappy’s to cheers and applause. (Trib, Matthew Santoni)
See? Cheers and applause.
But wait a minute… so he or his own representatives worked the phones to solicit the Undercover Boss prize kitty, from “private companies and individuals?” Kind of like an inaugural ball?
Prizes that were given “by” Mayor Peduto during this nationally televised tear-jerker? Which, while great for the City, comes with a rather noticeable political benefit?
Should we… um… should we get to know who were the donors? Is it possible those phone calls ended in the standard, “Thank you, this won’t be forgotten”?
Oh, see look, now that’s just unfortunate and awful! Now some blogger is online drawing wild assumptions about which connected developers may have helped raise Peduto’s $155,000 “Hero Money,” and wondering if anything was or will be given in return.
So, is this an issue? I really don’t think so… but who am I? I’m gaga for this Mayor, and you all know it. Once again, if only we had access to some reasonably independent panel of experts on this subject matter…
Heh heh. Boring schtick. Hopefully, if someone has a quibble with anything like this, we’ll have help soon. The Mayor in his freshly signed 2015 budget included an $80,000 line item for the Ethics Board where there was zilch before, which may mean Pittsburgh will again be witness to a City Ethics Hearing Board where there has been none in a few years. There was a little activity on this including the old Transition Team back in September of this year, and I have no idea if what we came up with makes sense, or is practicable, or made things harder. But having something is better than nothing, and we’re all looking forward to 80 large worth of something in the year ahead.
MORE / NOT MORE: P-G, Chris Potter
MORE: Peduto tweets that the names will come once donations are in.