Wednesday, October 20, 2004

State court tosses fire union's referendum

AP Wire | 10/20/2004 | State court tosses fire union's referendum Commonwealth Court Judge Joseph McCloskey rejected the referendum on Wednesday - less than two weeks before the Nov. 2 election - saying that the petitions that 24,000 city residents signed were unclear.

This judgement is another golden invitation to 24,000 citizens to pack up and leave town. The judge and the mayor are telling the world that they know better than the rest. The voice of the citizens has become meaningless in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh nears meaningless status too.


PittsburghJack said...

No, that's not what the court ruling is saying. What it says to me is that the petition was unclear to the signers and therefore should be rejected. Evidently, the signators of the petition were not made aware that the referendum, if passed, would require changing the home rule charter of the city and in addition, would create a roadblock to the Act 47 plan. More specifically, the signators were unaware that the passage would not give the city the ability to make necessary changes in the Bureau of Fire.

The ruling should not be construed as a victory for Mayor Murphy, which it is not. It is, however, a victory for the taxpayers/homeowners of the city.

There were several professionsl independent studies conducted, by those more knowledgable in the field of public safety than you or I, that clearly state that a) the City of Pittsburgh's staffing level (both in terms of personnel and fire stations) in the Bureau of Fire is much more than is required to perform their duties satisfactorily and b) the necessary reductions would not affect public safety. The administration, whether it's Murphy or anyone else, should have the capacity to make necessary changes to any city department, including the Bureau of Fire, and not be held hostage by the bargaining group. It's us, the taxpayer and homeowners -- those with an interest in this city -- who wind up paying the price.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Wrong. The petition said what it said. The only time to change the petition was before it was copied and passed around to collect the signatures. You should not change the petition -- ever.
If the question asked, "Is your favorite color blue?" then the question is dumb -- but it is an important question to these who signed it getting it on the ballot. There is not under-current to then change the city's flag because the people said that their favorite color is blue -- and it won at the ballot box.

The petition process was hijacked. The first hijack was when the petitions were submitted to the elections department. There was NEVER a mention on the petition about the need to change the city's charter. None. It was slipped on by some stooge with sabatoge aspirations.

The question needed to stand as it was signed by the people. It is simple.

Nobody was made aware of the referendum impacting the city charter -- as it would NOT have had an impact on the charter. To impact the charter -- it would have been spelled out as such. It didn't.

The changes to the fire department are not part of the peition's question either. It is NOT in the petition either. You can't read more into it.

If you want to change the city charter -- get a petition question that says should we change the city's charter to XYZ.

If you want to change the fire department, by referendum, you'd have to say as much in the petition's question.

The victors in this mess are those with power who fight against democracy. The losers are the citizens who signed the petition and every other citizen in a free and democratic land.

The professionsl independent studies conducted, by those more knowledgable in the field of public safety than you or I, Don't MEAN JACK in this discussion.

There are times when I don't give a flying fart about what the king and his court says -- as there are times when we get to hear from the people at the polls with ballot questions. That boot of authority that just went down my throat is nasty.

You want to talk about "clearly state" -- come on. The question on the referendum on the petitions was clear and nothing more and nothing less.