Post-Gazette NOW - Local News - Early ReturnsHere is the deal. Kraus is not in favor of property rights. Kraus will act like a socialist / communist / liberal democrat.
Jumping the Gun edition
A day before he faces the voters, Bruce Kraus showed up in Pittsburgh City Council chambers, to the consternation of the man he hopes to replace, Councilman Jeff Koch.
Mr. Kraus, a Democrat who faces Libertarian Mark Rauterkus in tomorrow's General Election, came to speak out against a request by Folino's Ristorante to keep a decorative fence in front of its East Carson Street location. Like a handful of other restaurants on Carson, Folino's wants its sidewalk-sitting patrons to dine within a better-defined space.
Some South Siders, though, feel the trend toward fenced-in outdoor seating threatens the street's wobbly balance between partygoers and residents.
"If you add capacity to the bars, you add to the problems they're trying to deal with right now," said businessman Tom Smith, citing public urination, noise and congestion as the potential results of a proliferation of outdoor seating areas. Mr. Smith is president of the South Side Chamber of Commerce, but stressed that the organization has taken no position on the Folino's request.
Mr. Koch argued for allowing the fence, saying it will leave 7 feet of open sidewalk for pedestrians, and noting that other Carson establishments have them. He also shot a few sidelong glances at Mr. Kraus, who was sitting in the audience.
"Mr. Kraus, if he wins, come January, he has the right to turn any [sidewalk] encroachment down that he wants," Mr. Koch told council. He said many of the opponents to the Folino's request, who are bombarding him with e-mails, don't even live in the city. "It's ridiculous. It's a witch hunt."
After the meeting, Mr. Koch said Mr. Kraus was just irked because Folino's supported the incumbent in the May primary. That incumbent, Mr. Koch, lost the race.
"There's nothing political about this whatsoever," said Mr. Kraus. "If we permit one to have a permanent encroachment, when the other 20 come [and ask for the same] ... then what do we say to them?"
Council decided to postpone voting on the Folino's fence until after an as-yet-unscheduled public hearing on sidewalk encroachments.
Furthermore, Kraus will serve up "pay back." This is a power trip for him. To the victor go the spoils in that world.
Eminent Domain -- no problem with him.