HARRISBURG — State Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, was elected today as minority chairman of the influential Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees expenditures in the $28 billion state budget.
For 20 years, that Democratic caucus post had been held by Sen. Vincent Fumo, D-Philadelphia, who had a reputation for bringing sizeable state grants to his home town for various projects.
Mr. Fumo had to step down as minority chairman in early 2007, after he was charged with 139 counts of corruption by federal officials in Philadelphia. His trial is going on now and he didn’t seek re-election. (P-G, Tom Barnes)
Hey — better us than them!
[URA director Rob] Stephany said he recommended the Kuhn’s deal to the board because it would employ more people, and would yield greater tax returns and boost real estate values.
“But there are holes in the project,” he said. “But we are confident that in three months we can come back and authorize transferring the real estate.”
Stephany also referenced the Community Benefits Agreement, signed by members of One Hill Coalition, the city and the Pittsburgh Penguins in August, that calls for “a full service pharmacy” and “a full service grocery store that contains a minimum size of 25,000 square feet.” (Courier, Christian Morrow)
There are conspiracy theories abounding that Kuhn’s was selected so that everyone can get back-slaps for trying — but in three months Kuhns will almost certainly fail to get its financing together. By that time, Save-A-Lot may no longer be an option — and we all will have learned a little something about these new-fangled Community Benefits Agreements.
To me, the conspiracy sounds a little elaborate and a lot wrong. I’m sure if everybody buckles down as a team, this can happen. Remember, even the Penguins ran into significant cost-overruns, and all parties were able to work out a friendly accommodation on that.
Do you know there is a Save Race Street movement? Did you know that the real estate market in Homewood is “simmering”? These would be things to know. (My Homewood)