Next week, [Doug Shields] will introduce legislation to shift $600,000 from the city’s fuel account, which is flush because of lower-than-expected fuel prices. The second payment would be part of the 2010 budget, which council can amend after it gets it from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl early next month. (P-G, Rich Lord)
It is only a two-year stopgap, but thus far it doesn’t sound very much like the Library trustees are enthused about having received the breathing room. Because now there are costly repairs and upgrades that need to take place at those particular branches. You know, the ones that had been slated for shuttering due solely to low rates of use. It’s weird.
Anyway, Shields’ move comes on the heels of this:
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he is willing to increase the city’s contribution to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to help keep branches open.
“I don’t anticipate the city will be able to do the whole $1.2 million,” he said, citing the Carnegie Library’s one-year deficit. “But we’ll be pushing to locate funding for the four facilities and the library as a whole.” (Trib, Bill Zlatos)
That represented the completion of a 179° shift over the course of a two week period in the Mayor’s position, but a very welcome one. I’ve said it before: if it weren’t for elections, democracy totally wouldn’t be worthwhile.
David M. Kennedy, heralded 13 months ago as a solution to a surge in shootings across the city, was back in Pittsburgh yesterday preparing the way for an experienced team to “jump start” a long-awaited anti-violence plan here. (P-G, Rich Lord)
“It may have taken longer than what we anticipated, but we’ve got to get it right,” said Mr. Huss. Implementation of the program was slowed by drawn-out contract talks with Pitt, and the need to shift funding after money initially slated for PIRC was spent on other public safety needs. (ibid)
Okay. One can only hope this initiative has consistently received as much of the administration’s energies as, say, clearing the path for exciting development projects. It seems like that is what gets the administration up in the morning.
Mr. Kennedy said such a meeting could occur in Pittsburgh “within several months.” (ibid)
What’s a several? Is it fair to say five? Okay, let’s say the beginning of April. We need to keep on keeping track if only for due diligence’s sake. Sooner or later it’s only natural to wonder whether either the priorities have changed somewhere along the narrative, or maybe we learned things we didn’t anticipate about the Kennedy model, or else possibly we encountered resistance from one of the many centers of authority which have a role in this. All these things would be excellent to know.
Speaking of things returning to the forefront:
A new commuter train serving Lawrenceville, Oakland and Hazelwood could be built for $80.9 million and draw new development to those neighborhoods, according to a report presented Wednesday to the Pittsburgh City Council. (Trib, Matthew Santoni)
Newsflash: this thing might actually happen!!
I heard there was a URA pep rally in Lawrenceville yesterday evening, concerning plans being crafted by experts from on high for “Allegheny Riverfront” development — and this little choo-choo actually was mentioned as a selling point. Despite the fact that it is Bill Peduto’s baby. So the takeaway for the day might be to start buying up properties in Hazelwood, y’all.