Monday: Close Calls, Dead Heats, Unknowns and Preparation

Target 11’s Rick Earle has never steered me wrong, and KDKA’s Andy Sheehan doesn’t waste time reporting alarmed concerns over things that aren’t happening.

Yet the newspaper of record on Saturday reported Mayor Gainey merely has narrowed down his selection for Chief of Police to 3 finalists. Maybe he floated Ryan Lee’s name to gauge the reaction, had second thoughts, and is now turning to the audience for advice like on The Price is Right.

Meanwhile complaints against police seem meaningfully down in Gainey’s first year. So maybe he can still pull this out of the fire.

Weinstein is at 28, Lamb at 24, and Innamorato at 17 with 26% of Democrats undecided in the race for County Executive, according to a precious poll we hope is already being replicated for tracking. Adjust Weinstein downward a shade for the hits he’s taken on ethics issues since surveys were conducted, and increase Innamorato a shade since she has the means to make up the name recognition gap, and we’re in “anything can happen” country.

Weinstein is the only major candidate who said he doesn’t want to increase fines on pollution violations to actually disincentivize violations, and recently reaffirmed how he doesn’t want to limit campaign donations but doesn’t want to say so either. Lamb sounds on board alongside Innamorato in supporting funding the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council’s plan leaving an impression of little daylight between them, aside from Innamorato’s confidence in the County’s regulatory authority to bring other enterprises efficiently to heel.

Pittsburgh Public Schools is suing all the social media companies for knowingly addicting children to something which harms their mental health. Depending on who becomes County Executive, the Health Department might throw its weight behind that lawsuit next year — in hopes of earning more revenue to pay more social workers.

It’s hard to regulate some things though, even governments. Officials at the Allegheny County Jail sound irritated by the Jail Oversight Board and the voters of Allegheny County but not particularly obligated to them, and they may be in the right. After all, cops typically defend themselves from accusations of abuse with reference to their Constitutional rights, not local laws: “Your government hired me to perform this difficult task, and higher laws than your village regulations protect me in getting it done and the whole institution of getting it done.” Feels like the Jail’s waiting on the Oversight Board to test its authority more efficiently than it has been, without giving anything away.

As reformers take power, it could be they first have to grope around dark mazes of mistrusts and unknowns. How much that’s worth it depends how much is necessary.

2 thoughts on “Monday: Close Calls, Dead Heats, Unknowns and Preparation

  1. Mary

    Wow, this post is vintage in its’ style, making me think of the time I got addicted to blog reading thanks to the Comet getting me through knee replacement rehab in 2011.


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