Pittsburgh won't audit water authority debt deal Pittsburgh City Council voted tentatively against commissioning an audit of a Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority debt deal today, denying Councilman Patrick Dowd the review he has sought of the $414 million borrowing.The finance deal smelled bad when I first saw it. All authority dealings need to be put under a microscope. Hell, I'm in favor of getting rid of all the authorities. Liquidate them all.
Plus, a good way to put real accountability into the authorities is not to micromanage each deal. Rather, put some real democracy into the operation of the respective boards. All authority board members should have to face the citizens after being appointed and pass regular 'retention votes.'
The board members need to watch the authorities. Now, however, we've got goofy governance.
Patrick Dowd is a board member of the Water & Sewer Authority. He should insist that they audit themselves.
But most of all, when it comes to audit capacity and powers -- engage the city controller. Mike Lamb, my loyal opponent, used the word AUDIT every other sentence when he was running for office. Get the controller and Lamb to do the blasted audits. We can hold Lamb accountable for audits -- or not re-elect him.
If there is a lack of audits, and I bet that could be the case, as Dowd is trying to make, then blame Michael Lamb, the city's controller.
The job of City Council is NOT to run audits. No way. The job of council is to handle the purse strings and to write legislation.
If council wants to choke the authority -- do so with votes at the purse strings. Dowd didn't deploy his true power when he should and could have. Votes matter.