Saturday, May 15, 2004

Consolidation worries with Tom at the HELM

Mayor Tom Murphy's public support for consolidation is a joke. It has taken him 11 years in office to finally get 911 services to merge and make sense. There is little else more basic for people's welfare to pick up a phone in a time of dire emergency and call for help by dialing 911. That is a root service that needs attention. We can build stadiums and department stores in the Murphy Administration, but we can't fix roads, bridges and offer true public service.

The city's imminent budget problems, Murphy said, is the oversight board's job. The shame in that quote goes to how Murphy has given up on himself and his duty as Mayor. He MUST leave the office.

In an interview Thursday, Murphy said the Pittsburgh region would save the most money by focusing on dissolving school districts and police departments, rather than the city's government. WRONG. What Pittsburgh needs is a set of moves into the other direction from where Murphy would have us follow. I'd rather see MORE school districts with a horizontal split of Pgh Public Schools so as to make more, smaller, districts. Todays PPS District is too big and could be effective as a 9-12 district and a start-up of three to five smaller K-8 districts, each with their own elected boards.

James C. Roddey said that Pittsburgh won't solve the [consolidation] problems this year. So sad and so true. However, the biggest road block to progress is none other than Tom Murphy. We do need to start now, with discussions.

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