Wednesday: Kicking Up Some Dirt

“The concept that they are being silenced almost offends me,” said Solicitor George Specter. (P-G, Rich Lord)

Well, it’s a challenging occupation. We are glad Specter has not yet been officially offended.

Mr. Burgess said he will ask the State Ethics Commission to decide whether the members did anything wrong in hiring Mr. McGough, and to advise them on how to proceed. He also will introduce, or support, legislation to have council hire its own lawyer — a concept that has been bandied about for years.

Again with the State Ethics Commission. Would it be appropriate to file for state oversight as an Ethically Distressed Municipality? Do we need an Ethics Recovery Plan?

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“When we broke it down, there were obvious inequalities as to how the paving services were to be distributed,” Kraus said. “According to the numbers I have, I’m next to last and (Councilman Patrick) Dowd is first.” (Trib, Jeremy Boren)

Apropos of nothing, of course.

Councilman Ricky Burgess said he is not sure politics played a role in the roughly four miles of streets his district in the northeastern corner of the city are due to have paved. Council District 9 is last in Kraus‘ analysis.

“I think the streets are bad all through the city, not just in my council district. We have potholes everywhere,” Burgess said.

Ever the peacemaker. Yet how might his constituents interpret this same data?

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Citing his consolidation of six of 10 county row offices and the merging of five 911 suburban call centers into one central location in Point Breeze, [Onorato] said that many small communities should look to “functional consolidation of services” as a way of streamlining government. (P-G, Tom Barnes)

This is a good approach. It sounds like a full-time job (maybe for several dozen municipal diplomats), but it addresses the regional de-fragmentation that would be necessary to make any city-county consolidation a bit more equitable.

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An attorney for former Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle agreed to increase the amount of restitution his client owes the city to cover two plane tickets she purchased to fly to Las Vegas with her mother. (Trib, Team Effort)

Good. Because that was weird.

One thought on “Wednesday: Kicking Up Some Dirt

  1. Anonymous

    pay the damn LEGAL bill and let’s get a citizens petition to have the attorney general conduct an investigation OF ALL OF THESE stupid ass goings on. Look, these Council Members who stood up for THE LAW AND THE LEGAL PROCESS deserve a break and some PUBLIC SUPPORT INSTEAD OF DITHERING HERE IN THE BLOGS.The LNMAR 4 have been beat up, intimidated and they have their own political limitations as well. How’s bout we, the people of Pittsburgh take the responsibility for getting to the bottom of all of this!So here is a petition. Copy, paste, circulate, get signitures. Mail petitions to the PA attorney general.Tom CorbettPennsylvania Office of Attorney General16th FloorStrawberry SquareHarrisburg, PA 17120It’s an of the people by the people for the people thing. Get the AG to get to work and clean up this mess.PETETIONWE THE UNDERSIGNED RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH HAVE SERIOUS CONCERNS RELATED TO THE FUNCTIONS OF OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT. WE HAVE NO CONFIDENCE THAT LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN FAILY AND WITHOUT PREJEDICE INVESTIGATE THE MATTERS BELOW. THE CITY GOVERNMENT HAS ACTED TO ALLOW AN ILLEGAL BILLBOARD OWNED BY LAMAR ADVERTISING TO BE ERECTED. THE DIRECTOR OF THE URA, MR. PAT FORD IS ON LEAVE AND UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE STATE ETHICS COMMISSION AS A RESULT OF AN IMPROPER RELATIONSHP WITH A LAMAR LOBBYIST.MR. FORD, AS PLANNING DIRECTOR AND THE URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY HAS ALSO HAD INTERVENED ON BEHALF OF A LOCAL REAL ESTATE COMPANY HEADED BY A CONVICTED FELON TO ALLOW ILLEGAL BUILDING PERMITS TO BE ISSUED. MR. FORD RENTED AN APRTMENT FROM THIS AME CONVICTED FELON’S AND HAS REFUSED TO DISCLOSE WHAT, IF ANY, RENT WAS PAID. THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW HAS ISSUED CONTROVERSIAL LEGAL OPINIONS AND HAS FAILED TO PROVIDE THE COUNCIL WITH OPINIONS IN A TIMELY MANNER ON THE LAMAR ZONING CODE VIOLATIONS AND OTHER MATTERS. THE LAW DEPARTMENT NOW ACCUSES OUR REPRESENTATIVES OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST BASED UPON THEIR OBJECTIONS TO THE CITY CODE VIOLATIONS BY LAMAR. WE DEMAND THAT THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONDUCT A THROUGH AND COMPREHENSIVE INVESTIGATION INTO THESE MATTERS TO DETERMINE IF THE LAWS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OR CITY CODE WERE BROKEN. WE DEMAND THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL INVESTIGATE WHY A STATE AUTHORITY, THE PARKING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH, ISSUED A NO BID CONTRACT, WITHOUT BOARD APPROVAL TO ALLOW LAMAR TO ERECT AN ILLEGAL BILLBOARD ON PUBLIC PROPERTY. MR. FORD WAS CHAIR OF THE PARKING AUTHORITY AT THE TIME.WE DEMAND THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL INVESTIGATE WHY THE PITTSBURGH STADIUM AUTHORITY SOLD PUBLIC LAND TO THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS WELL BELOW MARKET RATE ($0.80 A SQ. FT.) WITHOUT STADIUM AUTHORITY BOARD APPROVAL.WE DEMAND THAT THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY AND ALL LAW BREAKING IN THESE MATTERS BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE AND RESTORE OUR FAITH IN OUR INSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT IN THE CITY OF PIITSBURGH. NAME ADDRESS ZIP CODE

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