Thursday, January 01, 2009

City's stale times in 2008

Effectiveness is NOT like this.
City's fresh start in '08 had some stale times: "The year 2008 started with a fresh council, a mayor with a mandate and a Valentine's Day pledge of partnership in Pittsburgh's halls of power. It ended with debate over who in city government can most accurately count to 10.
A recap from me: City council has been so fruitless, that they are not worthy of my regular rants. I've not gone to Grant Street as frequently in recent times as they've been overflowing with folly of a hopeless style.

The public safety director can't be happy with the number of deaths on the streets and the rate of un-solved crimes and un-engaged witnesses. That is nothing to be happy about.

The city is cleaner -- redder, perhaps -- so they say.

How can Doug Shields, city council president, be a critic when he is part of the problem for so long. That's what gets me mad.

The proclamation of pledges to improve governance in Pittsburgh was a stage show that the media swallowed hook, line and sinker. It was a get-out-of-trouble card for many months. It was a way to spin in place without doing much of anything.

Four couples-- just four couples -- signed up for the domestic partner registry. That is what folly looks like. That is ineffective. That is nothing to be proud of. That isn't helping quality of life in the city. People are not going to move to Pittsburgh, nor stay, because of that groundbreaking council act. Even if 40 couples had signed up -- what benefits would be earned other than an opportunity to save $15 per year with the purchase of a family swim pool tags.

Congress on Neighboring Communities -- say what?

Isn't that what the PA Senate is for? Or, wasn't that what I proposed when I ran for city controller -- a citizens' handle for Grant Street. Or, rather, isn't that what I proposed with the development of a Pittsburgh ombudsmen.

Then there is the SWPC, Southwestern PA Planning Commission. Plus, there is the evil Allegheny Conference. Hold a meeting at the Duquesne Club. Or, hold a meeting with the ACDC, Allegheny County Dem Committee.

I'd love to see a Congress on Neighboring Communitys called the Pittsburgh Park District. But Dan Onorato insured that little would be done there by tossing a bone in the form of town-hall meetings and putting some of his VIPs onto a new nonprofit board for parks that has yet to amount to much, if anything.

The theme -- a lack of accountability for action. And, sleeping watchdogs that allow the nothingness to linger.

The hard talk on Grant Street is encouraged such as with the Shields "pack of lies" statement, whenever talking about studies. They can really kick up a big cloud of huff and puff when the outcome is only going to sit on the shelves and won't be revealed for months to come and is really just a "pay-to-play" contract at its root.

Lag time isn't 'hang time.' Furthermore, to use another basketball illustration, lag time is not marked with hustle, teamwork and hyper passing to get the open shot. Lag time is more like a 4-corner offense when basketball was played without a shot clock. The game would end up with a score of 3-0. The only thing tested was patience and the game clock. Nobody wins.

Rich Lord's article overlooked the rash of water pipe breaks. But, they've been quiet, it seems, in the fall. Quck, everyone knock on wood and keep up with the low-flushing policy.

The snow clearing fleet got revamped but what of the automated route system? Political patronage for paving and plowing is ... where ... LAGGING?


Anonymous said...

Hi Mark:
Happy New Year.
Would you please explain the problem that you are having with the City Council President? Or, explain why you feel that he is a problem to the City? I don't understand.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Our city is with two sets of OVERLORDS because the mayor and city council (as well as the controller) failed. Year in and year out, the city's elected leadership have been full of folly and little else.

Doug Shields, city council president, has been part of the problems recently and in the past.

Fix it!

Doug Shields is a status-quo politician that is not effective in offering solutions that will get the city and the region out of its deep and long rut, caused mostly by the state of its government.

If you think that the city's public landscape is in GREAT CONDITION -- then you could think that Doug Shields has part of the credit due to him.

I don't have a problem with Doug Shields. I have a problem with the work products from him, his legislation, his budgets, his stewardship, his council, his cooperation with oversight, his tax policies, his communications of solutions, etc.

Can you explain some of the good things that city council has done in 2008 or before? And, I hope that the good things are meaningful. They make nice plenty.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever talked with Doug Shields about your problems with him?
Who on council do you feel would be a better President of Council? How about Jim Motznik? How about Patrick Dowd?
Have you thought about changing your registration and running as a Democrat?

Mark Rauterkus said...

I've got few personal problems with Doug.

I have a problem with one party rule. So, until the person's ideas and ideals are what are voted upon -- then we are in for a bumpy ride.

Doug is as good as they get for being city council president, 6 of one and half-dozen of the other. But, they all leave plenty to be desired.

As I'm not in favor of one party rule -- then I'm not too excited about being of the D party.