Friday, April 01, 2005

April First -- and I'm not fooling around. I'm serious about public endeavors that lay ahead.

Happy April 1. I'm not fooling. Providing serious concerns for public endeavors. (Concert: 7 pm on 7th)
I sent out the following email today. The letter went into the message body, and it went as a PDF attachement as well. This is the first I've sent along a PDF. The letter prints on two pages and could make for a simple pass along note to others who you come in contact with throught the next weeks.

Open letter to residents of Western Pennsylvania
From Mark Rauterkus, Libertarian Nominee,

Citizen Candidate for Jack Wagner’s vacated State Senate seat in the Special Election on Primary Day, May 17, 2005

April 1, 2005

Dear voters,

As a parent, community activist, professional swim coach, and former publisher, my career life has been dedicated to performance and meaningful improvements.

I have coached state-record breakers in four states.

I’ve edited, published and marketed more than 100 books for athletes participating in cutting-edge competitive sports. I can write, communicate in technical terms, and interact among a broad spectrum of citizens. Anyone can offer their own opinions on numerous issues at my website:

I believe my abilities and acquired skills would stand me in good stead as a legislator in our modern, crisis-driven times. I can provide a strong voice for new regional leadership. I understand that our system of local and state government is broken -- and, financially “broke”, as well.

Career politicians have put the Pittsburgh region in a tailspin.

As necessary, I will buck established authorities and demand personal and fiscal accountability, sacking the practice of “done deals,” promoting fair and competitive bidding, and encouraging the participation of a fully-informed public in government affairs.

Winning, in sports and life, entails being prepared, showing up, and scoring more points. We should aim to thrive, not merely survive.

As a citizen candidate, and not a political machine player, I intend to represent the broad socio-economic diversity of the multi-generation, multi-cultural population of the entire 42nd district, ranging from the city neighborhoods to the suburban municipality boundaries.

Misuse and abuse of state laws in schemes such as the attempted WE-HAV tax on Southwest Pittsburgh neighborhoods, and the practice of TIFs such as Deer Creek Crossing in northern Allegheny County do not advance the prosperity of all.
Public funds should be applied to maintaining existing public roads, pedestrian walkways and trails. Public funds should provide affordable and efficient mass transit, not be squandered on things such as the Mon Valley Tollway, which will wreak havoc throughout neighborhoods.

I've actively struggled for preservation and re-use of our historic sites and valuable local resources, including St. Nicholas on the North Side, the Pittsburgh Public Libraries, WQEX 16, the now-closed and lone indoor ice rink in the city (Neville), city recreation centers, and some swimming pools.

I battled against corporate give-a-ways that loomed in Fifth & Forbes (plans A, B, and C) and pushed for pedestrian-accommodating design, reliable transit funding, and internet-accessible property assessment listings.

Assessment buffering and land value taxes work for the benefit of regular taxpayers, while the unified tax plan, taxing freezes, and the deed transfer tax cripple the economy and harm the region.

I questioned UPMC's expansion to the South Side Works by calling a public hearing in city council and releasing my first position paper. I fought eminent domain with emails to the Institute for Justice and in public testimony. I fought the loss of Pitt Stadium with former Pitt players and networked with the Women’s Sports Foundation to raise Title IX concerns. I fought the stadium tax.

I raised alarms with the red-carpet arrival of dual Oversight Boards. I want self-reliance from elected officials, not bailouts.

I say no to wrongheaded spending on a merry-go-round in Oakland that is to replace a parking-area and vendors. Yes, a real merry-go-round is in the works; it’s not a figure of speech.

My critical editorial ran in the Pgh Park’s Conservancy newsletter and my objections are know from public hearings and my direct communications. As the city administration, planning officials and the community gathered for the proud release of the park’s master plan, I simply objected to the document's title. Their document should not have been called a master plan. A more fitting name would be lesser plan. Other concerned citizens shared in the process and were also in disbelief.

Wasteful spending, in my opinion, includes the glass-enclosed subway station re-do in Gateway Center, the one-way HOV-ish Wabash Tunnel, and the under-the-river route of light-rail T-expansion to the North Side.

I fought the elimination of the City's two rodent control workers who hunt and trap rats from empty lots and work to keep rats from our homes.

Downsizing the City’s lone traffic engineer was more folly. Likewise, the Citizens' Police Academy got my support as I helped in the crafting of a plan that could have moved the program to into a money making entity.

I spoke to the Pittsburgh Public Schools' board and to community meetings about saving vo-tech opportunities. I suggested new courses and methods for increasing outreach to Community College of Allegheny County departments.

At the end of 2004, when public comment at City Council was under attack, I called a public hearing and the sponsoring member took the bill off the table.

In my opinion, lawful efforts of bounty hunters shouldn't be hindered when we have a police shortage and an abundance of criminals that need to be captured.

We should liquidate the parking authority, then lower the parking tax to 15%. Let's create a yearly Youth Technology Summit. Let's organize a new Pittsburgh Park District and have it come with a replacement of a portion of the RAD tax and RAD Board so as to spur cooperation among volunteers and operate under the sunshine laws and with democratic participation.

As a member of a 12-week task force established by a city council memeber, I'm supporting campaign finance reform that has a prayer of working as intended. I support "political debates" that include ALL candidates.

Pittsburgh's greatest treasure is its people. I always support human investment and shy away from governmental giveaways to corporations. I'll struggle hard to better the environment, health care and wellness efforts for all.

With respect,

Mark Rauterkus, Candidate,

Please make an informed vote on May 17.
Resident of South Side, Pittsburgh 412 298 3432

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