Saturday, January 28, 2006

Statement before City Council -- The Over Reaching Hurts

Notes from a talk delivered on January 25.
My name is Mark Rauterkus, My family and I reside at 108 South 12th Street, South Side. I'm a candidate for the now open seat for City Council in district 3. Today I'll turn in my papers to get onto the ballot.

I'm hosting a community concert on Feb 2 with singer and songwriter Johnsmith. He sings a song, "Don't Put Me In a Box" that is on the campaign CD. I hope everyone gets the opportunity to listen to this CD in the weeks to come. It has music and messages that I feel are important for Pittsburgh to flourish.
Today's message is about over-reaching.

As a coach, I understand that there are various roles in a team. The blocking back can't go into the Steelers huddle and always say, "give me the ball." But with a swimmer, I know that a backstroke in the middle of the pull can't over reach. There is a time and place for everything and we can't over-reach in the wrong areas.

I feel that the resolution from council that talks about the US Senate confirmation for the Supreme Court is wrong. On the other hand, I think it is great that Jim Ferlo organized the citizens to take out a full page ad in the recent City Paper to petition President Bush about our loss of privacy and personal freedoms. I didn't sign that petition, but many Libertarians did. Each individual could make the decision.

As individuals on council, I welcome your involvement in many issues that impact our community. As a body, I don't like those statements about foreign policy and areas that are an over-reach.

My planks within the are on the web on this topic and are handed to the Clerk for the record.

One week ago, another candidate in the race came to this podium and asked you to not meddle in the race. To have a hands off approach to the district. And, in effect, "Neb out."

I can't agree. That is wrong. I want your engagement in the race I'm waging for city council.

I am the type of person who has engaged in other races around town. I was at the kick off to Tonya Payne's campaign. I know many of council's past opponents to sitting councilmemebers from other parts of town, such as Mitch Kates and Renee who is now working at the Pgh Business Times. Bill Peduto spoke at an event I helped to organize, and his speech is on tape, before he was elected to council. I've heard Joe King speak to Brighton Heights neighbors, while in Brighton Heights.

I've been around town. And, this is an asset because when I get onto council I would like to be the chair of the committee that deals with youth policy and Citiparks. In that capacity, I'll care and do the administrative heavy lifting for kids all around the city -- not just in my own district.

I don't expect any of you on city council, (all are Democrats), to make a $200 campaign donation to my campaign. But I'd welcome it. However, each of you will benefit if I was to arrive to city council.

I play well with others in respectful ways. I will challenge some status quo concepts and be forceful in my beliefs as I communicate, teach and live with the results of the majority.

I know that the Paulson Rec Center has a new computer lab. That system is built so as to support other labs around town in other rec centers. Those need to be built right away.

I know that we can't and should not re-open all the 32 outdoor swim pools that had been closed. And I understand how we can re-launch the Pittsburgh Marathon, but not cause so much gridlock for the entire city. I want a prudent marathon, perhaps in an out-and-back course on a bus way that needs far less police overtime.

Listen to the CDs I gave to each of you last week. Engage, where you should, as individuals.

The campaign I'm in has already seen its share of goofy statements from the uninformed, yet well meaning. We heard one opponent's idea of moving the Zone 3 police station to Mt. Oliver. Go figure. It is outside of the district and the city. Another front runner assumes the entire internet is "non-profit" so getting the jobs from Google with an office here isn't with many real benefits. Your presence and open-minded attitude at these community meetings would be welcomed.

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