Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Resign Already

Public statement Delivered to City Council

Resign Already by Mark Rauterkus

October 6, 2004


My name is Mark Rauterkus. My family and I reside at 108 South 12th Street, Pittsburgh's South Side. My home on the internet is at

Grandstanding has reached a new level in Pittsburgh's City Hall. Perhaps it is natural to see grandstanding skyrocket as the public treasury ticks to deeper depths.

Grandstanding at the table:

  • Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle wants the body to take a road trip to Harrisburg.
  • Councilman Jim Motznik wants the commuter tax for leverage.
  • Council president Gene Ricciardi wants the same commuter tax but for
  • different reasons.
  • Councilman Alan Hertzberg wants patience.
  • Councilman Len Bodack is in a hurry to tweak and tinker.
  • Councilman Bill Peduto is thirsty to drink from the cup of the whole package.
  • Councilman Doug Shields wans a blueprint.
  • Councilmen Sala Udin and Luke Ravenstahl, read the blog. I only get three minutes.
  • Grandstanding in the chamber:

  • Earl morns his wife and punishes County Councilman Rich Fitzgerald.
  • Yavonne morns her son.
  • Kim is literally in the dark.
  • I'm here to say that the Market House Children's Athletic Assn. has its fund raising orders due today. Pirogies are $6.00 a dozen. Haluska is $3.50 a quart.
  • Union workers come and say the city hasn't yet cut to the bone.
  • Perhaps the biggest point in a long time came from Dr. Frances Barnes. She was discriminated against while on city's the anti-discrimination commission.
  • Grandstanding in the halls:

  • Bill Urbanic and Scott Kunka are in council's budget office and are working like crazy.
  • The City Cable Department must be getting ready to run infomercials to save their department.
  • The mayor's complaint department is fed up with my email that complain about the phony budget. The impending lay-offs are real to them and their families.
  • The city clerk's office must be blue for sending memos from council to the administration and oversight boards.
  • And yesterday, the Mayor ran to an appeals court to block a question from appearing on the November ballot.
  • Salutes went to Elsie Hillman and Dr. Bill Truehart for the Save Our Summer campaign. The PR extravaganza came at Heinz Field. Council's visitors did obtain new wall decorations, a framed ring-buoy. That token of of gratitude was fitting for their one time band-aid philanthropy. We had a lot of dips in the pool last summer. Questions about the long-term are wet and out-of-bounds here, sadly.
  • SOS ring-art

    I wonder if Citiparks obtained that pair of benefactor gifts, the ring-toss floaties, off of one of the boats that floated down river in the flood?

    The point:

    We are floating everywhere and anywhere. Things in this city are are going every which way, yet nothing is happening, other than placeholders with 35% realestate tax increases.

    Things are disjointed. People are disengaged. There are many disconnects.


    The next thing that needs to happen is simple, yet this suggested solution takes courage.

    My advice is for the nine member of council to pick ten important people. Tom Flaherty, our city's controller should join in this exercise too. Then each democrat drafts an open letter to each person on their list. We'd have ten elected city democrats each sending ten letters. Ten by ten makes 100 influential statements.

    Each of those letters needs to make a case as to why the mayor is failing in his duty as the executive for this city. The Mayor needs to resign. Use the open letters to explain why. Tell all. Open your reasons and justifications for all to see. Admit in public how bad Pittsburgh's situation has become and why.

    Each in council can act with independence but the voters need to see resignation requests.Councilmembers know that Mayor Murphy can't move his agenda forward. The Mayor can't even come to meetings. His is not the executive leadership for Pittsburgh now. Mayor Murphy's departure begins to heal Pittsburgh's woes.

    Who among City Council is going to address resignation issues? When?

    Serious talk among fellow democrats takes courage as resignation demands might wash over others as well.

    Ain't going to happen!

    Doubts of a mayor resignation misses the present point. City council's gut-check and leadership is in asking for the resignation and making a measured and open illustratation. The request is key. This is the next Pittsburgh log-jam to unlock. The disheartening fact is that all the elected Democrats in Pittsburgh are not trying to nudge the Mayor into the private sector.

    Is council content with a phony budget for the third consecutive year?

    The sideshow of August 2003, orchestrated by the administration with 700+ pink slips, is about to be repeated.

    Help is going to come to those who try to help themselves. We can't begin to heal Pittsburgh with Tom Murphy in the mayor's office.

    The people elsewhere don't want to throw their good money and sincere efforts into a bad situation. We have to clean house. We have to light the stumbles of Tom Murphy. Erie, Johnstown, Harrisburg, and Allentown don't hear the obvious call. This call isn't "help." Others want to hear, "Heave Ho!" Others want to see the ripples from the splash.

    Give Pittsburgh a week, a day or two for each of your successive resignation revelations. Make this occur before the November budget address and December's bounced checks.

    After members of council each stand on one's own courage and conviction for the greater benefit of Pittsburgh on this pressing issue, duty can pass back others. We'll then see the support that the citizens are capable of providing. It might be that Mayor Murphy's parking spot on the corner of Grant Street becomes plugged: garbage truck, fire engine, police car, park-mower, graffiti removal truck, bikes, strollers on the weekends, kayaks and perhaps even public art advertising in the form of a dinosaur or pillory.

    Think again

    I'd hate to stay-the-course and persist with the it-ain't-going-to-happen attitude. "Think again." We have hope for a resignation because in two months, the city runs out of money. Just cause exists for resignations as Tom Murphy delivered his third consecutive budget that is goofy, phony, and absurd, at best.

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