Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mon Wharf Parking is Closed Today...

Jason blogs about me a bit.
Mon Wharf Parking is Closed Today... Full disclosure; Mark my words!
Jason seems to be in hot water for his spelling goofs by some Perfection CZARs. Jason also has been kicking up some dust by raising wonderment as to why a District Justice (DJ), Luke's Father, is showing up in political campaign materials. Plus there is that letter to the editor in the PG.

Oh well.

Here is what Jason blogged about concerning me.
For the record Mark Rauterkus is my friend. We don’t agree much on politics, but we get along great. Over the Summer Mark taught me how to swim along side his boys at their swim practices. On another occasion we tested the waters of the “mighty Mon” in Mark’s newly purchased canoe. We even went for a few 4 mile runs together, damn sounds like Mark is mostly responsible for my weight loss of 35 pounds. I’ve also help Mark more an old refrigerator to Appliance Warehouse and move a reel type device that holds the lane dividers of a swimming pool (he reimbursed me for the gas).

Jason is a bit of a maverick, a marathon running maverick no less.

He floats well too!

I don't think that the 'lock-step boosterism' that the dominating party leaders expect from the rank-and-file, yet alone each other, is healthy. The suppression sucks and is another big example of why the city is in a tailspin and why more people move away from Pittsburgh.

If I could just get one tenth the people who have voted with their feet to cast votes for me on election day, I'd win in a landslide.

Another bit of insight concerning common ground with Jason and me. Last month, I put in three complaints to Pittsburgh's Ethics Hearing Board. At the coverage of this month's meeting, it was published that my three complaints bring the total number of complaints ever sent to them to four. Understand, the history (some 15 years on the books) of the body, has had four total complaints from citizens. I put in three and one came from elsewhere. I suspect, but don't have proof, that the other citizen to complain to them was Jason Phillips.

Jason and I both understand that it is okay to rock the boat from time to time. Plus, we both aim to work from within the system rather than picking up a brick and chucking it through someone's window.

Jason's letter ran in Tuesday's P-G (yesterday):
Letters to the editor: "This mayor still doesn't get it regarding ethics"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In a letter to Pittsburgh's ethics hearing board, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl stated elected officials and municipal employees should be allowed to accept event tickets unless the gift exceeds $500 in value, in which case the recipient should report it on their annual ethics form ("Task Force to Review Free Ticket Rules," Oct. 13).

This isn't reform -- it's adding corruption to an already questionable practice. What Mayor Ravenstahl is suggesting appears to be the price tag for a payoff. Need to influence or sway a building inspector or the "Redd Up" crew? Try giving them $500 in Steelers tickets.

Nothing of value should ever exchange hands with a city employee, starting at the top with the mayor and his underlings. City residents won't be hurt if there are no more free rounds of golf, lavish meals with billionaires or free tickets to sporting events.

Why can't the mayor come to his senses and support the Ethics Hearing Board's position? Its stance is that anything of value should come directly from a charity and not be sponsored by a third-party special-interest group that does, or wants to do, business with the city of Pittsburgh.

Come on, mayor, do the right thing. Forget about the perks.

South Side
The writer is a Democratic committee member for the 17th Ward

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