Monday Controversies! Land, Jobs & Transportation, and Employees

You were expecting something else?

Care of Busses are Bridges: The City’s proposed Land Bank legislation, in an interactive format where you can leave commentary.

At What Would Vannevar Blog: Lyft, your Internet jitney. UPDATE: Cabbies say there ought to be a law.

At the Post-Gazette: On City Solicitor Sanchez-Ridge and on OMB nominee Ed Keily.

On the last: The Trib’s Eric Heyl makes some analogies regarding Keily’s IRS payment schedule; the Comet might rather have suggested it’s more like having a doctor who smokes, or a psychiatrist who is afraid of heights. For who among us is perfect, and who is best at giving advice when it comes to themselves? Does this discredit his qualifications and experiences?

But the Post-Gazette is right. These are the sorts of imperfections that are going to erode the Mayor’s capacity to claim the mandate of heaven, and to deliver on his agenda. He did not seem to mind accepting either political risk beforehand. And it was bound to be something. But it’s good to know that these are the types of things.

Does our Mayor display a softer and more forgiving spot for executive-type leadership than he will be willing to share with the City’s rank and file? If he does, does he use proper and reasonable discretion? We don’t know that yet, but our eye is on it.

The worst thing Peduto could do is dismiss all such criticism as stemming from invested, irreconcilable, inevitable “haters”, and instead fixate narrowly on his prospects for reelection. That would be a function of fear of the People. Fear leads to withdrawal, withdrawal leads to delusion, delusion leads to suffering. Patient and open-minded engagement with criticism over time will yield opportunities to address the real roots of such criticism… and to fix things we failed to perceive even needed fixing.

8 thoughts on “Monday Controversies! Land, Jobs & Transportation, and Employees

  1. Brian Tucker-Hill

    I’m a big believer in the theory that politicians are usually judged by voters way more on outcomes (whether they actually control them or not) than process. Unfortunately the political media typically exhibits a preference for talking about process more than outcomes, so you have to filter out a lot of that to get a reliable sense of what is likely to actually matter to voters.

    That doesn’t mean a politician should completely ignore controversies over appointments, and in some circumstances legitimately disqualifying facts not previously known to the appointing politician could come out, but ultimately the most important thing is likely to be getting people who will do a good job in their appointed roles.

    1. busesarebridges

      Well, we indeed have an electorate that has become increasingly disengaged from democratic process – as our education system erodes, as enormous workloads exhaust voters, as big money drives media coverage, it will take more work to avoid a series of reactive entrenched and short-sighted, knee-jerk, responses to negative impacts that could have been prevented with more inclusive and responsible public discussion and planning.

      I’ll be looking forward to further implementation of the active community engagement processes promoted by the Peduto Administration during the campaign. But it will certainly take the commitment of voters to their own responsibilities to be informed and involved from the ground up for those process reforms to become reality.


      1. Brian Tucker-Hill

        The basic problem is not a new one–most people are really busy with a lot of other stuff, and don’t have the time to spend engaging in more than a fraction of the possibly relevant public discussions going on at all levels of government. In that sense even when the “community” is involved in sustained public discussions, it is usually just a fraction of the community actually participating, and therefore there is still a lot of de facto delegation going on. And while I am not at all opposed to that being an element of public discussions, it certainly isn’t unproblematic if you are thinking about issues like accountability, representativness, and so on.

    2. Bram Reichbaumbramr101 Post author

      Well Brian, I agree 100% on outcomes. These matter most to the electorate, as well they should. But along another vector things can also be like this: perhaps to some in our community, during new employee orientation on residency, it really seems as though the residency requirement is drilled home with grave foreboding. And that questions in response regarding feasibility of legitimate temporary work-arounds are met with skepticism. Even if fact-finding and final outcomes are handled identically, if you generate enough people who have a personal resentment over the seeming different treatment, it can be bad not just for politics but in terms of a Mayor bureaucratically trying to get workers to pitch in and collaborate.

      Or in terms of another kind of politics, if the Council’s leadership seems stilted, fearful and overly coached or close to the administration, that can sometimes breed a feeling of disrespect or uncertainty which lasts. This also is terribly inside-baseball — so inside that only the few people on Council who hold your agenda in their hands (and hyperlocal Internet junkies) even care about it. Basically, Councilor Rudiak called an awesome point of privilege of raise the probable need of a recess, but it needed to be followed up by a “Look…” and some exchange. Not the dramatic recitation of the long letter from the law dept., vote, and run away.

      I’d hate to see solvency or universal quality early childhood education hinge on something like that. Again, this is all very preliminary and Act 1 Scene 1, but we can learn even from our very earliest missteps.


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